Thursday, May 29, 2014

New And A Bit Alarming: The Abe Cabinet's "Self-Defense" Category Of Action

We'll wait and see
A few days more
There might be something there that wasn't there before.

- Howard Ashman and Alan Menken
"Something There" (1991)
The above is a screen shot from the question time of the New Komeito's Toyama Kiyohiko yesterday (May 28) on the change that the Abe Cabinet is suggesting in Japan's ladder of response to threats to the security of Japan's citizens.

On the left is the current ladder, where there are only two steps, in between which is a thick line dividing

- those threats that can be handled by constabulary forces (the National Police Agency and the Japan Coast Guard), labeled "Police Power" and

- those that must be handled by the Self Defense Forces, labeled "War Power."

On the right of the panel is the New Komeito's understanding of the Yanai Commission's recommendation to the Abe government of a new, three step ladder. There is still a thick line separating "War Power" from that which is below it. However, in between "Police Power" and "War Power" is a new step, "Self Defense Power," which an assistant is helpfully indicating with the pointer. Graphically and in a real sense the new "Self Defense" zone extends down into some of what is now considered purely constabulary and up into what is currently considered purely military. The boundary line between "Police Power" and "Self Defense" is furthermore shown as being thin as compared to the boundary delimiting "War Power."

All in all a nifty little graphic representation of just one facet of the ongoing argument over the proper paradigms for Japan's security.

A lot of other panels in the battle of minds can be seen in the 7 hours and 15 minutes of yesterday's House of Representatives Budget Committee testimony, available on the Shugiin TV website at:

1 comment:

CrazyMai said...

It is a pity that I can't watch the video because I don't understand japanese. It would be really interesting but your post was informative :)