Since Japan is considering exercising its right to collective self-defense, a senior official of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party said that it must examine if other countries should be considered under this right as well. Shigeru Ishiba, secretary-general of the LDP believes Japan must consider other nations aside from its current ally, the United States, to strengthen security.
Speaking in Washington, Ishiba said, ”We must discuss whether the United States should be the sole option of if the scope should be widened to include many other countries.” He noted that while many are saying that such rights must be limited to the U.S. only, he has mulled over “the idea that we can create such a security network with countries with which we can share a set of values such as freedom, democracy, and respect of human rights.” He listed countries like Australia, the Philippines, New Zealand and Malaysia as among those that can be considered.
Previous Japanese governments have prohibited the right to collective self-defense in honor of the pacifist Constitution that does not allow the use of force or weapons to settle disputes. However, Abe’s government has been pushing for it in line of regional threats, particularly from North Korea, which may be warded off with a strong alliance with the US. Ishiba, a former defense minister also called for minimum use of arms should that right be allowed. Noting that whether used individually for Japan alone or collectively for allies, minimal use of force and weapons is important “to secure the independence and peace of Japan, as well as the peace and stability of the international community.”