The Security Laws Enforced; Japan becomes an assailant in conflicts

The Security Laws Enforced; Japan becomes an assailant in conflicts
U.S. Army’s Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) and residents, Afghanistan.

[Original Published: Renewal as of March 29, 2016 by Hiroshi Taniyama, JVC’s President]

The Security Laws were enforced on March 29, 2016, which makes it possible to exercise the right of collective self-defense for defending foreign countries by force of arms, and to support foreign forces anywhere in the world. Until now, JVC had set up “NGO Hisen Net (NGO NO WAR NETWORK)” together with about seventy other NGOs and has been strongly opposed to the Security Laws as a NGO involved in international cooperation.

Japan becomes an assailant in conflicts.

A hope for peace is about to be lost from the world once more. The Self-Defense Forces of Japan (SDF) have not injured a single person of foreign countries for over seventy years after World War II. But, if the Security Laws were applied, and the use of force or the offensive use of arms was carried out by the SDF, we would become an assailant in conflicts.

What the SDF’s activities should be, as stipulated in the Security Laws, means that the SDF are taking a step forward to an act of fighting, no matter which expression is used in every respect. The modern wars will almost take the form of “anti-terrorist wars”. “Anti-terrorist wars” would not have a front line of battles as distinct as ordinary ones do. They would not make it possible to distinguish between combatants and noncombatants. They are wars which have been fought among residents. If they suppressed the armed forces by “kaketsuke-keigo” or supported foreign armies at the back, it would make them parties involved in conflicts. Once they participated in a battle, it would cause residents to be involved. Consequently, victims would be produced.

The people living in the place of conflicts know that peace could not be made by the force of arms.

Many foreign armies had been stationed in Afghanistan on the pretext of supporting at the back. Most of them had gotten involved in battles and placed in a plight of killing residents through excessive attacks. Afghanistan’s NGOs, which are familiar with this type of situation, are strongly opposing the Security Laws too. Because they personally realized from their experience of long wars that peace could only be achieved by means other than the force of arms.

I think that Japan had been a hope for Afghanistan’s NGOs too. Afghan NGO’s Coordination Bureau (ANCB), which was the largest united organization of NGOs in Afghanistan, approved of the international joint statement opposing the Security Laws in reply to the appeal of NGO Hisen Net. At that time, they gave us the following message:

“ANCB support NGO Hisen Net and show our solidarity with it by representing our members of 204 groups. We strongly support the positive action of Japanese NGOs. The citizens throughout the world should take a stand on the position of adopting the peaceful solution. We think another way should be taken, different from the force of arms that caused the situation like in Afghanistan which has been suffering from conflicts since 40 years ago.”

Japan is requested to play a different role.

Now, the world is inclined to solve the conflicts by relying on the military strength too much. But its limits had been revealed by “anti-terrorist wars” in Afghanistan and Iraq. However strong the force of arms were, they could not solve the conflicts. But rather they just made the situation sink deeper into the mire.

It is not because Japan has not used the force of arms as “an ordinary country” that Afghanistan and Iraq have not achieved peace. But it is on the contrary. Japan should take a different way as a country that does not use the force of arms to solve conflicts. It should be a mediator among the parties involved in conflicts by making the best use of our neutrality, and it should provide neutral assistance to the people’s livelihood.

Now, we should recognize what Japan is likely to lose, and think about things that only Japan can do.

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