Japan bill seeks to keep tabs on U.S. military whereabouts
Japan is considering a law that would keep the public informed of U.S. military activities in the country during times of emergencies involving defense of the country.
According to a draft of the new bill, to be submitted to Japan’s legislators later this month, the government would be obligated to notify local municipalities and other organizations in advance of any movements of U.S. forces deployed to assist Japan Self-Defense Forces.
It also would require the national government to pay compensation for any damage caused by such activities.
The “U.S. Military Action Support Bill” would become part of Japan’s Self-Defense Forces Law. It also would let Self-Defense Forces supply weapons and ammunition to U.S. forces in emergency situations.
It is one of seven bills being proposed to strengthen Self-Defense Forces powers in times of national emergency.
Another bill would give the JSDF rights to use ports, airports, public roads and other public facilities in times of emergency. If local officials refuse, the prime minister would have the power to force compliance.
Other bills to be submitted would spell out national and local governmental roles regarding evacuating civilians; allow transporting military supplies to foreign forces in the event of an attack and set guidelines for treatment of prisoners of wars.
— Chiyomi Sumida contributed to this report.