politics

Over half say Japan needs to amend Constitution for virus response

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Enforcing it like South Korea does seems to be a good idea. Citizens are abusing their rights anyway. If they can't keep their promise to self quarantine then is time for harsher measures.

-7 ( +9 / -16 )

of whom 61.3 percent gave valid answers.

So almost 40% of responses were "invalidated"

A very common trick to get the numbers you want.

If someone answers "no way" the survey manipulators will consider that invalid.

12 ( +14 / -2 )

Limited freedoms won’t stop the virus-vaccines and testing will!

1 ( +8 / -7 )

Limited freedoms won’t stop the virus-vaccines and testing will!

Sigh, some have learned nothing from this pandemic. Testing and vaccines are only part of the prevention. Testing does nothing to stop the spread of a pandemic. It only identifies who needs treatment but if they refuse to physically isolate themselves then they will spread the virus to others. Physical distancing does indeed stop the spread of a pandemic and it is absolutely vital everyone tested or not does so until a vaccine is developed and a large majority of the population has taken the vaccine and established immunity.

4 ( +10 / -6 )

I agree with this idea. Earlier in the pandemic I was thinking US state constitutions should have some sort of clause that allows a state legislature to declare a public health emergency, fire emergency or natural disaster emergency in all or part of a state. The declaration would state what rules are going to be instituted or what existing laws suspended to gain control of the emergency. There would be a fixed term to the declaration but it could be renewed if the emergency persisted. Requiring the legislative branch declare the emergency and to write the rules would end the claims of a dictatorial executive branch usurping people's rights.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

@desert

agree with your testing comment.

I’m amazed at how many people here are totally obsessed with the number of daily tests.

That in itself, is an illness

3 ( +6 / -3 )

The government has been blaming the Constitution for its lack of response, but that is really just an excuse. The Constitution already contains a public interest clause which the Supreme Court has routinely held allows the government to do almost anything it wants so long as it claims to be acting in the public interest. The Constitution is not the problem,.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

A ruthless shamelessly cynical political manipulative attempt to weaponize a devastating pandemic to take aim, in effect riding a coach and horses through Japans peace loving constitution.

The survey is so glaringly biased, distorted, skewed to obtain a political illusionary means to suggest/justify a change in the constitution is necessary, in fact a magic wand to counter the spread of covid variants.

A, shameful falsehood.

In many respects to hide, shield a failure of Government/leadership to fully plan and institute a comprehensive vaccination program.     

A, magnum opus of cobblers, lies and deceit.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

We went over this last year, the constitution doesn't need to be changed for the government to respond and they should act within its framework.

I bet the people responding haven't even read the constitution once in their lives, I've never met a Japanese person who has (at least amongst the ones I've asked)

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Reading most of the comments here is quite alarming. It must be so exciting for people in government positions to see how eager people are to relinquish any notion of personal sovereignty in fear. Don't ever forget your stance on this issue when all notion of human rights are abolished in the name of whatever crisis is cooked up next. Good luck.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

That approximately 1,700 people from a survey taken by a media company would determine the need for a constitutional amendment is beyond absurd. As if those individuals have any in depth understanding of the constitution and its application by law.

Empowering the state to impose any form of tyranny is beyond being a mistake.

As is, there is sufficient allowance for the central government to respond with draconian measures. That the government has not invoked such power, is all to the good.

If the culture and populous is unable to act on its/their own accord, during a pandemic, so be it.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

A constitution exists to prevent government overreach during times of emergency, not to enable the government to strip away rights whenever a difficult situation arises. Japan’s constitution (and virtually every constitution worldwide) already grants broad powers for the government to respond to emergencies. Japan has done vastly better than countries in Europe or states in the U.S. that enacted strict lockdowns. If the government claims to need more powers, there is some other agenda at work.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

That’s just not correlated, as to be seen in many countries that have much stricter regulations and really hurting penalties but still very high numbers of infections and deads.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

This trend of people wanting to control other people's lives "for their own good!" is outright disturbing. We are entering a dangerous world where the fuddys who want to control every aspect of your life are starting to get their way. Resist at all costs.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

The survey showed 57 percent of people polled see the need to add a clause that would give more power to the cabinet and limit private rights, eclipsing the 42 percent who said such a stipulation is not necessary.

LDP: "Chance!"

A total of 50 percent said they should be compensated based on the Constitution, while 47 percent said such a measure is not necessary.

Oh, these forty-seven percent are just so heartless.

Altogether, 51 percent of the general respondents said Article 9 needs to be amended, while 45 percent said a revision is not necessary.

Well, I actually agree with A9 revision.

=

@Burning BushToday 07:13 am JST

Could be, but frankly I don't see the numbers as implausible. The choice is stupid, but at least people do react that way during this kind of situation.

=

@Desert TortoiseToday 07:57 am JST

Requiring the legislative branch declare the emergency and to write the rules would end the claims of a dictatorial executive branch usurping people's rights.

Leaving aside whether that would work in America, in Japan, remember that the legislature is the LDP and the executive is formed from the LDP. That's one reason why people cared about constitutional protections a lot more.

@rainydayToday 08:34 am JST

The Constitution already contains a public interest clause which the Supreme Court has routinely held allows the government to do almost anything it wants so long as it claims to be acting in the public interest.

That's ... kind of a yes and no. The strength of the "public interest" clause relative to the freedoms is of course, not written in the Constitution. It is determined by the jurist community, and the government has been somewhat scrupulous in following it, which is one reason why the Courts have upheld most of their calls. So if right now, the calculated relative strength is "3", and you need more, then you have to revise the text, either by weakening the language on rights protections or strengthening the language on public interest.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

give more power to the cabinet and limit private rights

The government has consistently shown that it fails to live up to people’s expectations; yet people believe that limiting their own rights will HELP?

Rather it’ll just create a situation similar to overseas where people flaunt the rules more.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

This trend of people wanting to control other people's lives "for their own good!" is outright disturbing. We are entering a dangerous world where the fuddys who want to control every aspect of your life are starting to get their way. Resist at all costs.

Here, I'll fix it for you.

This trend of people wanting to assert "rights" without accepting kind of responsibility to something larger than themselves is outright disturbing. We are entering a world where the fuddy's who want to assert their right to do as they wish whenever and wherever they wish regardless how their actions threaten their neighbors, their communities and their nation, fuddys who are willing to harm their nations for the sake of their own warped sense of "freedom" are starting to get their way. Resist at all costs. Adult self restraint must prevail over selfishness if democracy is to prevail. With rights come responsibilities and obligations to your neighbor, to your community and to your nation. It is not all about you. When that sort of selfishness takes hold society falls apart.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

"The survey showed 57 percent of people polled see the need to add a clause that would give more power to the cabinet and limit private rights, eclipsing the 42 percent who said such a stipulation is not necessary." in a country with a strong authoritarian tradition and a superannuated population, I can understand this. The impulse toward authoritarianism is nonetheless quite frightening. And constitutional amendments will not cause changes in people's behaviour, which is at the root of the spread of the coronavirus - it will simply give the central govt more powers that it will never relinquish.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Giving away freedoms and rights to this government can only end in tears.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

The limitations of a one size fits all constitution were implicitly understood by those who framed Japan’s and provision was made for allowing it to be amended as circumstances dictated. But in 75 years, the people have not once been asked to ratify any amendment to this miracle of the ages, perfect document. In countries such as the U.S, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, their Constitution is seen as a living document, which needs to be responsive to changing aspirations and citizens are regularly consulted and asked to pass judgement on legislative proposals to make their constitutions more reflective of current needs. The lack of any sense of ownership of the Constitution here is telling.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

What I find worrying is not so much the over-reduction of the problem as if modifying the constitution would solve all problems, but linking the article 9 to it, as if this was a set that could only come together.

On the good side this would only make people resistant to do any kind of modification, thus not improving the situation this way, but on the other this could make people accept more easily abandoning the article 9 as the price to supposedly solve the current crisis, even without any specific plan that can guarantee this result.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

The survey was conducted by mail in March and April ahead of Constitution Memorial Day on Monday, targeting 3,000 people aged 18 or over, of whom 61.3 percent gave valid answers.

Would anyone try to explain what an invalid answer is?

It is not in the article.

Also,

At present, the government provides money for restaurants and bars that comply with the authorities' requests, but does not cover their losses based on the supreme law.

What is the Supreme Law?

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Good luck with that. If an earthquake were happening right now and the ground cracking at their feet, the government would insist on forming panels and going into "thinking about it" mode before a decision was made. Heck, they might even need to discuss screaming when they fell. There's no way they are going to do this. They'll likely at best kick the can down the road and say, "We fully understand and have listened to the people on this. We will think about it deeply and discuss it, and I plan to hold a press conference in the future about such discussions -- when they will be set, what panels will be formed -- at a later date, when I have discussed discussing it."

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Any amendment of the constitution is difficult. 60% of the Diet and then a public vote. PM Abe kept running into that wall trying to change Article 9.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

This is the biggest canard out there. The forced evacuations of residents in Fukushima, enforcement of subsequent no-go zones, not to mention enforced evacuations and other actions during numerous volcanic eruptions are all possible under the Japanese constitution.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Buy vaccines.

Import vaccines.

Administer vaccines.

No need to amend the Constitution.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

That's ... kind of a yes and no. The strength of the "public interest" clause relative to the freedoms is of course, not written in the Constitution. It is determined by the jurist community,

A judiciary which has shown itself willing to uphold whatever the government does almost without exception regardless of the facts. The Supreme Court exercises almost no effective judicial review function in Japan, a major contrast with most other democracies. In fact I would say all other democracies, at least the major ones.

and the government has been somewhat scrupulous in following it, which is one reason why the Courts have upheld most of their calls.

The government has never had to be scrupulous in following it and is enabled by a judiciary that almost always says yes regardless of how egregiously a piece of legislation or administrative act violates the plain meaning of a constitutional right.

So if right now, the calculated relative strength is "3", and you need more, then you have to revise the text, either by weakening the language on rights protections or strengthening the language on public interest.

I have no idea what the number 3 means in this context or why it means the Constitution needs to weaken rights that are almost never enforced by the Courts anyway.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

How were the respondents chosen ?

Which political views , which hospital, which university, which govt department?

or was it random strangers passing through a train station, there fore working class folks ? Which?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@Bjorn

If for once you could read the article you would save your and our time avoiding such question.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Japan has performed very well against COVID. No hard lockdowns and preventive measures have been largely voluntary, yet mortality rate is down vs. pre-COVID.

Why would the Constitution need to be amended?

People have no clue what the Japanese Constitution says, so you might as well be asking them whether the American Constitution needs to be amended. The response carries little value.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

The survey was conducted by mail in March and April ahead of Constitution Memorial Day on Monday, targeting 3,000 people aged 18 or over, of whom 61.3 percent gave valid answers.

Amending the Constitution with provisions that may "give more power to the cabinet and limit private rights?" Sounds like a VERY important poll!

BUT this poll, as reported, simply doesn't provide enough information.

First: "valid answers?" 61.3%? So, what constitutes an invalid answer, by 38.7% of respondents? Really? That's a lot of people!

Second: "conducted by mail?"  Snail mail? In this day in age?  Really?  In this day in age?  So we can presume that precious few young people, who preferred - albeit sole method of communication - is electronically based - were not included?

Leading to third: any breakdown of who were polled, by age, occupation, geographic location, income, etc.? Also how was the sample scientifically chosen? Subscribers to the print edition of the newspaper? See age question, above.

Fourth: what was the complete wording and order of the questions (always beware questions that seem to ‘push’ a respondent to a desirable answer; often by describing some option that are more attractive than another).

Finally, what is the corresponding margin of error (always be wary of any poll results - particularly with a limited size - where the margin of error exceeds 5 points).

Just not enough!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@rainydayMay 2 07:49 pm JST

While a court does demonstrate its independence by declaring things unconstitutional, that is not at the price of ignoring the law's content or the legitimate perogatives of government. Thus, a court upholding what the government does may only be because the government correctly estimated its valid area. People tend to try to use the Constitution in court to get what they cannot get at the booth, with no care about the real consequences of their decision.

To give one concrete example, teachers who tried to use the Constitution to disallow principals from giving them work-related orders concerning singing of the national anthem clearly have not considered that if they got their way, this will greatly reduce the principal's ability to give orders in any situation where the teachers personally disagree with it (and I must add, in defiance of the decision by the legislature that the Kimigayo is legitimate). That they lost was basically a given.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This is Constitution Day. It is also ipso facto Antiwar Day.

Think of Article 9 and then think back to the last time Japan was at war. Then recall that the U.S. Constitution doesn't have anything like Article 9. Think back to last time the U.S. WASN'T at war.

If you think Article 9 isn't cool think about what you would be doing in the 1940s.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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