Self Defense Forces of Japan (SDF) are building up troops so that ‘Japan could
wage a war to other nations’ in parallel with the process of constitutional
amendment. The units are under a reorganization process along the initiative of
Prime Minister Abe Shinzo. On March 27 were established the Ground Component
Command and the amphibious rapid deployment brigade. The newly founded bodies
aim to be integrated more closely to the US military in accordance with the series
of laws on national security.
OF SELF DEFENSE FORCES CLOSELY COMBINES WITH CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT PROCESS
plan to establish the Ground Component Command, a centralized office of
operation of the five district troops across the nation, and the amphibious
rapid deployment brigade was included in the revised law on the Self Defense
Forces. The change was approved by the majority votes of the ruling Liberal
Democratic Party and Komeito as well as the Ishin during the ordinary session
of the Diet last year.
reorganization is the most significant reform since the SDF’s foundation. A
plan of the Command was presented in the Mid-term Defense Program, on which the
cabinet decided in 2013, in the context that troops could move rapidly and
flexibly on the nationwide scale.
Control Scheme Declines
Maritime SDF has its fleet command and the ASDF has its air component command
to control over the national units, but the ground forces have not had a
centralized authority. It is because concerns prevailed that such a command
would undermine a civilian control scheme and ‘resurge the former militarist-led
unit’. Several governments have discussed the issue, seeking for a centralized power,
but the initiative has been aborted. Under the Abe government, however, a
precious historic lesson was thrown away: it wants to make the nation be
aggressive. The three troops of SDF will be combined more tightly in the
operations and the Japan-US alliance will usher in a new co-operational stage
in light of the war legislation.
new Command stays in the Asaka Base, located in the area bordering Tokyo and Saitama
Prefecture, and 180
personnel will be stationed at the beginning. The authority works in the direct
guidance of the Ministry of Defense. Another new body, ‘Japan-US joint department’,
is to reside in the GSDF Zama Base inside the US Camp Zama (Kanagawa Prefecture).
It facilitates three SDF troops to communicate easily with the US
Grows to be More Aggressive
amphibious rapid deployment brigade, whose model comes from the US Marines, is composed
of 2,100 personnel. The brigade comes from the Infantry Regiment of Western
Japan stationed in the Aiura Base (Sasebo
City, Nagasaki Prefecture).
The number of troops will later increase to 3,000. Reportedly, the government
plans to deploy another regiment in Okinawa.
Defense Ministry explains that ‘the brigade will promptly land, regain and
secure it, if a remote island is occupied by foreign troops’. But in fact the
contingent is the very unit that attacks ‘a hostile territory’.
aircraft Osprey, a vertical taking-off and landing vehicle, has repeatedly experienced
severe accidents, including a recent crash at Nago
Last February, too, a helicopter of the Ground SDF brought down to a resident
house in Kanzaki City,
which is next to Nagasaki
Prefecture. A plan to
deploy 17 units of Osprey at the Saga Airport (Saga City) was cancelled at the
moment and provisionally they will be stationed in the Kisarazu Base (Kisarazu
City, Chiba Prefecture), which is 1,000 kilo-meter far from the original
units of amphibious vehicles are to be purchased in the schedule, but actually
15 of them have been shipped due to scarcity of parts on the side of the
manufacturers. Reportedly, shipping of another type of amphibious vehicle AAV7,
one which is used at the time of landing, is delayed, too.
of the amphibious brigade in the landing operation violate Article Nine of the
Constitution and could lead to overseas combat operations.
win in the 30 million-signature collection campaign against the constitutional
revision drives. Let’s strengthen social opinions to reject the government’s initiative
to change Japan
into a country that could wage a war.