Tuesday, November 12, 2013, 12:30 - 14:00
President, International University of Japan
Chief Director, International Geopolitics Institute, Japan
Among the many peculiarities of Japan's security arrangements, few are more striking than the country's policy on collective self-defense.
All UN member states have the right to band together with allies in mutual defense ? except Japan, which voluntarily renounces the entitlement in order to conform with its post-war constitution. As a result, Japanese troops in Iraq were banned from going to the help of British and Dutch allies if they came under attack. If North Korean missiles were fired at the United States, Japan would in theory be unable to intercept them.
Japan's allies, including the US, have long urged a revision of this policy. But a number of the country's most important neighbors, including China and South Korea, warn that it is a vital element in restraining any resurgence of the miniaturization which caused so much tragedy in the pre-war period. Two experts will discuss the subject at the FCCJ.
Kyoji Yanagisawa questions Abe's stated wish to re-assert Japan's right to collective self-defense, and he has the highest qualifications to take such a view. He is vice-chairman of the International Geopolitics Institute Japan, a former senior security aide to the first Abe administration, and a former chief of the National Institute for Defense Studies. As an assistant chief cabinet secretary, he presided over the historic deployment of the Japanese Self-Defense Forces operations to Samawah in Iraq.
Shinichi Kitaoka supports Abe's policy, and ? as deputy head of the prime minister's Advisory Panel on Reconstruction of the Legal Basis for Security ? he is in a key position to influence such an outcome. He is president of the International University of Japan, a professor of political science at Tokyo University, a professor at the National Graduate Institute for Policy Study, and the former Japanese ambassador to the United Nations.