We resolutely denounce the Abe regime's decision to invoke the right of collective self-defense, which intends to justify aggression and militarism.
At the National Security Council meeting held on the 15th of May, the Abe government adopted the so-called "basic course of action" and decided to pursue a policy that would permit Japan to resort to exercising the right of collective self-defense.
With this action, Japan could, merely by means of a cabinet resolution, abandon its policy of renouncing war, the maintenance of armed forces, and the right to collective self-defense, a policy to which it has adhered for more than 70 years of the postwar era, and it may in earnest set out on the road to renewed aggression and warmongering.
However, the right of collective self-defense that Japan would make use of belongs to the category of collective defense and by virtue of that fact, collective defense is different from the right of collective self-defense provided for under Article 51 of the United Nations Charter, and thereby violates Article 51.
The right of collective self-defense under UN Charter's Article 51 could be exercised only if an armed attack on the United States could be regarded as an attack on Japan, due to the close relationship between Japan and the US, their geographic proximity, or for other special reasons.
As an instance of Japan's exercise of the right of collective self-defense, Japan points to the Japan Self-Defense Forces' interception of ballistic missiles that would be aimed at the US. However, even supposing that Japan were required to intercept the ballistic missiles aimed at the US, it couldn't be regarded as the exercise of the right of collective self-defense because the US-Japan relationship cannot be regarded as one that meets such legal conditions that would justify collective self-defense.
According to this view, for Japan to take part in defending the US against an armed attack without approval of the United Nations is only to abuse and invalidate the right of collective self-defense as set out in Article 51.
In the same sense, if collective defense through the US-Japan alliance is equated with the exercise of the right of collective self-defense as defined in Article 51, it means that the United Nations would be replaced by an alliance making regular preparations for war. Then the collective security system that is centered on the UN would be wholly destroyed.
Such potential dangers are increasingly becoming a reality, as follows: The US and Japan are drawing in Australia and the Republic of Korea, and promoting the formation of an Asia-Pacific regional alliance composed of these countries.
At the same time, the US and Japan, combining this Asia-Pacific region-wide alliance with NATO as it expands eastward, are pressing forward with the formation of a broad, world-wide military alliance.
On the one hand, semi-military alliances have already been organized, or are now being promoted, in Asia: Japan-Australia (2007), Republic of Korea-Australia (2009), and so on.
On the other hand, NATO's involvement in the Asia-Pacific region is beginning in earnest, as the Republic of Korea (2012), Australia (2013), and Japan (2014) have become members of NATO's Individual Partnership Cooperation Program (IPCP)
In particular, as militarily strong US allies such as the Republic of Korea and Japan have become members of the Individual Partnership Cooperation Program, NATO is falling into the orbit of its globalization.
Currently, the Republic of Korea and Japan are trying to conclude agreements on both military information protection and reciprocal provision of goods and services. If these agreements are concluded and consequently a triangular Republic of Korea-US-Japan military alliance is formed, a massive combined alliance will be created from the Asia-Pacific-centered Republic of Korea-US-Japan-Australia alliance and the Europe-centered NATO, which can truly be termed a world-wide alliance.
If the triangular alliance is formed and is combined with NATO, it will bring about an intense confrontation between hostile blocs, surpassing that of the Cold War period, because the US-Japan-centered global military alliance is aiming to blockade North Korea, China, and Russia.
In the name of exercising the so-called right of collective self-defense, Japan is trying to promote the formation of the US-Japan centered world alliance. Against this background, Japan is becoming a warmongering nation that would intervene in every kind of dispute in the Asia Pacific region and throughout the world and that could bring new conflicts and would run the risk of waging any war, without caring about whether it is a local, limited war or a full-scale war.
There is no doubt that the Korean peninsula is the area which would be the first target of Japan's exercise of the right of collective self-defense.
In a crisis situation on the Korean peninsula, Japan could, at the request of the Republic of Korea, the US, and the UN, advance into the North Korean and South Korean area, justifying its move by invoking the right of collective self-defense.
This would open the way for a renewed invasion and occupation of the Korean peninsula, which has been the dream of Japan's conservative forces ever since Japan was defeated in World War II.
The Park Geun Hye administration's position is nothing more than a subjective hope: "As a matter of course, Japan cannot enter the territory of the Korean peninsula unless it is at our request."
If a crisis situation arises in Korea, it is within the power of the US to decide about the entry of Japanese troops into Korea, making use of the operational control authority over South Korean troops.
Furthermore, for the US, which wants to minimize the commitment of its own ground troops, the Japanese military would become excellent supporting forces.
In an emergency situation on the Korean peninsula, if Japanese forces were to advance into Korea as components of a unified, multinational UN force led by the US military, the South Korean government would then find it more difficult to prevent Japanese troops from entering into Korean territory, in terms of international law.
On the one hand, in time of war it would be difficult for South Korea to oppose the advance of Japan's Self-Defense Forces vis-a-vis the US, considering what a desperate situation South Korea would be in during a war.
There is a relevant example of this. At the time of the 6.25 Korean War, the Syngman Rhee regime did not obstruct the Japanese military that, at the request of the US, entered the Korean peninsula and carried out extensive mine-sweeping and transport operations.
Similarly, it is very naive of the Park Geun Hye administration to imagine that Japanese forces could not enter the Korean peninsula in time of war, assuming that the US would have good intentions and would give serious consideration to the preferences of the Republic of Korea.
In October last year, in particular, Japan explicitly made clear that it intends to maintain the military potential to execute a preemptive strike on North Korean bases and that it will establish a marine corps. Along with asserting the right of collective self-defensive, Japan's offensive military posture is part of the process of Japan's reversion to being an aggressor nation like pre-WWⅡ imperialist Japan.
The South Korean and US governments have established a carefully tailored deterrent strategy that includes a preemptive strike on North Korea, even carrying out preemptive strike training exercises. If the Japanese troops' aggressive posture combines with South Korean and American military strategy and military power, it will demolish the strategic balance in northeast Asia, making the Korean peninsula a permanent battlefield.
We warn that the Abe government, by following a policy of renewed invasion and the goal of being a warrior nation, will end up by ruining Japan and again turning it into a country of war criminals.
For the moment, Japan, in taking advantage of the decline of the US, and China's disputes with southeast Asian countries, seems to be showing off its power to the international community.
However, China, India, and other south Asian and east Asian nations which were injured by Japan in the past, and the Asia-Pacific people that strive for peace, will not tolerate renewed Japanese aggression and war-making ambitions.
We earnestly hope that from now on, the Abe government turn away from the road of renewed invasion and war-fighting that is pushing Japan down the road to ruin. And also we hope that Japan will pull out of the military alliance that is a community of warmongers, and instead work together for the creation of a peace community built on the basis of common and cooperative security in the Asia-Pacific region.
Solidarity for Peace and Reunification of Korea
(Permanent representative: Moon Kyu Hyeon)