HOME About Blog Contact Hotel Links Donations Registration
NEWS & COMMENTARY 2008 SPEAKERS 2007 2006 2005

Friday, June 09, 2006

Japan to create full-fledged defense ministry

ISN SECURITY WATCH (Friday, 9 June 2006: 11.32 CET) – Japan on Friday approved a bill to turn its defense agency into a full-fledged ministry, local media reported, raising the status of its defense institution to that of other ministries.

According to Japanese media reports, the bill will be voted on by parliament in an extraordinary fall session.

Since the end of the Second World War, the Japanese Defense Agency has had a lower status than other ministries, largely because Japan’s post-war constitution forbids a military, though courts have allowed the country to maintain troops solely for purposes of self-defense.

Japan has some 240,000 military personnel, including land, air, and naval forces.

However, in recent years, Japan has taken steps to upgrade its defense forces, and Japanese Prime Junichiro Koizumi's party last year approved a draft of a new constitution that would permit a military.

Defense Minister Fukushiro Nukaga said the upgrade would give his organization greater rights over budget and policy-making decisions.

The new bill calls for the defense minister to oversee some logistical operations and assume some of the authority now held by the prime minister as commander-in-chief of the Japanese Self-Defense Force.

Some 600 of Japan's self-defense forces are stationed in Iraq, the first overseas deployment since the Second World War. Japan also has a contingent of vessels giving logistical support to operations in Afghanistan.

In a related development on Friday, a Japanese local court rejected a lawsuit by plaintiffs demanding that troops be withdrawn from Iraq and Afghanistan, saying that the dispatch violated Japan's pacifist constitution and increased Japan’s risk of becoming a target for terrorism.
Web IntelligenceSummit.org
Webmasters: Intelligence, Homeland Security & Counter-Terrorism WebRing
Copyright © IHEC 2008. All rights reserved.       E-mail info@IntelligenceSummit.org