Thursday, February 5, 2009

Don't Send the Maritime SDF to the Somalian Coast

We must not engage in war. Once war has begun, it ignites other wars.

The cabinet of Prime Minister Taro Aso and the ruling coalition of the Liberal Democratic Party and New Komeito want to dispatch the Maritime Self-Defense Forces to the Somalian coast. The media is humming the same tune. The opposition has been slow to respond because there are a lot of Democratic Party of Japan members who agree with the cabinet. It's exasperating. If the opposition plans to do the same thing as the ruling coalition, regime change loses its meaning. The DPJ is vague on this issue. It's as if the party is trying to avoid the whole thing. The DPJ has taken a strange stance.

The political world is awash in speculation. Some say that if the Aso cabinet and the ruling coalition can dispatch troops to the Somalian coast, the opposition will fracture and the DPJ will splinter into pieces. In fact, some say this is the very reason the government has adopted its anti-piracy measures.

While there is no proof, this sort of motive is all too common in the political world. But if it is true, we should not let them get their way. History is rife with examples of governments using their military to make points in domestic political battles. But it is one of the high crimes of politics, and it cannot be forgiven.

The DPJ should be a party of peace. The opposition needs to work together to counter the unconstitutional dispatch of maritime forces to Somalia. I'm asking party chief Ichiro Ozawa to make a stand. Are you going to follow the ruling coalition or fight it?