politics

Gov't, opposition parties battle it out over security bills

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By Linda Sieg

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And thus Japan begins to turn into the very thing others have been accusing it of.

Should it pass, I expect an immediate increase in the war of words but a far more worryingly a few large neighbours testing the boundaries in both senses of the word.

I personally think given the changes in the region recently it is something Japan has to look at but not by forcing it through like this.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

The Abe government has shown no concern for the Japanese people. Abe is attempting to evade the Constitution by ramming the security bills through the Diet without the constitutionally mandated process for a constitutional revision (Art. 96) requiring a two-third majority of both houses of parliament and a majority support from the people in a special referendum. With Japan's growing poverty, aging population and national debt, these security bills, if passed, will likely lead to greater insecurity. Abe should observe the principle of rule of democratic law at home.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

“China is unable to affect Japan’s choice. We can counter this by developing a more powerful military to withstand Japan’s provocation,”

There you go! Abe's 'pacifist nation' and his 'pushes for further peace' via this ridiculous legislation is already leading fueling the need for it -- not being created as a result of previously existing need. There was no need for it, but after it passes China and other nations will ensure there is. In other words, Abe is not creating better security for Japan, he's making it more threatened than ever, just like he did when he said Japan would take on ISIS and got those two journalists killed as a result.

And sorry, but pushing the bills through despite no confidence motions and despite the public, which Abe admits, being against it, is nothing short of totalitarian. No one can deny that Japan has become a dictatorship.

Shame on Japan!

12 ( +14 / -2 )

The Abe administration has gutted their own peace constitution that has kept Japan out of war for 68 years. The impact on America is calculable in terms of increased military operations in Asia, development of new weapons of mass destruction (already under way, development of nuclear weapons in Japan (previously denied by the 3 non-nuclear principles) and the projected loss of life here and abroad by future terrorist operations against Japan and her military allies (mainly the U.S.) As Vietnam war veteran Allen Nelson proclaimed on his lecture tours to Japanese children, “Article 9 has saved your lives, now you must save Article 9.”

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Thank you Soka Gakkai for having your people vote for Jiminto & Abe ... and thus giving them free rein to do as they please in the government. There is no peace in this mess ... and as far as I'm concerned these voters can now call themselves war-mongers.

With Jiminto controlling everything in Parliament, the people of Japan can only sit by and watch helplessly as Jiminto speeds ahead with all its Constitutional changes. At least Japan had 70 years of peace and blis ...

Wonder what a "people power" drive to oust Abe and his cohorts would do? But such things happening in Japan is far from reality.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

“They are using democratic institutions and processes, but the way he (Abe) uses them is not terribly democratic” You've gotta love the understatement...

4 ( +5 / -1 )

And NHK aired reruns and now junior rank sumo...appears someone got in trouble sort of doing their jobs yesterday. Hang your lapdog heads in shame, you worthless pathetic excuse for a news organization.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Anyone else looked at Abe's, NHK's, or really any LDP member's Facebook page? Weird how none of them are talking about it? Hmmm

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Abe is thinking of the safety of Japan. The protesters are not. That is the simple truth to this issue.

-14 ( +2 / -16 )

That's just not justified Japan Government is doing.

"China is unable to affect Japan’s choice. We can counter this by developing a more powerful military to withstand Japan’s provocation,

That's just remind me Carl Sagan says; “There is a dreary chain of causality: The Germans were working on the bomb at the beginning of World War II; so the Americans had to make one first. If the Americans had one, the Soviets had to have one, and then the British, the French, the Chinese, the Indians, the Pakistanis …”

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@notasap,

Abe is thinking of the safety of Japan. The protesters are not. That is the simple truth to this issue.

Let's assume what you say is true. Does that give Abe and the LDP the right to circumvent the Constitution and the rule of law, and just do an end-run around it? Does the end justify the means?

8 ( +9 / -1 )

**Abe is thinking of the safety of Japan. The protesters are not. That is the simple truth to this issue.

Not the truth, your opinion, and there are many more whose opinion differs from yours.... But that doesn't matter one iota.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Can't Abe be forced to resign like his daddy? If that happens, perhaps there is a chance to reverse this bill? Or am I hoping too much? :(

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Abe is thinking of the safety of Japan. The protesters are not. That is the simple truth to this issue.

The protesters ARE Japan. Abe, as his ratings demonstrate, is not. So let the people decide what they want.

BTW, Abe is not thinking about the safety of Japan, Abe is pushing it into a war.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Mr Abe is nothing but a conservative ultra-nationalistic traitor.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Abe is thinking of the safety of Japan. The protesters are not. That is the simple truth to this issue.

Anytime one declares "that is the simple truth," it usually isn't. Japan is already more than capable of defending itself, as per article 9.

If the citizens of Japan wish to change the constitution to allow for a standing military, they are well within their right. But, it is not the right of Abe and his henchmen to creatively "reinterpret" the constitution to mean exactly the opposite of what it means. Weak. Pathetic.

Abe is nothing but a weak minded man. Thus sadly, it won't be him that pays the price for his foolishness.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Its actually at the request of our American Allies.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Soon we`ll see the need for "collective self-defense" become a need for "pre-emptive war".

It`s a slippery slope - and these are very slippery people.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

I get that the way Abe is doing things is undemocratic but people commenting that this will cause Japan to become some kind of warmongering country is way off.

For one, every country in the world has the ability (and quite often obligation) to help a friendly country when at war. Currently, it means that the US and other allies should help Japan when they are attacked but if it would be the other way around, Japan would and could not lift a finger.

Secondly, Japan's military is just one thing: Modern. That's it. It's current size is negligible, especially compared to the current world powers and this is not something that'll change any time soon since most of Japan's population obviously don't feel very inclined to join the military either.

So, aside from Abe's wrong way of doing it, this change itself is hardly bad or dangerous.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

@cardsfan5SEP. 18, 2015 - 04:41PM JST

Anytime one declares "that is the simple truth," it usually isn't. Japan is already more than capable of defending itself, as per article 9.

If they thought so, they would have gotten rid of the American bases. The fact is that they aren't, so they need American help.

But, it is not the right of Abe and his henchmen to creatively "reinterpret" the constitution to mean exactly the opposite of what it means.

If so, then the sin has already been cast when the Constitution was reinterpreted to allow the SDF. That's why I can at least somewhat respect constitutional scholars that say no SDF. They are unrealistic, they are dumb and if the Chinese do invade Japan and decide to do a tit for tat for Nanking let their daughters be first to get assaulted, but at least they are consistent, and as constitutional specialists they don't need to think broadly.

However, there is no self-consistent reason within Article 9, once you've allowed individual self defence to not allow collective self defence.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

apan’s ally the United States has welcomed the shift but China, where bitter memories of Japan’s wartime aggression run deep, has repeatedly expressed concern about the legislation.

The U.S. welcomes the shift? One which has occurred without a shred of democratic decency. These bills have been pushed through with a level of consideration equal to that of the Communist party in China (which the U.S. so loves to criticise for its lack of human rights. Sheer hypocrisy

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The assembly is not a constitutional assembly so can they change/amend constitution, the court may answer this question, though the history shows that the court merely change or goes against the government decisions.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

All is for the best in this best of all possible worlds.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

So finally JApan can do the same as all other nation in the world are able to. Interseting to see that those countries are complaining Japan can act in the same way.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

The time has come to smash the LDP.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

War is bad but not being prepare for one is even worst as enemies can swallow Japan like a piece of marshmallow and it can happen any time with current regional and global tensions so let Abe do his job serving Japan with safety in mind.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Everyone misunderstands WAR. Everyone misunderstands Constitution. Everyone misunderstands PEACE. Everyone misunderstands defense and offense. Everyone misunderstands the roles of the Prime Minister and the roles of political parties in Japan. Worse... everyone misunderstand what is IDEALISM and what is REALITY.

Problem is the narrow and closed "perspective" of those with "preconceived" view of LIFE and the world in which we live.

It is the question of "CAN BE" in Life. When COULD BE, SHOULD BE and WOULD BE are considered without consideration of the entire picture, including the frame, in this case ACTUAL (non-opinionated) situation and circumstances, the PRESENT, not the past or expected future, one could possibly determine what is needed now and in the future.

The non-participating seemingly peaceful Switzerland, has one of the largest per capita standing "conscripted" military with the most modern weapons and do not rely on any one allied nation or other. Being a tiny nation with limited resources in a rather difficult terrain and climate which other nations do not really care to possess, they can avoid being pulled into a conflict. Besides, it is "tax heaven" and somewhat secure banking for the rich and powerful both legitimate and illegitimate.

The situation is entirely different for Japan.

What would you RECOMMEND the Japanese GOVERNMENT, and NOT political parties, do?

If any other political group or party was in power, given the present state of the world, that group in power, may have done the same thing. (However, may be using a different tactic then what was used by LDP.)

The problem is the urgency expressed and the limited transparency of the current administration (Both may very well be justified, just that we do not know.) mixed with extremely disastrous party politics.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Japan shouldn't rely on another country to defend itself. Why would USA defend Us if we cannot defend them? Lets not by hypocrites

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Why even have a constitution if you are not going to follow it? I don't like to throw the "f-word" around, but seeing as Abe has indeed proven himself to be a fascist, as well as a furtive jingoist who holds no regard to the rule of law, I can say with certainty that my assumption hits the mark (unlike the Abenomics arrows). I stand with the noble protestors.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

"the bills have sparked massive protests from ordinary citizens and others who say they violate the pacifist constitution and could ensnare Japan in U.S.-led conflicts"

U.S.-led conflicts... lessee... South Korea not under control of Kim Jong Un - good, right?... Japan kept out of trouble for 70 years - good, right?... The Taliban, though still making trouble, not in control of all of Afghanistan - good, right?... Saddam Hussein and his sons not in control of Iraq and Kuwait - good, right? Whoops! lol

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

So it is officially that is a done deal that the Prime Minister does not care about his country. that being said it was not surprising at all.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Japan shouldn't rely on another country to defend itself. Why would USA defend Us if we cannot defend them? Lets not by hypocrites

That's a contradicting statement. If Japan shouldn't rely on another country to defend itself and thus build a military that can defend itself, why would you care if whether the US can or cannot defend you in the first place? Why would you care about defending your ally? The truth is, the SDF is more than capable of defending Japan. But that's not what these bills are about. They're about sending the SDF to fight wars and conflicts that aren't theirs to fight. It makes them a "Self Offence Force" now, and they're not capable of being a offensive force. They'll be just pawns to die before the Marines get there. Instead, it'll compromise their defense, and retaliations now make Japan less secure. This bill is definitely not about keeping the peace, and the US should be ashamed, although unsurprising, of forcing Japan to do this.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Make no mistake, there will be no limits. That doesn't make sense when Abe can just walk all over the limits of the Constitution now. A little hurdle can be just as easily ignored after a large hurdle.

Is there a legal challenge in the works?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Is there a legal challenge in the works?

Ask the Cabinet Legislation Bureau 内閣法制局....

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Passed.

Of course, the viewing public had to endure the Ox Walk from Melolin Q.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Abe is walking all over the constitution so how is he not like the communists?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Abe is walking all over the constitution so how is he not like the communists?

Walking all over the constitution?

Refer to Kazuaki Shimazaki's post @ Sep. 18, 2015 - 05:58PM JST

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

The rewriting the constitution" is more than 60 years old.

Here is the official translation of Art. 9

ARTICLE 9. Aspiring sincerely to an international peace based on justice and order, the Japanese people forever renounce war as a sovereign right of the nation and the threat or use of force as means of settling international disputes. (2) To accomplish the aim of the preceding paragraph, land, sea, and air forces, as well as other war potential, will never be maintained. The right of belligerency of the state will not be recognized.

The SDF is in violation of the plain reading of Art. 9.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The SDF is in violation of the plain reading of Art. 9.

Yes. The existence of SDF is in violation if you limit your scope to Article 9 alone.

However, the Supreme Court ruled that the right of self defense is not unconstitutional. (Sunagawa case)   憲法第九条はわが国が主権国として有する固有の自衛権を何ら否定してはいない

わが国が、自国の平和と安全とを維持しその存立を全うするために必要な自衛のための措置を執り得ることは、国家固有の権能の行使であつて、憲法は何らこれを禁止するものではない。

http://www.courts.go.jp/app/hanrei_jp/detail2?id=55816

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Yes. The existence of SDF is in violation if you limit your scope to Article 9 alone.

You asked people to read about the constitution. They did, and proved that "reinterpreting" parts of it is unconstitutional because it now literally means the opposite of the original, obvious, and clear meaning. If you're a supporter of these bills, at least have the face to accept these violations of the constitution by declaring them "necessary" (if they are necessary, then there are proper ways to amend it, not like what Abe and Co, are doing though). Don't pretend you're upholding the constitution.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Do not give up the fight. Japanese voters can fight the security laws by : (1) filing lawsuits in different courts to block the implementing of the security "laws" on the ground they violate the Constitution.

(2) voting for the opposition parties like Democratic Party of Japan, etc. at the next elections. Make sure the opposition parties have enough votes to block any bills introduced by LDP and Komeito. Do not vote for LDP, Komeito or Party for Future Generations ( Shintaro Ishihara who inflamed the Senkaku dispute).

(3) publicly harassing, heckling, pestering, etc, Diet members of LDP, Komeito, etc, at their speeches, meetings, at work, at home, every public place they go to.

(4) refusing to serve all Diet members of PM Abe's Liberal Democratic Party and Komeito if you operate or work in stores, restaurants, shops, bars, medical clinics, schools, etc. Refuse to serve their spouses and children. Make photos, names, etc of them available free to businesses. Boycott businesses which serve the LDP and Komeito Diet members and their families.

(5) staging mass protests "demanding" the resignation of PM Abe, Minister Aso, etc and asking voters to vote against LDP and Komeito.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

You asked people to read about the constitution. They did, and proved that "reinterpreting" parts of it is unconstitutional because it now literally means the opposite of the original, obvious, and clear meaning

No. Read my post carefully. I specifically stated "if you limit your scope to Article 9 alone". As far as I know, there are more than just article 9 in the constitution.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

so let Abe do his job serving Japan with safety in mind.

Um, no. He needs to go. And the sooner the better

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Japanese voters should vote for the opposition parties like Democratic Party of Japan, etc. in the next elections. With enough votes, the opposition parties can repeal the security laws.

Those of you who did not vote in the previous elections should vote in the next elections for the opposition parties, unless you want your children, relatives, etc, to be sent overseas to die or get crippled from fighting wars.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@ThePBotSEP. 19, 2015 - 05:03AM JST

You asked people to read about the constitution. They did, and proved that "reinterpreting" parts of it is unconstitutional because it now literally means the opposite of the original, obvious, and clear meaning. If you're a supporter of these bills, at least have the face to accept these violations of the constitution by declaring them "necessary" (if they are necessary, then there are proper ways to amend it, not like what Abe and Co, are doing though). Don't pretend you're upholding the constitution.

First, let me just agree that the easiest read of Article 9 does say that.

The big rub is, is it the only reading? If you say it is, you will be backed by something like three-quarters of the so called constitutional experts in Japan. In which case, no other consideration can change its position. Japan can have no military, no SDF, no matter what that does to its right to self-defence, the pursuit of happiness ... etc. In such cases, articles with flexibility cannot override the position of those without.

However, if we accept there are alternate readings, then though the "easiest read" will always have its attraction, the optimal reading will depend on the interaction of Article 9 with all the other Articles, up to the boundary of usable Article 9 interpretations. That, in essence, is the position taken by the Japanese government for many years and the CLB. So far, the court is letting them get away with this.

Here is the problem as far as today's debate is concerned. An interpretation that allows for collective self-defence is no weaker than one that restricts itself to individual self-defence. Go ahead, just try it. Change around the definitions of words and phrases until Article 9 allows for the SDF. Having moved them to these positions, justify why collective self defense is forbidden.

If anything, if we accept that collective self-defence is a good idea for Japan in a security sense, then an interpretation allowing only individual self defence is indefensible, since a restriction decreasing security is in itself a blow against the right to live peaceful existences, the pursuit of happiness, its right of self defence ... etc.

By the way, collective and individual aside, even some of the other tenets, such as the need to use minimal necessary force, is not only not required by the Article 9, but such an interpretation is antithetical to the Constitution as a whole because minimal necessary force = maximum casualties before the fighting stops, which is a blow to [repeat].

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

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