Abe Advisers Mull Broad Military Plans

      November 06, 2013 13:22

      A panel of defense and foreign policy experts advising Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has discussed five military scenarios that could follow a revision of Japan's pacifist post-war constitution.

      According to minutes of the meeting last month, Abe and the panelists discussed in detail five situations that would prompt Japan to mobilize troops.

      They include engaging in controversial "collective self-defense" abroad if the U.S. is under attack; raids on foreign vessels near Japan's coastal waters; clearing mines on maritime routes crucial for Japan's merchant marine fleet; and firing preemptive warning shots if foreign submarines do not withdraw from Japanese waters.

      The discussion shows that Japan is looking into a very broad range of offensive options other than just collective self-defense.

      Some of the panel's action plans directly counter Japan's pacifist constitution, which restricts the country's military from taking action unless Japanese territory is under attack.

      The panel said it also discussed revisions to the constitution.

      Around 20 officials took part in the panel meeting, including Abe and Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga.

      The Japanese government plans to reflect the panel's recommendations in its security report to be used for negotiations to revise the bilateral security cooperation agreement with the U.S.

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