January 11, 2008 from Japan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs site:http://www.mofa.go.jp/announce/pm/fukuda/state0801.html
Statement by Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda
On Enactment of the Replenishment Support Special Measures Law
As of today, the Replenishment Support Special Measures Law was enacted.
The Government of Japan intends to formulate the implementation plan in the middle of next week and set sail Maritime Self-Defense Force vessels for the Indian Ocean by the end of January so as to resume the refueling activities at the earliest possible date.
Japan's prosperity can only be enjoyed in a peaceful and stable international community. It needs to actively cooperate with the "fight against terror" on its own judgment so as to contribute to the international community. The refueling activities are a demonstration of Japan's efforts to do the utmost within its capability. It is truly significant that Japan can now rejoin the "fight against terror".
It is important to implement humanitarian and reconstruction assistance as well as security and counter-terrorism measures so as to eradicate terrorism. The Government of Japan will continue to actively implement humanitarian and reconstruction assistance and contribute to the nation-building of Afghanistan in close coordination with the international community.
I hope to gain further understanding and support of the Japanese people for these efforts of the Government of Japan.
NOTE the use of quotes on the words "fight against terror" was not done by me. i dont know if thats something lost in translation or if they truly intended to use quotes (to imply something).
some relevant background info from August 7th 2007:http://220.127.116.11/search?q=cache:IIqKS...e%3D1+The+Shin-
Democratic Party of Japan (same party as Fujita Yukihisa) President Ichiro Ozawa said Tuesday his party will consider submitting a bill aimed at canceling the dispatch of Air Self-Defense Force troops to help in Iraq's reconstruction during an extraordinary Diet session in the fall.
Ozawa also reiterated at a press conference his opposition to extending the antiterrorism law, set to expire Nov. 1, which allows Maritime Self-Defense Force vessels to provide refueling support for the U.S.-led multinational force in the Indian Ocean.
Speaking on the antiterrorism law, Ozawa said, "In the war in Afghanistan, U.S. President (George W.) Bush started it with no concern from the United Nations and international society, saying that it's a war of self-defense for the United States."
His remarks showed that he thinks providing such support itself a problem, and hinted that the DPJ, which has become the largest party in the House of Councillors, may not only oppose extending the antiterrorism law, but also even refuse to hold discussions with the ruling bloc on an extension.
On the bill to cancel ASDF airlift operations for Iraq, Ozawa said, "It will be one option."
Ozawa held a press conference for the first time since the DPJ-led opposition camp gained a majority in the upper house in the election on July 29, inflicting a heavy defeat on Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's ruling coalition. The DPJ topped Abe's LDP to become the largest party in the upper house.
Ozawa also showed willingness to form a joint parliamentary group in the upper chamber with members from the DPJ, two other minor opposition parties -- the People's New Party and New Party Nippon -- and independents.
"If we can secure a certain amount of seats with one political group, that'll be a good thing," he said.
a broad overview of of japan's politics:http://18.104.22.168/search?q=cache:qPk6A...clnk&cd=1&gl=us
Recent Political Developments (november 2007)
Recent developments in politics include the landslide victory of the DPJ in the July 2007 Upper House election, the subsequent resignation of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and inauguration of Yasuo Fukuda as Japanís 92nd Prime Minister, the coming into force of the privatisation of Japan Post (Japanís largest financial institution), the lapsing of the Anti-Terrorism Special Measures Law which allows Japanese support of coalition operations in Afghanistan (and the subsequent cessation on 1 November of Japanís Maritime Self-Defence forces refuelling operations in the Indian Ocean), a series of ďmoney politicsĒ allegations involving senior politicians and government bureaucrats, debate over amendment of the post-war Japanese Constitution, and the governmentís misplacing of millions of pension account records.
The DPJís Upper House election win has had significant consequences for national politics since the ruling coalition has now lost its control of the Upper House Ė a situation which may continue until 2010. This means that legislation passed in the Lower House by the ruling coalition is no longer readily passed by the Upper House. This has resulted in a shift in the governmentís policy making process that formerly was solely an intra-ruling coalition process to seek to include negotiation with the Opposition.
Other themes that appear regularly in Japanís political agenda include the management of pension funding commitments, protection of the environment, freedom of information, immigration policy, energy security and industrial pollution, local autonomy and taxation powers, education, the economic distribution of wealth, government spending priorities and regional economic stimulation, limits to military spending, use of symbols of Japanese nationhood such as the Japanese flag and anthem, deregulation of highly-regulated industries, tax reform including raising the consumption tax, protectionism and agriculture, the internationalisation of Japanese industry, education, foreign relations, territorial disputes, and commitments to and expectations of the United Nations, including Japanís quest for permanent membership of the UN Security Council.
an OFFICIAL overview of japan's counter terrorism measures - from their ministry of foreign affairs (lots of LINKS):http://www.mofa.go.jp/policy/terrorism/index.html
one link worthy of mention from the above page, describes conclusions reached in 2007 about terrorism and the direction to head in:http://www.mofa.go.jp/policy/economy/asem/.../terro0705.html
Chair's Summary of the Fifth ASEM Conference on Counter-Terrorism
15-16th May, 2007
-The conference recognized terrorism as a threat to all citizens and nations as well as to international peace and security in Asia, Europe and beyond. It strongly condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, committed by whomever, wherever and for whatever purposes, irrespective of background and motivation.
-The conference, recalling the commitments made by leaders at the ASEM Summit in September 2006 to the fight against terrorism, underlined the importance of a comprehensive approach from the international community to fight terrorism, carried out in accordance with international law, in particular the UN Charter, respecting human rights, and international humanitarian law. Equally, the conference emphasized the rejection of any attempts to associate terrorism with any religion, race, nationality, or ethnic group.
-The conference shared recent terrorism threat assessments and recognized that, while the international effort to combat terrorism has achieved significant progress, terrorism remains a serious threat to international peace and security. The conference recognized the need to further enhance counter-terrorism cooperation including information sharing, tightening immigration/border control, and combating terrorist financing, terrorist use of weapons of mass destruction, and terrorist use of media, particularly the internet.
-The conference recognized the importance of strengthening counter terrorism capability of each ASEM partner. The conference also underlined the need for a concerted effort by the international community to counter terrorism which includes political, economic, diplomatic, legal and other means. In this context, the conference called for further enhancement of intra- and interregional cooperation. The participants shared information on the assistance needs and assistance schemes of ASEM partners, regional counter-terrorism centers and the United Nations with a view to strengthening ties between Asia and Europe in order to fulfill the potential of their assistance cooperation.
-The conference reiterated ASEM's firm supports for the leading role of the United Nations in the fight against terrorism. It welcomed the adoption of the General Assembly Resolution on the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy in September 2006 and reaffirmed the ASEM partners' commitment to cooperate in order to ensure their full implementation of the Strategy. In this context, the conference emphasized the importance of the role of the UNCTC/CTED, Al Qaeda/Taliban Sanctions Committee and the UNODC. The conference called for states to become parties to and fully implement all UN Conventions and Protocols on international terrorism as well as relevant UN Resolutions. In this context, the conference noted that the UNODC can play a complementary role of providing assistance to countries for becoming parties to and implementing the universal counter-terrorism instruments. The conference urged for the early conclusion of the negotiations on the draft Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism.
-The conference welcomed the adoption of the ASEAN Counter Terrorism Convention in January 2007 as a regional tool reinforcing the international effort to strengthen the counter terrorism legal framework.
when to tune in next - to see if Fujita's 9/11 revelations have had any measurable impact:
The conference looked forward to the next ASEM Conference on Counter-Terrorism to be hosted by Spain in 2008.The results of this conference will be presented at the Eighth ASEM Foreign Ministers' Meeting on 29-30 May 2007 in Hamburg, Germany.