The Abe government implies three principles in its national security policy: to abandon three rules for prohibition of arms export, to approve the right of collective self-defense and to allow a military use of Official Development Assistance, or ODA. The government is ready by the end of the year for converting Japan based on the peaceful principles to a belligerent state through Cabinet decisions. It accelerates speed.
FINAL TARGET AREA OF BELLIGERENCY ? ODA
A panel of experts in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (chaired by Yakushiji Taizo, Professor Emeritus of Keio University) presented a report in the end of June to Minister Kishida Fumio. It is on ODA, which focuses on its basic concept and important points. The panel is intended to revise the ODA Charter after 11 years from its compilation.
The report says ‘it is necessary to remove excessive restrictions on official assistance activities defined as non-military, which include disaster responses and rehabilitation efforts, removal of mines and PKO of the United Nations’. The panel advises to relieve the current non-military principle of ODA, while it maintains to forbid its military commitments, like sending weapons.
Problems Have Already been Pointed Out
The current guidelines were complied in 1992 and partially revised in 2003. It provides with four rules; (1) environmental conservation and development should be pursued in tandem, (2) any use of ODA for military purposes or aggravation of conflicts should be avoided, (3) full attention should be paid to military expenditures and arms development and trade of recipient countries and (4) full attention should be paid to efforts of recipients for democratization and situation of the human right and freedom.
Concerning ODA, criticisms have already been raised: official assistance encouraged dictatorship to survive and oppress people, Japanese business, for instance as a contractor of dam construction, hunt concessions and committed in corruption, and etc. The rule to prohibit military purposes has been undermined.
For instance in 2006, Japan’s maritime safety authorities supplied three patrol boats to Indonesia for a purpose to ‘respond to pirates’. However, there is no guarantee that the vessels might not be used for a military function. The same is true for ten patrol boats provided to the Filipino coast guard authority last year. This type of assistance indicates a clear intention that the Japanese government is to frustrate the non-military principle of ODA.
ODA Extended to Cope with China
The Foreign Ministry’s panel report constitutes a conclusion of various policies to bring down the principle of peaceful commitments. The Abe government has tried to use ODA to peg China: it has attempted to help the Philippines and Vietnam to consolidate relations with Japan as they have territorial disputes with China in the South China Sea.
ODA will also be used to guarantee safe passage of ships on the sea lanes along which imported resources, including oil, are transported.
However, the existing Charter has kept the government from involving in certain activities. If a military use of ODA is approved, ports and airports can be rebuilt so that both military troops of donor and recipient may use. Thus, the government finds it more effective to use ODA in order to check and control China.
The government decided last December to authorize a use of ODA for a military purpose: descriptions were found in the National Security Strategies that ‘arrangements will be made to implement strategic use of ODA and extend assistance in the security areas’.
Let’s organize movements across the country against the Abe government which wants to destroy peace diplomacy.
July 22, 2014