Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Stretching a Constitution All the Way to the Middle East?

I have to wonder if Japan might want to do something small but dramatic about that hostage that ISIL holds.

Japan has a problem in the Middle East:

Japan has vowed to work with Jordan to secure the release of a Japanese journalist held by Islamic State militants after the killing last week of another Japanese captive, but it reiterated that it would not give in to terrorism.

The hostage crisis has become a test for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who took power in 2012 pledging to bolster Japan's global security role.

If Japan is to bolster their global security role, rescuing a hostage from ISIL would surely be a way to cross a threshold in a small but decisive way--and one which the public would support, no?

But how to work with Jordan? Say:

The mission of a Self-Defense Forces base for anti-piracy operations in Djibouti is expected to be bolstered to include the dispatch of patrol aircraft and the rescue of Japanese civilians in Middle East emergencies, Defense Ministry sources said.

The ministry is considering increasing the duties assigned to the base in East Africa and making it the operational center for SDF troops in the region on the assumption that Japan will continue utilizing it on a long-term basis.

“Based on the government’s principle of ‘proactive pacifism,’ it is a natural matter of course to develop a strategy to utilize more of the SDF's lone foreign operational base,” said a senior Defense Ministry official. “From the perspectives of cooperation with the U.S. military and NATO forces and sharing terrorism-related information with these forces, it will be to Japan’s benefit to increase functions of the base.”

The plans include mobilizing light armored vehicles at the base to rescue Japanese citizens by land routes, expanding parking aprons to transport Japanese nationals by government aircraft and SDF transport planes, and sending surveillance aircraft in emergency situations, sources said.

I did not know Japan had a base in Djibouti, at the mouth of the Red Sea in Africa.

Where we and the French station anti-terrorism forces.

So Japan has a forward staging area to send units to the region and then up the Red Sea to Jordan if they need to use them.

A successful Japanese military mission against ISIL would surely bolser japan's global security role and perhaps take the wind out of China's big anti-Japan military parade:

On its instant messaging WeChat account the People's Daily newspaper, the official mouthpiece of the Communist Party, cited a Hong Kong report that a parade would be held this year to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II.

One reason for holding the parade was "to frighten Japan and declare to the world China's determination to maintain the post-war world order", said the article, written by Chinese financial and global affairs commentator Hu Zhanhao.

On the one hand we have a parade. On the other hand we have a Japanese military mission into the heart of ISIL. Who should be more afraid after those respective events?