We strongly protest against LDP-Komei agreement on possession of “counterattack capability (enemy base attack capability)” in violation of Constitution

December 6, 2022
Tsuyoshi Masuda
Japan Federation of Democratic Medical Institutions

The Liberal Democratic Party and the Komei Party on December 2 agreed to possess a “counterattack capability (enemy base attack capability)”.
Possessing an ability to strike enemy bases is to abandon the exclusively defense-oriented principle that successive governments have maintained as a national policy. It is absolutely unacceptable as it destroys the very foundation of Japan as a pacifist country.
Furthermore, successive governments have stated that the possession of a “counterattack capability” is unconstitutional. With their latest agreement, the LDP and the Komei Party have clearly overturned this position of previous administrations in violation of the Constitution.

The government positions the “counterattack capability (enemy base attack capability)” as “complementary to missile defense” as it says that it is difficult to address threats with the existing missile defense network alone. It states that an armed attack is possible when an enemy launches an armed attack and should take place before being shot.
However, missiles in many cases are launched from mobile launchers or submarines. Even if Japan notices an indication of a launch, it cannot say that an armed attack has been launched against Japan without knowing the intent or direction of the launch. An armed attack at that stage would be a preemptive attack and thus violate international law.

If Japan turns its defense-oriented policy into a mere shell and builds up arms capable of preemptive strikes, it increases tensions with neighboring countries and falls into an endless arms race. Increased military spending destroys people’s livelihoods and the economy, and the risk of Japan fighting a war with other countries dramatically increases.
Abandoning the defense-oriented policy and possessing a “counterattack capability (enemy base attack capability)” will put the lives and freedom of citizens in danger instead of protecting them.

The possession of a “counterattack capability (enemy base attack capability)” agreed by the LDP and the Komei Party represents a major shift in the present “defense-oriented” strategy and violates the pacifism of Article 9 of the Constitution. It is unacceptable for the ruling parties to agree on such a critical issue that determines Japan’s future without holding a national debate.
The Japan Federation of Democratic Medical Institutions firmly opposes the possession of a “counterattack capability (enemy base attack capability),” which violates the Japanese Constitution and could violate international law, and calls for its withdrawal after thorough Diet deliberations.