Japanese Govt. to resume study on collective self-defense

Feb 3, 2013- Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's government plans to resume studying whether to recognize Japan's right to exercise collective self-defense.


Abe will reconvene a meeting of experts on Friday. The panel was set up earlier when Abe led his first Cabinet. The panel, chaired by former ambassador to the US Shunji Yanai, had studied the issue of collective defense.

After World War Two, Japan's government ruled out the right of collective defense under the present interpretation of the Constitution.

But Abe says he wants to change the interpretation so that Japan can exercise collective self-defense with certain restrictions.

Last week, the prime minister said during an Upper House plenary session that his government will study suitable responses to the changed security environment.

In 2008, the expert panel proposed in a report that constitutional interpretations should be changed to permit Japan's right to collective self-defense.

The report says collective self-defense should be allowed in such cases as an attack on US naval vessels in a joint operation with Japan on the high seas and intercepting of a ballistic missile heading for the US.

The panel is to submit the 2008 report to Abe at Friday's meeting. Experts are also to study cases in which collective self-defense will be allowed, by taking the new security environment into consideration.

Observers say Abe apparently wants to highlight his efforts to strengthen defense ties with the US ahead of his meeting with President Barack Obama in late February. Resumption of discussions on collective self-defense is one way to illustrate those efforts.


NHK

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