Go to contents

Japan`s Self Defense Force Maneuvered the U.S. Behind the Scene

Japan`s Self Defense Force Maneuvered the U.S. Behind the Scene

Posted May. 07, 2002 09:09,   


The domestic and international society is stirred by the Japan`s Maritime Self Defense Force, which maneuvered the U.S. into requesting for Japan`s deploy of its P3C Aegis warships to the Indian Ocean.

Asahi Shimbun reported yesterday that high-ranking officers of the Maritime Self-Defense Force (MSDF) visited Yokosuka to deliver a memorandum including 3 requests to Rear Adm. Robert Chaplin, commander of the U.S. Naval Forces in Japan.

The note delivered by the Japan`s officers include the requests that the U.S. requests for the dispatch of Aegis warships, writing “[the U.S.] expects Japan to dispatch Aegis warships which is excellent in its patrol mission and in the cooperative operation with the U.S. Navy. We also hope Japan will support with P3C patrol planes which are outstanding in the maritime surveillance and rescue operations. We will appreciate so much if Japan extend the operation period of 2 supply ships dispatched in the Indian Ocean as long as possible.”

The Asahi Shimbun pointed out that “a very similar request formally made by the U.S. government April 29 in a meeting between Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz and the three visiting secretaries-general of the ruling coalition” seems like a result of the MSDF`s maneuvering behind the scene.

The Asahi also commented, “any deployment would become much more difficult if the United States, for example, were to launch a military attack on Iraq, the Japanese officials said. However, once the warships and planes were deployed they could be used without creating problems.”

Such maneuvering is a request for an intervention from outside to promote the status of JSDF and to broaden its boundary of activities. By utilizing a slogan, “the U.S. is requesting, so we don`t have a choice.” the MSDF officers tried to persuade the opposition parties and some politicians in the ruling parties.

The high-ranking officials of JSDF such as minister and vice minister are civilians and therefore JSDF is under the control of civilians. However, recent behaviors of the MSDF officers are reflecting the dangerous atmosphere that the civilian leaders have been ignored by the uniformed high-ranking officers.

The morale of JSDF has been high-rising recently by the legislation of the Neighbor Security Law and the Special Law For Anti-Terrorism, the submission of a sort of Emergency bill, and the public discussion about the promotion of the status of JSDF to a Ministry. Some indicate that the status of JSDF is already different from the past.

The Asahi Shimbun also criticized that JSDF ignored the constitution by inappropriately trying to do things in a way that they want.