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long-gone Member Level  Tuesday, 03/05/02 03:41:17 PM
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To:mikesloan who wrote (534)
From: Alex Tuesday, Jul 15, 1997 9:22 AM
Respond to of 82910

To:Alex who wrote (535)
From: Alex Tuesday, Jul 15, 1997 9:31 AM
Respond to of 82910

Defense report calls for controversial emergency laws

Asahi Evening News

The government should take legislative action to enact a set of emergency laws to prepare the nation for any international situation that might have a grave impact on Japan's security, an annual government report said today.

Not only research, but actual enactment of such laws is called for, although such a move would require a highly political decision on the part of the government, the white paper on defense said.

The report was approved by the Cabinet today.

The report drew attention to the need to pass emergency laws--a touchy subject because they could involve measures to restrict constitutionally guaranteed rights for individuals to protect the lives and assets of the people.

The annual report said it is necessary to enact such laws at a time when the issue has become one of the key elements in the ongoing drafting of new guidelines on Japan-U.S. defense cooperation.

The issue remains a politically delicate matter, however. The Social Democratic Party, one of the three ruling coalition parties, remains extremely sensitive to such a move on the grounds that it could be constitutionally questionable.

The defense report emphasizes the importance of the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty in the post-Cold War Asia-Pacific region.

"In the Asia-Pacific region where a stable security environment has yet to be achieved, bilateral alliances led by the United States and the U.S. military presence play a crucial role in peace and stability in this region," the report said.

In this context, the report said that the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty is indispensable for the ensuring of peace and stability in Japan and its surrounding region. The report fails to define the scope of the "surrounding area," however.

In reference to the ongoing drafting of new guidelines on Japan-U.S. defense cooperation, the report says that it is increasingly important to step up joint defense efforts based on the guidelines in order for Japan to cope with instability and uncertainty in the region.

The report did not name any particular country, but it is generally believed that a crisis on the Korean Peninsula and a possible conflict between China and Taiwan are on the minds of defense planners.

On the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea), the report reiterated that the country remains a "major element of instability" for East Asia, including Japan.

"North Korea is believed to be engaged in research and development to make the range of its ballistic missiles longer, which is raising military tensions on the Korean Peninsula," the report noted.

On China, the report said that it is necessary to closely monitor the modernization of its nuclear, naval and air force capabilities, the anticipated expansion of the scope of its military activities at sea, and the situation of the Taiwan Strait.

In reference to Russia, the report reiterated that the Russian military force in the Far East needs to be monitored closely because its future remains uncertain just as Russia's domestic political situation is uncertain and fluid.


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