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“Civil Protection Forum 2006” (Summary of proceedings)
Theme: To Protect Ourselves against Armed Attacks and Terrorism

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1. Date : July 19 (Wed.) 19:00-20:30
2. Place : Academy Hall, Meiji University
3. Attendants     Opening Speech : Tetsuo Kutsukake, Minister of State for National Emergency Legislation
(also Chairman of the National Public Safety Commission, and Minister of State for Disaster Management)
      Panelists : Toshiyuki Shikata, Former Commandant, Ground Defense Force NorthHeadquarters, Professor of Teikyo University
        Keiko Iiboshi, Essayist, On-screen talent
        Harutoshi Fukui, Writer
        Yoshihiro Katayama, Governor of Tottori Prefecture
        Motomi Inoue, Cabinet Councilor, Cabinet Secretariat
    Coordinator : Midori Miyazaki, Professor of Chiba University of Commerce

Opening Speech: Tetsuo Kutsukake, Minister of State for National Emergency Legislation
  • Tetsuo Kutsukake, Minister of State for National Emergency LegislationI concurrently hold the posts of Minister of State for National Emergency Legislation, Chairman of the National Public Safety Commission, and Minister of State for Disaster Management, and have worked to protect peoples・lives, and property.
  • I壇 like to give an opening speech as the Minister of State for National Emergency Legislation today. I truly appreciate your attendance today, in spite of your busy schedule.
  • In consideration of the security environment surrounding Japan, I think there is a low probability that serious invasive situations would occur in Japan. Nevertheless, North Korea has recently actually launched several ballistic missiles. Therefore, proper responses and measures are required urgently to deal with new threats and various likely situations, such as the intensifying global activities of terrorist groups, and the increased existence of weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles.
  • It is the national government痴 responsibility to develop legislation necessary to protect Japan痴 peace and independence and maintain the safety of the nation and people against armed attacks from outside. The national government developed a legal framework for war contingencies from 2003 to 2004.
  • The Armed Attack Situation Response Law stipulates how to respond when an armed attack situation occurs in Japan. At the same time, it was required to develop the Civil Protection Law, which stipulates how to protect people. The Armed Attack Situation Response Law and the Civil Protection Law were enacted to meet these needs.
  • The Civil Protection Law aims to protect peoples・lives and property and to minimize the consequences of emergencies for peoples・daily lives and the economy.
  • Tetsuo Kutsukake, Minister of State for National Emergency LegislationNaturally, the national and local governments need to deal with emergencies such as armed attacks and terrorism, but at the same time, people must also cooperate with one another and remain calm while listening to and following information and instructions provided by the national and local governments. For that purpose, regular educational activities are necessary, and this forum has also been established in line with that purpose.
  • Each ministry and agency and each prefecture finished establishing their Civil Protection Plans for protecting people in case of emergencies by the end of FY2005. From the current fiscal year, municipal Civil Protection Plans and designated local public institutions・Civil Protection Business Plans are being established.
  • I壇 like each of you to think about civil protection as your own business. I hope this forum will serve as a significant opportunity for this.
  • It is a significant responsibility for the national government to deal with emergencies such as armed attacks and terrorism in a prompt and appropriate way. The national government will further make concerted efforts in pursuing this responsibility, in cooperation with other related ministries and agencies. I would greatly appreciate it if you take a high interest in this issue.
Midori Miyazaki, Professor of Chiba University of Commerce
Coordinator : Midori Miyazaki

- Part 1

Mr. Motomi Inoue: Explanation on Civil Protection (Data: 鼎ivil Protection (PDF file)・/a>)
Mr. Toshiyuki Shikata: Attitude for Developing Contingency Legislation
  • Toshiyuki Shikata, Former Commandant, Ground Defense Force NorthHeadquarters, Professor of Teikyo UniversityDevelopment of contingency legislation has three major significant points. First, responses that the national government decides to take are considered to be reasonable. Second, no leader can depart from laws or impose restrictions on people even in the case of emergencies. This fact gives people a sense of security. Third, Japan can make it clear internationally that we will take action to protect the nation but not to attack other nations. This may give a sense of security to other nations, and at the same time, for organizations that have an intention to attack Japan, this can work as a deterrent, as it shows our preparedness for emergencies.
  • Contingency legislation is not for planning dangerous plots, but for ensuring peoples・calm response in the actual case of emergencies by predicting dangerous cases. It is for encouraging people to trust and accept the decisions made by the national government and offer their cooperation, and for giving other nations a sense of security that Japan would never attack them and also for preventing them from attacking us by showing our preparedness.
  • Even though firm laws have been established, something new and different may actually happen. Nevertheless, even in such cases, if there are existing laws, we can adopt applicable or similar parts of these to deal with the situation in an orderly fashion.
  • Furthermore, with our laws, we can carry out Civil Protection Training. Through such training, we can detect the inadequacies of the existing laws and can discover various ways to ensure peoples・cooperation, which will enhance the effectiveness of the Civil Protection Law.
  • I consider it extremely necessary to establish contingency legislation.

Mr. Harutoshi Fukui: Crisis of Japan痴 Safety Myth
  • Harutoshi Fukui, WriterWhen I dealt with issues of the nation and the Self Defense Force in my novel 釘okoku no Iijisu (Aegis Ruining Nation),・I collected various data. Since I was a child, I had had no doubt that Japan had a law like the Civil Protection Law and that somebody would protect us even if any foreign country attacked Japan. Therefore, I was surprised to know that we had no system of that sort.
  • If an army can resolve everything as in some American movies, there remain no worries, but that cannot be possible in Japan. So, I made up a story with a theme that we cannot solve problems with an army. I studied the Civil Protection Law for the first time for the purpose of writing my latest novel 徹peration Rose Dust.・That is why I was invited today.
  • In that sense, I have only superficial knowledge, but I studied the matter independently and enforced the Civil Protection Law in the world of my novel, which taught me something. It is really simple, but the most important issue is how we can have a spirit of mutual cooperation.
  • When a disaster happens, we are apt to automatically expect the national government to protect us. But what is important for us is to consider what we can do for ourselves. This Civil Protection Law will not fully function unless each one of us tries to figure out how to commit ourselves to resolving the urgent situation at hand.
  • For example, missiles have been launched by North Korea lately. But we cannot tell the directions of missiles until they are launched, and it is impossible to make ourselves completely prepared for them. Therefore, we should not try to stipulate everything by laws, but what is important is that we should be prepared to take flexible action in an ethical sense, with a spirit of mutual cooperation.
  • The first step to making the Civil Protection Law work sufficiently is at least to know about your neighbors and make yourself ready to take action when some urgent situation occurs.

Mr. Yoshihiro Katayama: Civil Protection for Local Governments
  • Yoshihiro Katayama, Governor of Tottori PrefectureSeveral years ago, an unidentified North Korean boat appeared off the coast of Kagoshima, exchanged gunfire with a patrol boat of the Japan Coast Guard and sank eventually. I personally felt concerned about this incident and came to think about civil protection seriously.
  • That incident was solved offshore, but if a similar incident occurs off the coast of Tottori prefecture, for which I serve as a governor, or in the Sea of Japan off the coast of the San-in region, and the incident is inland as opposed to offshore, how shall we deal with it? I thought about this.
  • I, as a governor, have various kinds of work to do in the fields of education, culture, and welfare. Those kinds of work are very important, but the most important mission for me is to secure the safety of residents・lives and property if possible, in the case of an emergency.
  • Even though I have been credited with my ordinary work, I would be considered disqualified as a governor, if I cannot exercise my leadership and just let the damage expand and cause significant losses in the case of natural disasters or emergencies.
  • In the case of natural disasters, under the Disaster Measures Basic Law, governors are supposed to take the initiative in carrying out disaster-relief activities and disaster emergency measures. The mission is clear and we have commanding authority. But in case of emergencies other than natural disasters, governors had had no mission nor authority until the Civil Protection Law was enacted.
  • As for natural disasters, Tottori prefecture has also accumulated experience, such as a big earthquake that occurred several years ago. But our generation has no experience to deal with emergency situations.
  • In case of emergency situations other than those of natural disasters, the counterpart has an animus, evil intention, or clear purposes. Typhoons go away soon, and in case of earthquakes, we can only be careful about the aftermath. However, emergency situations may continue for some time after a first attack.
  • In case of emergencies, the Self Defense Force will usually take action at the forefront. As we cannot count on them for residents・evacuation and guidance, local governments will have to take measures on their own. This is quite different from the case of natural disasters.
  • However, local governments do not have strong systems for emergency situations. For disaster prevention purposes, municipal fire service organizations have been strengthened significantly, while the ability of municipal top departments to deal with situations has deteriorated. They considered that only fire service organizations were responsible for disaster prevention, which has created the hollowing-out of the role of municipal departments.
  • Not only fire service organizations but also municipal top departments should have the function to secure residents・safety. Based on that, the current issue is to solve problems by seeking cooperation.

Ms. Keiko Iiboshi: Questions and Anxieties that People Feel
  • Keiko Iiboshi, Essayist, On-screen talentI am looking forward to listening to various opinions from different standpoints, today. I hope I can have a chance to make a query on behalf of ordinary people.
  • It is often said that Japanese people are in a peace stupor, but actually we face lots of worries caused by issues such as conditions in the Northeast Asian region.
  • The recent missile launch by North Korea seems to have been accepted calmly or downplayed in Japan, and did not cause any panic at all. Rather, our foreign friends have shown stronger reactions to the news broadcast in their individual countries, which surprised Japanese people.
  • Even those who are afraid and don稚 want to think about it may have an inkling that the world has changed and they cannot tell what may happen suddenly no matter how optimistically they live their life.
  • Human brains sometimes emit substances that hinder calm decisions when people panic.
  • In case Japan runs into an emergency, I am not at all confident that I can keep calm and judge the situation immediately to protect myself.
  • In 2004, the Civil Protection Law was enacted as a part of the contingency legislation. However, the name of the Law gives us the mistaken image that this Law will protect us when some emergency situation emerges. I think this name is therefore wrong.
  • Today, I would like to study as a member of Japanese society what the Civil Protection Law aims at and what we are expected to do.
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