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Cablegate: Tokyo Media Reaction - Constitutional Limits

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PP RUEHFK RUEHKSO RUEHNAG RUEHNH
DE RUEHKO #3841 2330214
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 210214Z AUG 07
FM AMEMBASSY TOKYO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6682
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY
RUCPDOC/USDOC WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUYNAAC/COMNAVFORJAPAN YOKOSUKA JA PRIORITY
RHHMUNA/HQ USPACOM HONOLULU HI PRIORITY
RHHMHBA/COMPACFLT PEARL HARBOR HI//N541// PRIORITY
RHMFIUU/HQ PACAF HICKAM AFB HI//CC/PA// PRIORITY
RUHBANB/OKINAWA FLD OFC US FORCES JAPAN CP BUTLER JA PRIORITY
RUALSFJ/COMUSJAPAN YOKOTA AB JA PRIORITY
INFO RUEHFK/AMCONSUL FUKUOKA 2677
RUEHNH/AMCONSUL NAHA 5108
RUEHNAG/AMCONSUL NAGOYA 1700
RUEHKSO/AMCONSUL SAPPORO 3436
RUEHOK/AMCONSUL OSAKA KOBE 6298
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 8505
RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW 1826
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 4568
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 5519
RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

UNCLAS TOKYO 003841

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

STATE FOR I/RF, PA/PR/FPC/W, IIP/G/EA, EAP/PD, R/MR,
EAP/J, EAP/P, PM;
USTR FOR PUBLIC AFFAIRS OFFICE;
TREASURY FOR OASIA/IMI;
SECDEF FOR OASD/PA;
CP BUTLER OKINAWA FOR AREA FIELD OFFICE;
PACOM HONOLULU FOR PUBLIC DIPLOMACY ADVISOR

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OIIP KMDR KPAO JA
SUBJECT: TOKYO MEDIA REACTION - CONSTITUTIONAL LIMITS
TO JAPAN'S OVERSEAS PEACE OPERATIONS


LEAD STORIES: Most papers gave top play to the fire
that broke out Monday morning on a China Airlines
passenger jet at Naha Airport in Okinawa.

1. "Rules for SDF's Use of Arms Should Follow
International Standards" The top-circulation, moderate
Yomiuri editorialized (8/21): "It is time for Japan to
take a concrete first step toward revising the rules
for the Self-Defense Forces' use of arms, which are
very different from those of foreign nations.... Under
the current interpretation of the Constitution, SDF
personnel are not allowed to protect foreign troops who
have come under attack; the use of arms for purposes
other than unilateral self-defense or emergency
evacuation goes beyond the scope of immediate self-
defense, which is all that is allowed. The
Constitution, however, only prohibits the use of arms
as a 'means of settling international disputes,' so the
limited use of weapons in joint international missions
belongs to a different category.... Japan should relax
its rules concerning the use of arms and adopt the
international standards that are applied to UN
peacekeeping operations. Although the need for a
permanent law governing Japan's deployment of SDF
troops overseas is increasing, such legislation will
not be effective unless Japan eases its rules."

DONOVAN

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