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Japan passes controversial security bills into law

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What a disaster

19 ( +25 / -6 )

It is quite disgusting that a referendum was not held on this issue. Japan's government has ignored its people and has shown that it is not democratic.

26 ( +32 / -6 )

The only winners for this are the defense and military companies. Abe will get his "beautiful Japan" painted in blood.

17 ( +24 / -7 )

First off, now that Abe has gotten what he has wanted, it is time for him to follow in the footsteps of granddad and resign.

Bye bye Abe, you've done enough damage for a generation or two.

Seiji Kawabe, 49, vowed the movement would live on, adding: “We have enough natural disasters, typhoons, earthquakes… we don’t need any man-made disasters.”

I like how this guy thinks! (Probably be a better PM than Abe, common sense, astute, articulate in the face of pressure....he's got my vote for PM!)

12 ( +17 / -5 )

"War is Peace" has now come to Japan.

13 ( +15 / -2 )

Contrary to popular opinion, this passage of the laws will make N Korea and China think twice before pushing their war-mongering or expansionist agenda. And if those nevertheless come to pass, the attitude of the Japanese public will change and people will say, "Thank god we can still protect ourselves!"

All of this because China misread the DPJ's pacifist move to nationalise the Senkaku Islands as a provocative act when all it did was try to take them away from falling into the private hands of some ultra-nationalists who would use the islands to create minor irritants against China.

-7 ( +9 / -16 )

Until a real challenger to Abe's power emerges, he's not threatened enough to listen to anyone else.

All the protesters are great, but the people and the government need a unifying voice, someone that the one's on the fence can believe in to sway their opinion.

When and from where that person comes is the question and hopefully he or she comes before its too late.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Hope this will lead to the US base removal

-7 ( +6 / -13 )

I would like to think that either the opposition or those outside the government would seek to challenge the constitutionality of this law. However, even if they do, that will be a protracted exercise and one cannot have too much confidence in the Supreme Court being so bold as to ruling the law unconstitutional.

Without a doubt, the quickest way to rectify this is through the political process, by electing a government willing to undo what Abe has done. However, that will take leadership and the ability to convince the Japanese people that the party/person being elected will be able to manage the country's affairs in areas other than this. Something the DPJ has done an abysmal job of to date.

That said, if this policy is one that the Japanese people want their country to pursue, something so fundamental to the nature of Japan since WW2, it should be done in the proper manner, through the amendment of the Constitution.

As it stands, Japan is becoming untethered from the rule of law and, I believe, no one is able to predict where it will find itself as a result in 20 or 30 years.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Nazi Japan wont listen to the voices of its people no more. Abe is living the continuation dream of his maternal grandfather trying to accomplish militaristic goals of the former shamed prime minister who failed in the same endeavor decades ago. For a country with a public debt of three times its GDP with an anemic economy and an aging population, waging war in far way places would most likely bring nightmares for its citizens.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Tired of bullies and bullying Japan? Peace through strength!

-6 ( +6 / -12 )

Hope this will lead to the US base removal

Hardly, it just makes them more important in many ways. Without them here it would be an easier target. Now potential adversaries have to consider both Japanese military options and the US military.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

I'd like to quote the great French philosopher Montesquieu: "There is no crueler tyranny than that which is perpetuated under the shield of law and in the name of justice." It truly is regrettably that PM Abe has chosen to disregard the will of the people and barreled this undeniably unconstitutional piece of legislation through the Diet, just so he wouldn't need to draw a referendum (which he knew the citizens wouldn't have approved, regardless).

10 ( +13 / -3 )

A safety mechanism, not currently in place in any democratic country (presidential or parliamentary), could be either:

1) A lottery selected group, chosen every 6 months, of 100 citizens who determine if they agree with the govt. If not, new elections are called. Replaces or complements the confidence vote in parliament.

2) An average of certified polling agencies that publishes polls asking if govt is doing good job. If under 50%, new elections called, or recall vote is initiated.

This would be good for all democratic countries.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

I'm mixed about the bill but I think this a good thing. We can hope that South-Korea would enter in such military assistance with Japan and the US, meaning they have burried the war hatchet.

I think Japan learned her lesson after the WWII defeat and won't be going on a colonial and resource grabbing rampage through Asia.

Time has changed.

China is the threat with her mounting belligerence against her neighbors in Asia.

A Pan-Asian military alliance would isolate China.

Also, the US cannot take care of Japan forever. Japan has to get a stronger military force.

PS: North-Korea is stable.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

“necessary in order to protect people’s lives and peaceful way of life”.

For 70 yrs Japan has enjoyed the free ride. Now, they are finally contributing to actively keeping that peace. Good.

“Protect the constitution.” One sign read

You mean that "outdated" constitution, imposed by the US? If it ain't broken don't fix it, but in today's day and age (considering trouble surrounding japan) article 9 is clearly some fairytale joke.

“I came to the protest together with my daughter to show what real democracy is like,”

Teach your daughter that War is a terrible thing. Nobody wants War.

Then, teach your daughter how one of the cornerstones of any democratic society is to provide a common defense for its people. And not to expect young american GI's to do ALL the work too. After 70 yrs, it's reasonable to expect japanese to do their share.

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

Next task: exit plan before my 6 year-old becomes eligible for the draft.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

the laws will now face a ruling by the supreme court that could potentially see them overturned

If only the Supreme Court could be trusted to do its job properly.

Abe and his thugs should not only be removed from office, they should be prosecuted for blatent contempt of both the law of the land and the will of the people.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

welcome back to world of weapons, wars, military dictatorships, mandatory military trainings and many more. low birth rate, huge debt and conflict with neighbours make things more worse. and yes your going to loose a world wide support for having a peaceful constitutions.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

SenseNotSoCommonSep. 19, 2015 - 08:30AM JST Next task: exit plan before my 6 year-old becomes eligible for the draft.

What draft would that be? My country is involved in wars all the time and even we don't have a draft.

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

I see no changes or harm done, as long as its not step 1 of other things to come, like bases in other countries to even include Hawaii or a reduced U.S. presence in Japan. China is becoming overly aggressive in the south china sea. I believe a prosperous Japan is more of a deterent to China than a military one, but thats a near imposiible feat to accomplish.

As it reads now its basically the same role as before. The only fallout could be an escalated arms race, but this has all been predicted before all this happened.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

From what I have seen on Japanese TV, the news media seems to be significantly downplaying the scope of the citizen protests outside the Diet while failing to show footage that depicts the raw emotion of the protesters.

The Japanese television media is showing the protests, but censuring their footage by focusing in on small groups of individuals who are relatively measured in their outrage. This makes the protests seem much smaller and much more restrained than they actually are.

Watching the footage on CNN was a stark contrast to the Japanese news media. Will Ripley's broadcast on CNN showed much more in terms of the size of the crowd and the friction between the protesters and the police.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

@OssanAmerica

What draft would that be? My country is involved in wars all the time and even we don't have a draft.

If your country is the US, it's buying mercenaries ala the French Foreign Legion, it has a larger 'army of the unemployed' to draw enlistees from, a population that's growing, and will be increasingly relyiant on technology (drones, A1 weaponry, etc.) to do much of its dirtiest work, hence little need for a draft. Apples and pencil sharpeners comparison.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

The draft pool is unreliable anyway. Rather fight alongside those motivated recruits who signed up on their own free will and want to actually be "in the shit". Apples & pencil sharpeners in comparison. Clearly so. I second that-

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

This is a violation of the Constitution and must be challenged in the courts. It must also be challenged in the streets and the polling booths.

Abe must be brought down. The LDP power must be smashed forever.

Meanwhile, there are natural social forces at work. SDP recruitment is at an all time low and there is a high dropout rate. The low birthrate means that there might not be enough able bodies to fight in whatever new war the U.S, starts.

Most important task right now: Demonstrate, challenges these so-called security laws in the courts and smash the power of LDP by voting it out of power.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

"the proudly pacifist nation"

Sigh. If only the world was a utopian, peaceful place where military forces were not needed...

"The changes, which would allow Japanese troops to fight in defense of allies"

This is bad?

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

“necessary in order to protect people’s lives and peaceful way of life”

He says, while outside more people in the nation protest than anyone here has protested anything since his grandfather also passed contentious bills, and inside they have to check for bombs, and from today will have to beef up security because these laws are going to push China and North Korea to further their own military programs.

This country has become a totalitarian regime, plain and simple. Instead of even having the mandatory -- BY LAW -- final arguments and opinions on the bills before voting they intentionally bypassed it to push the vote. They are NOT listening to the people, and even Abe has admitted the people don't support it (his feeble reasoning as to why aside). SHAME ON JAPAN! I only hope they learn from this and the protests to get rid of Abe and this government only grow from here on in. If the other parties were smart (aside from the Komeito and three parties that through in last ditch support, which have obviously shown they are NOT smart!) they'll be using this immediately to say that if the people vote them in they'll repeal any and all of the passed legistlation that goes against the Constitution, as this does.

A truly sad day, with sadder times to come, people. In the meantime, get ready to give up even more rights to this party as talking openly about this can get you arrested, and with other government initiatives soon to take effect.

Moderator: Please repost without the last sentence which is incorrect and fear-mongering.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@zones2surfSEP. 19, 2015 - 08:08AM JST

Without a doubt, the quickest way to rectify this is through the political process, by electing a government willing to undo what Abe has done. However, that will take leadership and the ability to convince the Japanese people that the party/person being elected will be able to manage the country's affairs in areas other than this. Something the DPJ has done an abysmal job of to date.

Should a competitor government come up, they will find every excuse to delay doing this to infinity. They know this law is necessary given the changes in the world. No one wants to be the one that takes the big political hit to make it happen. Now that someone has actually stepped up, if he has to come down for this that's great for the opposition but they'll exploit the "breach" not close it.

@SensatoSEP. 19, 2015 - 08:59AM JST

From what I have seen on Japanese TV, the news media seems to be significantly downplaying the scope of the citizen protests outside the Diet while failing to show footage that depicts the raw emotion of the protesters.

That may be, but showing their "raw emotion" is a double edged sword. I'll actually be less sympathetic to a rabid crowd - it shows (even more) they are not thinking.

-10 ( +0 / -10 )

If the lawmakers cannot abide by the law (in this case the constitution) there is a good case that no one has to. Please remember that, Abe-Kun.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

The LDP was re-elected last December with this issue clearly part of their platform. Live with it Japan, this is what you chose.

"Every nation gets the government it deserves." -Joseph de Maistre

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Japan is now a safer county. Who can face the real problems of the day. Those that want to bury their head in the sand and let others take care of the things are just not rational nor do they have what is best in mind for Japan. Rationalism won and overly dramatic emotional appeals lost. A good day for civilization.

-5 ( +5 / -10 )

xin xin it makes Japan a threat to other nations. Our self defense force becomes the Imperial forces. It makes all bases of Japan a target. Why because these bases may be used to attack another country. There is no reason for Japanese forces ever to be involved in another war unless Japan is attacked. Abe is clearly a war monger!

0 ( +8 / -8 )

The Japanese people will not regret it, although are there are dissidents in the country, and an external powerful players (China, North Korea & Russia) . Abe is a true Nationalist and is willing to sacrifice popularity for security of Japan & the East Asian region. His efforts will be seen in due course soon, and the people hopefully will appreciate his and the LDP moves for their security.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

"The changes, which would allow Japanese troops to fight in defense of allies"

. . . And this is bad? Thank you. No it's not bad. The US-Japan security was too one-sided imo, with sdf relaxing and the US protectorate maintaining the status quo.

Now Japan can actively contribute and live up to it's responsibilities. Like, remember how during Abe's puppet show we saw both an american & japanese firefighter dousing flames together.

Security experts say the laws will force a re-evaluation of Japan’s place on the world stage.

Yeah, it will. And hopefully they will acclaim Japan's recent efforts.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

A new government must run to rescind these changes. A referendum would confirm it. The only way to stop undemocratic action is to use as much democracy as possible to correct it

2 ( +6 / -4 )

A sad day for Japan, and this is democracy ? Against the will of the people, this is happening world wide. Maybe I'm a deluded old fool, but I view politicians similar as company managers, only to be hired and fired if they can't balance , in this case , an economy, provide decent free heath care , a good free education for our children, social services for those in need, affordable housing,a good public transport system. Not interfering in another countries problems,not pursuing their own political agendas. Most every country worldwide has its own internal problems that need fixing,this should be the priority of all elected politicians, but then again, I probably am a deluded old fool to think that they (politicians) are capable of such a task. Well back to my slippers and cocoa, things can only worse instead of better.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

As far as being Unconstitutional, it is so past time in changing that Post War U.S. imposed piece of toilet paper. Nobody wants a war (outside of the military industrial complex that can sell more hardware), but how does one prevent it? Not by carrying peace signs and wringing your hands, that is for sure.

It is about time Japan takes steps in the right direction in taking responsibility in keeping the peace in their part of the world. Sticking there collective head in the sand and letting others protect them is unfair. Ideally, there will be a day when the majority of the US bases are no longer US bases because Japan is fulfilling their own responsibility of protecting themselves.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

I find it somewhat farcical that many commenters here who are condemning this legislation are the same ones who are rabidly demanding that the US pull it's forces out of Japan entirely ( not just Okinawa )... I don't believe you can have one without the other - make up your mind - either the US says here to defend us in a meaningful way when the s**t hits the fan - or - we take steps to do it ourselves with or without the US... "Cake and eat it too" comes to mind...

5 ( +9 / -4 )

A sad day for Japan, and this is democracy

Yes, it is a democracy. No, not a sad day.

Against the will of the people

Supey11 provides an excellent quote in this thread. minello7 take heed:

"Every nation gets the government it deserves." -Joseph de Maistre

-8 ( +3 / -11 )

Japan, the new China.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

The longer I live here, the harder I find it to believe that this place is a 'democracy'. The legislation isn't even the issue here - it's the government's utter disregard for its people. THIS is disgraceful. Time & time again, same outcome.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

What a dark day for Japan. Lets see how this will effect SDF recruitment. I don't think anyone will want to join up now to go overseas and fight America's wars.

Abe has turned out to be the worst PM for Japan ever

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

Isn't it one of its rights as a nation? What is the problem?

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

I am guessing that recruitment into Japan's military will drop in the short term, unless the is a draft, or they really pay the armed services personnel much more.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I agree with farmith. Time to take the troops and bases home and let Japan and China have their long awaited war.

You all realize this is a result of Bad American foreign policy. Thanks Obama!

-9 ( +2 / -11 )

The US cannot actually defend Japan. The US is broken. Japan has to defend itself.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

The fight is not over yet. Japanese voters can fight the security laws by : (1) filing lawsuits in different courts to block the implementation 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 ( +7 / -5 )

“necessary in order to protect people’s lives and peaceful way of life”

He says, while outside more people in the nation protest than anyone here has protested anything since his grandfather also passed contentious bills, and inside they have to check for bombs, and from today will have to beef up security because these laws are going to push China and North Korea to further their own military programs.

This country has become a totalitarian regime, plain and simple. Instead of even having the mandatory -- BY LAW -- final arguments and opinions on the bills before voting they intentionally bypassed it to push the vote. They are NOT listening to the people, and even Abe has admitted the people don't support it (his feeble reasoning as to why aside). SHAME ON JAPAN! I only hope they learn from this and the protests to get rid of Abe and this government only grow from here on in. If the other parties were smart (aside from the Komeito and three parties that through in last ditch support, which have obviously shown they are NOT smart!) they'll be using this immediately to say that if the people vote them in they'll repeal any and all of the passed legistlation that goes against the Constitution, as this does.

A truly sad day, with sadder times to come, people. secrets laws, weapons exports, increased militarization, My Number Big Brother...

0 ( +9 / -9 )

What is truly awful about this is that not one judge (as far as I know) has had the courage to stand up and say "NO"

Such decisions should not be down to one man and his band of sycophants. The people should have been asked.

Im not Japanese but feel disgusted all the same….I live here too.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

Lawmakers in the upper house applaud after security legislation was enacted early Saturday morning.

Applaud? How can they applaud, when it is clear their country is against it? How can they applaud, when it is clear that everyone elses kids but their own, will be sent to fight? Germany had a chance to stop Hitler in 1933, but instead voted him in. What did Hitler do once he was in? He made it impossible to legally vote him out. Cue 2013, and the Japanese people (those that bothered to vote) let Abe return to power - knowing what he stood for - but hoping he'd fix the economy instead. Now in 2015, we have a violation of the constitution, and a violation of public sentiment. What next I wonder? An unlimited term of office for the Prime Ministership? Japan, you have reaped what you have sown. Time to wake up and do something about it

0 ( +9 / -9 )

Don't worry. Abe says he will explain it to all us children in a while. Then surely we will understand what the parent Abe is doing, and we'll all be OK with it. All's well that end's well. But, still, I do feel sorry for all those carefree high school boys who will be dying in US caused wars in a few years. On the other hand, we do have to make our contribution to the great military-industial complex.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Finally. Good Good Good !!!

-4 ( +6 / -10 )

The Darkest day ! Japan became the official wall, the new bombing area between NK, China, Russia or whoever will be in conflict with the USA or should I rather say who the USA is/will be in conflict with. Japan became also a new major target to destroy too and all without the need to referendum and without any benefit at all for the population as a result of that law. Think how much power you need hold to "re-interpret" the 70 years interpretation of a constitution to change it from the consensus defensive-only one to an offensive one, better throw that constitution to the bin entirely because the word "constitution" means nothing in Japan anymore since today .. if you really believe this will keep peace to Japanese, peace they were enjoying already during the last 70 years I have a bridge to sell on the moon and another one on mars.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Look, the people themselves elected the diet representatives and now they politicians as in history have turned against the people who elected them. To change the people need to make that change as one voice. Recall every single member who voted in favor of war over peace and the young lives that will be lost as it will not be their kin that is for sure and historically proven. Recalling each and every elected person, kick them out put in someone to change and make that change NOW..otherwise Abe is going to go even much further as he has been doing as Emperor of Japan.

The government cannot ignore such a demonstration,” that is only false as the actions of the government have proven that statement incorrect. The government will do not what the people are about but what the biggest group can get a way with and they have.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Simply put, no political party should be allowed to alter the meaning of a constitution by any additive law without a referendum. period .

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Passage of security bills by Diet is the biggest victory for PM Abe to promote peace and security and long term interests of Japan in the region despite stiff opposition shown by status quo forces to the bills in the country.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

America cannot protect itself, much less Japan. Men in dresses riding camels in the desert could bring down the World Trace Center. The war against countries not even involved goes on and on and on. The greatest generation destroyed TWO empires in 4 years. The now generation is ... well never mind.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

What I find amazing is that so many proponents of this law and the action that Abe has taken fail to distinguish between what was done and how it was done. Either that, or they believe that the end goal/objective justifies the means.

Here are the two main arguments I hear, which are interrelated:

The Constitution (and Article 9) is an outdated document imposed by the U.S.

You mean that "outdated" constitution, imposed by the US? If it ain't broken don't fix it, but in today's day and age (considering trouble surrounding japan) article 9 is clearly some fairytale joke.

Or this:

As far as being Unconstitutional, it is so past time in changing that Post War U.S. imposed piece of toilet paper.

Japan needs to be able to protect itself and this is limited by Article 9.

Japan is now a safer county. Who can face the real problems of the day. Those that want to bury their head in the sand and let others take care of the things are just not rational nor do they have what is best in mind for Japan. Rationalism won and overly dramatic emotional appeals lost. A good day for civilization.

On both, let's say I agree with you. If this is what you believe, then do it right!! Amend the Constitution. Get the votes to do it. Yes, it is difficult. It is SUPPOSED to be difficult.

If you think this was OK because you agree with the result/policy, then you have endorsed the destruction of the rule of law and the introduction of the arbitrary, capricious use and application of power and of "law". It is that simple.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

Would propably have been a better idea, if UN were able to keep an eye on the governments actions when not having the peoples approval on the matter!! Instead they railroaded the bills, undermining the peoples and the nation's democracy and pacifism!:(

0 ( +4 / -4 )

We have to smash a few eggs to make an omelet, right? Better to trash the constitution for the sake of easier military action, right?

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

@xin xin: LOL, what a load. The fact that the vast majority of Japanese citizens and legal experts and scholars and prominent figures reject Abe's bogus security bills clearly shows nobody believes seriously in the "China threat" excuses and hyperboles from war-mongering Abe and U.S. Japan made miscalculations and provoked others, esp. China, and that includes the Diayou islands, yasukuni, whitewashing, and making unfounded anti-China statements wherever Abe goes. Abe is many times a de-stabilizing factor, more so than China, as even Japanese experts have commented. Japan has failed to atone for its past atrocities which took the lives of 50 million innocent Chinese/Asians, yet there is not even a monument in Japan for these victims, so that is why Japan will never be a "normal" country with an army ( especially led by a leader who glorifies or makes excuses for Japan's atrocities and worships the killing machine that was the Japanese Imperial Army).

@peter liu: you can't be serious - why do you think Japanese people, legal experts and the world are against Abe? Because his security bills are illegal, bogus and have ulterior motives, not to mention they go against Japan's pacifist nature.

While on the other hand,

@Otakawa: you are right, and the courts have no choice but to dismantle these unconstitutional bogus security bills , and the people should further the fight against those responsible for turning the Constitution into the farce of the century.

@smithinjapan: as always, you make a lot sense...Japan is now no more a nation ruled by law than China.

-10 ( +2 / -12 )

Better to trash the constitution for the sake of easier military action, right?

You mean that "outdated" constitution, imposed by the US? If it ain't broken don't fix it, but in today's day and age (considering trouble surrounding japan) article 9 is clearly some fairytale

Amendments can be made to it. No need to trash it altogether. Do japanese think the americans will protect them forever and ever & live happily ever after?? Seriously, sounds very fairytale-ish to me.

It's been 70 yrs. time to get ur feet wet.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

The key to changing the situation lay in the "Opposition" uniting under a General Opposition banner and matching candidate for candidate the LDP. The DPJ's abject failure to "be ready" for the last round of elections is what allowed millions of uninformed Japanese voters to shrug their shoulders and pull the LDP lever with little more than a "sho ga nai."

For all the talk about Japan being a "dictatorship," or "losing its democracy" (clearly it isn't and hasn't) blame must go to the opposition parties who are too weak to provide a real alternative to Abe and his ilk. Abe called an election after more than two years in office-any claim by the inept DPJ that two years is insufficient time to "prepare" for a general election simply beggars belief!

The economy is NOT going to get better here in Japan, not because of exports or lower gas prices or even inflation, but because of systemic, structural weaknesses inherent in the country's demography and internal market. The "cannot postpone" sales tax hike from 8-10 percent next year will have an even more pernicious effect on consumption than did the first hike, while the US FED will most certainly raise interest rates come December-which will only exasperate the dire true economic situation here within Japan. Abe's poll numbers will sink to levels not seen since his idiot contemporaries like Aso, Fukuda or Mori "ruled" the roost, so the final years of Abe before elections must take place should be truly abysmal (with signs of future tummy-aches for Dear Leader Abe clearly on the horizon).

The more time interested Japanese citizens have to understand just how reckless, costly and unconstitutional the path their country is now forced to embark upon truly is, the less the vast majority will like or support it. One only hopes the Opposition parties do their part and offer a REAL alternative to every voter come the next election.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

The question is why some people here are remaining in Japan after this news and not moving back to your non-militarized countries? Oh wait....

Oh yes, a military does exist there, so I will give you a list of countries where you can move with no military- Andorra, Costa Rica, Dominica, Grenada, Kiribati, Liechtenstein, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, Vatican, Tuvalu, Solomon Islands, Saint Lucia, Samoa, Saint Vincent and Grenadines.

Ask your wife first though if she is cool with moving to one of those countries and leaving the family behind.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

DaDude

that would be a fallacy of argument called a false dilemma

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

gokai_wo_maneku: America cannot protect itself, much less Japan. Men in dresses riding camels in the desert could bring down the World Trace Center. The war against countries not even involved goes on and on and on. The greatest generation destroyed TWO empires in 4 years. The now generation is ... well never mind.

Really? Poke at it, see what happens.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

60% of Japanese oppose this and Abe is now at 30% approval.

Is this the start of a new Civil movement in Japan? I hope so.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Any country has the right to self defense even if that means proactive offensive. Japan needs to defend itself and the only way it can is to develop a military again that can perform that function. Japan has had two hands tied behind it's back since WWII and now Japan should have the right to arm and defend itself.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Let's not blame the Japanese people, a majority oppose this bill, it is Abe and his ilk who have coerced the media to the far right just like the American govt coerced the media, intelligence and military on the Iraq war.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

“Perhaps we are now restlessly moving toward that higher plateau of competition; we may make contact with ambitious species on other planets or stars; soon thereafter there will be interplanetary war. Then, and only then, will we of this earth be one.” From Will Durant wise words from the expert of civilization and Pulitzer Winner.

Japan could see the past to look through the future, history repeat itself. Defending your country is one thing, be an allied is other thing. Abe is make a big mistake, I understand he might be love Japan but this isn't the way to do it. Government of Japan don't see be allied never work out, if not why they didn't won WWII and their allies Nazi didn't too much to help Japan, why they think this time be allied will work out.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Any country has the right to self defense even if that means proactive offensive

Pro-active offensive ? I guess that it is new "cute/kawaii" definition for "invasion". Sorry pals, we did not invaded you, we were simply pro-active offensive because we must protect our self defense.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Let's not blame the Japanese people

Ha! The LDP has been in power for . . . like ever & ever. Why weak opposition to it? Why was Abe so easily able to become re-elected despite those security issues already on the table? So yes- let's indeed blame the Japanese people.

And your two cents about the US media, intelligence and military coercion are wrong. WMD were just a pretext to go to war. After 9/11, americans just wanted to tear shit up. So why not pick a fight with a belligerent Saddam and finish some unfinished business from the 1st Gulf war which Saddam started in thr 1st place?

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

@ clueless at Sep. 19, 2015 - 11:04AM JST "What is truly awful about this is that not one judge (as far as I know) has had the courage to stand up and say "NO""

Not sure why you would expect a judge to say anything before a lawsuit has been brought. In any case, Yamaguchi Shigeru, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court (10/97 to 11/2002), made a statement that this proposal would be unconstitutional. Abe et al. dismissed his remarks as the personal opinion of a retired person with no authority.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Good move, Japan. Now China has right to beat you back to the Stone Age, so that you are able to attack others with stones under the fake constitution

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

So it passed. That does not mean there is people to "blame" for the passing as much as "credit" to those who did pass it and to those that also opposed it. This is not "judgement time" for "good or evil" and/or for "good or bad".

Judgement for this action may take place sometimes many years and even centuries later by others whom we may never get to know. Between now to then much will happen and will change the course of events, perspectives and attitudes.

Now the real challenge is HOW these changes to laws will be "interpreted" and ultimately "executed" (put into practice). Given the state of world affairs today, I do not believe that any one person or group will use and take advantage of the changes to cause or create "harm" to themselves or the nation. Even the most "ignorant" of persons will first look at "self-preservation".

What are you looking at?

What would you, could you, should you look at?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

To some extent I believe that the Japanese public - at least partially - is being manipulated...

Just like in PRC where the CCP "seeds" rallies with there own protagonists - I believe that the main opposition parties are VERY purposefully stirring the pot in order to gain political favour and try to influence the publics opinion of the duly elected government...

This is not to say that there aren't a multitude of citizens and voters that right or wrong have concerns and disagreement with this legislation but - between the opposition political parties trying to claw back some power "at ANY cost" and the press core throwing gas on the fire at every turn to generate more clicks and page turns - the citizenry is not being well served...

This is not social discourse - the fires are slowly being fanned into anarchy...

The site of lawmakers pushing, shoving & punching - the site of students & normally peaceful protesters pushing down police barricades and ignoring police authority are scenes "more akin to China and Korea"... Shame on you - I thought the Japanese were better than this...

Ironic that those protesting agains their "disillusions" of war are fixed on using violence and anarchy to get their voices heard - someone somewhere is profiting from all of this activity but that is just the way the world works these days...

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

AlexNoaburg and Kazetsukai: "Let's not blame the Japanese people, a majority oppose this bill..."

Why is it wrong to blame the people and/or the nation as a whole? While I agree with Fred that the public has been (is being) manipulated, and agree with the fact that Abe and his ilk are of course to blame (well, Alex admits this; kazetsukai avoids addressing it), how many people voted in the last election that gave the LDP, and Abe, the majority? Wasn't it one of the most pathetic turn-outs in election history even for an already apathetic nation? I think it's fantastic that we're seeing people stand up and protest like never before (since Abe's granddad did what nobody wanted; so the 'beautiful Japan' that no one wants clearly runs in the family!), but what have they accomplished?

Go to the polls and vote these clowns out! THEN you can't be blamed for letting it happen.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

The Darkest day !

Not even close, darker days are still to come when Abe if Abe gets his way with actually changing the constitution. He is proposing a simple majority (in the Diet) vs the current 2/3rds needed, to make amendments to the constitution.

Any country's constitution SHOULD be difficult to change, and if it becomes a simple majority Abe will run roughshod over the rights of people here to implement everything he wants.

IF that happens, THEN the darkest day will be here. This is not even a passing shower by comparison.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Japan is a pseudo-democracy. There has been no reapportionment since 1945. Since then, Japan has become an urban population, but the few country bumpkins still have more representation than the majority of city folk. So let the country bunpkins send their sons to die.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Thanks, Ossan:

What draft would that be? My country is involved in wars all the time and even we don't have a draft

...thanks to structural factors that ensure there's always plenty who are sufficiently disempowered (by a brutal, failed and frightened society) to rely on the military as their only hope to escape poverty.

Check out this graphic to see the great company you keep, in spending more on military than education:

http://courseimage.com/images/212303-usa-military-spending-vs-education.jpg

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Japan has never really been a pacifist nation, they have just had leaders connected to the past who are on strings to do what the U.S. wants. Was it Macs intention for Japan to have an army? Strict reading of the document would clearly show otherwise. The population, as the commentor on the news said, are like the 42 year old "kid" in the U.S. basement and have never had to grow up. They just enjoyed the results of this weird relationshp, turning apathetic to everything as it was in the U.S. hands. If Japan would let go of its protectionist ideaolgy and xenophobic character, grow its economy and join the world, it might of evolved into a normal nation, with the pacifist population. Its too dysfunctional to do so, so you have this I guess you could say its the day of reckoning for the 42 year old kid in the basement. This bill was pushed by this current US administrration, I dont think others wanted this outcome. Ive always thought there were 2 players; what the U.S. wants and what Japan wants. Japan will blow hard right up to the line but knows the U.S. can always turrn off access to its markets, after all the U.S. doesnt need Japan for much. If Japan starts to ge involved in the region and promote their own interest, that dynamic might change. Interesting times to watch.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

If only all nations would never have to sacrifice lives in military conflicts. Unfortunately this is not reality.

"America cannot protect itself, much less Japan. Men in dresses riding camels in the desert could bring down the World Trace ( Trade ) Center."

No, but men who hijacked jets loaded with jet fuel did.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

"America cannot protect itself, much less Japan. Men in dresses riding camels in the desert could bring down the World Trace ( Trade ) Center."

Thankfully, evils like Saddam, Uday, Qusay, Anwar, bin Laden etc. etc. are now pushing up daffodils. They ran, but couldn't hide from justice.

The japanese have big shoes to fill. I hope they (sdf) can live up to their duties.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

For those calling for a referendum, surely their chance was the previous elections where Abe clearly had this on his platform? No democracy is perfect, however to suggest the Japanese havent had their chance to rid themselves of Abe and his policies is laughable. Is it not possible that the majority of Japanese are actually in favor of this?

It's not over yet. The lawyers have to battle it out before the supreme court. However as pointed out earlier:

Every nation gets the government it deserves. -Joseph de Maistre

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Of course, I'm probably not going to have the most popular opinion here (but that's common in my world). Nevertheless, let's cover a few obvious points:

For those that think Japan is putting itself at risk with this bill (e.g. Those pontificating that now Japan will be an attack target) -- You folks are looking at the world through rose-colored glasses: Japan is already at risk and it's lack of military support beyond reliance on alliances isn't enough (hence the bill). Given the state of affairs in/around Asia; Japan would be a likely early target of anyone making a strategic move in the region. Not due to the presence of your own new "military bases", and not due to the US presence... But because Japan without training, people, arms and resources would be a relatively easy takeover.

Give Peace a Chance??? Please people take a look at the rest of the world's affairs. There are just too many foreign enemies out there that are making huge strides in a very short period of time. You really need to watch the documentary NHK did regarding ISIS -- As they are terrorists plain and simple . But, also remember history for a moment... late 1200 Kublai Kahn saw Japan scrambling and pulling ahead . Now imagine someone with Modern Warfare making the same move, how would Japan respond presently?

The US Needs to be expelled from Okinawa/Mainland? While Economically, I agree the Bases really add very little value in the big picture, especially given the ridiculous and continual rise in tourism in Okinawa for example. Let's face it: This is a pipe-dream presently and not going to happen given the total investment that has been made by Japan/US to be there and the strategic position relative to the East China Sea/North Korea.

This all aside, military spending should not be Japan's first or top priority following this bill. Execution requires a very long term plan and I do believe it would be possible given the proper training and future to replace some of the US Bases eventually. But, to think that THIS bill makes Japan a target is ludicrous.

For those that believe the attack on 9/11 is proof that the US cannot defend itself (or Japan), think again. It was a horrible plot executed by terrorists and the US got caught with it's "pants down" so-to-speak. Since then, we've been forced to rethink our enemies and our greatest fears. It's an age of modern warfare.

Quite frankly, there are more UAVs and other intelligent fighting solutions that are doing the work of fighting for us -- as such we are all trying to mitigate putting our loved ones and military personnel in harms way. Again, for Japan it's going to be a matter of balancing the spending to put this bill into effect vs. other VERY REAL current economic woes/concerns. Don't rush out the door to execute, but rather start building over time and with a plan that makes sense.

As Japan is a dominant power in a very modern era, it's time for those that "remember the horrors of years past" to move on with the support, patriotism and determination for Japan that has always made it a great people. And it is also time for the young people who I'm calling the "Hippies of US Past" (a large number of those 10,000 demonstrating outside the DIET) to open their eyes to the 'what ifs': Ask yourself this, if Japan were invaded and unable to protect itself, how many casualties would it sustain vs. having a solid, trained line of defense?

You don't need to go on a full frontal attack, but it helps to have self-defense that is disciplined and meaningful. Don't fight the Bill, but do keep it in check.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

@Yamiko,

I like your ideas...Hopefully most will come to pass!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Abe is a pawn of the Americans and one task given to him was to change the SDF into the Imperial Forces. Second it is to make these forces available for America's wars. Lastly it is to destroy the Japanese economy.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

@Wc626 The result shows why the mid east needs strongmen dictators for leaders. They are gone and everything falls apart there. Next, Japanese boys will be dying there.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Abe is a pawn of the Americans and one task given to him was to change the SDF into the Imperial Forces. Second it is to make these forces available for America's wars. Lastly it is to destroy the Japanese economy.

You really cannot be serious? You've called Abe a Pawn, a War-Monger, and now you believe he's bent on destroying the Japanese economy? You really need to get out and learn a little more about how world politics work -- And you'll have to tell us more about "America's Wars".

Indeed the US has had it's horrible wars, but I don't recall the US having anything to do with Japan marching into China or Korea years ago. Today, for better or worse, there is fighting in the world and that fighting has implications on the worlds economy. So, you can live in a bubble and believe that nothing external to Japan has any influence or you could actually take a look around.

We are ALL intertwined globally, and the worlds affairs are no longer that of individual nations. If you have an issue with Abe, than rise up with your fellow countrymen and women and elect officials that will vote the majority of public opinion. When policies pass that make you unhappy, work with activists to find solutions and raise awareness. Otherwise, your comments come out as オバタリアン diatribes.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Abe is a pawn of the Americans and one task given to him was to change the SDF into the Imperial Forces. Second it is to make these forces available for America's wars. Lastly it is to destroy the Japanese economy.

You do have a point Yuri. All the world leaders falling over themselves to congratulate Abe and the LDP, ignoring the illegal way the amendment occurred. Sickening

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Who are the opposition? Political opportunist and communist Chinese sympathizers! Abe has the security interest of Japan in mind. The protestors have nothing but adherence to some naïve idea of pacifism and a desire to let others do the work while they complain of base locations and noise.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

To be honest, it was bad day in Japan. However, it was most probably for the best. For decades, Japan has been neglecting their own national security and has effectively used American Armed Forces as a " Defensive Crutch". The so-called "Pacifism" that the those protesters are expressing comes at a price: American military bases in Okinawa and Sasebo. Folks in this forum have describing Prime Minister Abe as a "American Pawn". This from a guy who's been wanting to militarize Japan again?! I hate to say this, but if that really did happen, then why the need for American military installations?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

No need to trash it altogether.

But that's exactly what they did. If they can insist a law as obviously unConstitutional as this one does not run foul of the Constitution, the Constitution now means nothing. As someone else said, no more use than toilet paper.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

not a sap, the Americans want Japan to be their proxies in war. We are not communist Chinese sympathizers! We do not want to go to war for the United States! They destroyed Okinawa in WWII and have controlled it ever since. I say to the Americans to fight their own wars! Abe is not only a war monger but a tool of the Americans.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Looking at the pic of the diet happily clapping a caption should read "wont be our kids going of to die" Sickening! Now its going to be faulse flag time and the turning up of propoganda. The process of shaping opinion, attitudes, and perceptions was termed the 'engineering of consent' by one of the founders of the modern public relations industry(propoganda machine) Edward Bernays.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

For 70 yrs Japan has enjoyed the free ride. Now, they are finally contributing to actively keeping that peace. Good.

Which is a good thing.

You mean that "outdated" constitution, imposed by the US? If it ain't broken don't fix it, but in today's day and age (considering trouble surrounding japan) article 9 is clearly some fairytale joke.

Agreed.

Teach your daughter that War is a terrible thing. Nobody wants War.

And that is the fundamental difference that people don't understand, especially people that have never been to war or to a war zone and it is not pretty and whether you are a conservative or a liberal, NO ONE wants a war, however, you do want a strong functioning military that can take care and protect its people and vital interests and not rely on another country for 90% of its defense.

Then, teach your daughter how one of the cornerstones of any democratic society is to provide a common defense for its people. And not to expect young american GI's to do ALL the work too. After 70 yrs, it's reasonable to expect japanese to do their share.

Spot on.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Love it. It's time that Japan took her rightful place among nations. I especially love the fact that it was China's belligerence on the Senkaku issue that now has the Chinese military trembling in their marionette boots.

As for the demographic disparity between the two countries (meaning who can raise the largest military force in human assets), Japan has developed a technological superiority with highly expendable drones. After a massive airstrike against any Chinese city, these solar-powered drones will then be deployed in the thousands over every city to keep the populace trapped indoors for weeks, if not months, thus starving the city in an unrelenting siege. These human-perceptive, software-directive drones fly well above early detection limits and then swoop down with deadly fire on scavenging individuals in the impact zone. These new war drones replace snipers and occupation forces without the need for an operator on the ground.

Yes, the Chinese are surely trembling at the thought of a resurgent militaristic Japan, as well they should be.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I understand that this type of decision could potentially lead to armed conflict and even having a hand in some issues that don't really concern the wellbeing of Japan, however, I think it is crucial for people to understand that it is necessary for Japan to completely protect itself, should the need arise (God forbid). I feel if the general population would really take a step back to look at the big picture and realize the dangers and threats that are out there right now in the war-ravaged Middle East, they would feel a little more safe knowing that their own country can defend itself when the time comes.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

not a sap, the Americans want Japan to be their proxies in war.

And you base this assumption on....

We are not communist Chinese sympathizers! We do not want to go to war for the United States!

Do you think the US wants to fight any war or wants to be in ANY conflict Japan has with China, especially if it could possibly involve US troops, knowing full well that Japan DOES posses the capability to create its own functioning military to defend itself? If it's alongside Japan, that is one thing, but to fight while Japan sits on the sidelines.... The world is changing, demographics are changing, I believe now is a good time for Japan to show what it can do on its own and that's a good thing.

They destroyed Okinawa in WWII and have controlled it ever since.

And how did that come about again? What was the reason for that?

I say to the Americans to fight their own wars!

We always do.

Abe is not only a war monger but a tool of the Americans.

Why because he wants a independent militarized Japan?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Shark can survive without teeth for 70 years but how longer this can last ?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

This will be a day that goes down in infamy

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

How many of the 148 members who voted for this are members of Nippon Kaigi? I suspect most. It's amazing how few Japanese even know of Nippon Kaigi's existence. Of the Japanese I know and have asked well over 90% have not heard of them, their extreme right-wing aims, or that most LDP MPs including Mr Abe are members.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

bass4funk

Do you think the US wants to fight any war or wants to be in ANY conflict Japan has with China,

US need Japan to counter the rise of china. For this protection, japan sacrifice many of its own interests (sanction against Russia, embargo against Iran and Cuba, Iraq war ect).Let's not forget 2 billions USD / year to support U.S. military forces in the country. USA don't protect japan for free, they do it because it's beneficial .

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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