politics

Ruling bloc pushes security bills through lower house panel

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By Linda Sieg

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Abe and Suga are probably saying, "Why are we wasting time with this riff-raff? Let's go and have lunch."

6 ( +7 / -1 )

When the majority of voters oppose and yet it makes no difference in the ruling, that version of democracy has not worked!

21 ( +24 / -2 )

Against ramming bills through”.

Coming from DPJ? That's rich.

-22 ( +3 / -25 )

Abe’s disapproval rate rose five points to 42% in an Asahi newspaper poll released on Monday, versus a support rate of 39%. Fifty-six percent opposed the bills.

If only there were elections or something to make their disapproval known... Abe made his plans clear from the beginning. It shouldn't come as a shock to anyone.

But he will probably survive, given the weakness of rivals inside and outside his party.

Pathetic...

6 ( +8 / -3 )

Abe's saying,"I've got this Suga,calm down.Ain't going to be any serious fallout beyond shouganai.This is Japan."

9 ( +11 / -2 )

Ruling coalition lawmakers approved the bills after a raucous debate

Thank you, Komeito, for your principled stance against militarism.

11 ( +13 / -2 )

If only there were elections or something to make their disapproval known... Abe made his plans clear from the beginning. It shouldn't come as a shock to anyone.

Good point. How about the opposition parties submitting a no confidence vote for starters?

I'm all for Abe to again call for snap election. There already exists a rumor that it could happen in September.

-6 ( +7 / -13 )

I'm really ambivalent about this. Either Japan will continue to support America's nuclear arsenal and military policies with money and bases, or they will do that plus join them with some occasional manpower. Either way Japan is supporting the same thing. It distracts a bit from the need to make improvements to communities and individual lives. I'm not saying it's not important. But I question what will change for young people and their future. On the other hand, Japan is spending huge political capital on something of questionable value to people. But people are organizing themselves around opposing this. Meanwhile Abe and the LDP remain electable while probably making the quality of life worse for the next generation.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

A dark day for Japan

18 ( +22 / -4 )

Welcome to the new China! Doesn't matter what the people want.

15 ( +21 / -5 )

Watch out older folks (up to 55) Japan has shortage of men workers. During WW II. Military govt drafted older men. If they are not criminal. Our city men claimed they are criminal because they stole house hold money. Jail was small so some children suggested house arrest to keep their grandpa and pa stayed home.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

True, conscription will likely be next. It will be interesting how many SDF personnel agree to overseas deployment. Abe has just taken Japan one step closer to the abyss

11 ( +14 / -3 )

As parents we now share the very real concern that our child could be drafted into a future conflict.

12 ( +14 / -2 )

love how most commentators say that this is not what the public wants. what?!?!?! this public voted him and his party in last year, knowing fully that this was a part of his agenda. but now they have a change of heart? buahahaha. and to insuate that japan is like china is laughable.

-6 ( +6 / -12 )

While Washington certainly supports the content of the bill, they should be more than a little uncomfortable with "how" this was done, and even more worried that the U.S. is seen by many as supporting it. Abe's agenda doesn't stop here, and he couldn't care less if the majority oppose it. As much as I wish it were a joke, Abe really does yearn for "the good old days" when the heimin knew their place. Then again, his agenda may well stop here. He has just awoken a long dormant population, in particular young voters who didn't give a damn about politics until now, most of whom are dead set against his agenda and thought he was just blowing smoke when they last voted for his party. Don't see the LDP receiving the benefit of the doubt next time around. The foolish hawk just showed its talons. Taro Aso's grandfather, Yoshida Shigeru, was a master of "winning by losing." Abe may have just "lost by winning." For those in Washington, folks here are pissed, and this does not bode well for US "interests" in Okinawa and Japan as a whole.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

It has been stated in the mass media including on this website that once approved, assuming Dear Leader Abe and other cronies approve them this week, the bills are then subject to referendum under Japanese Law. Assuming opinion polls are correct, the bills will overwhelmingly fail to be inacted into law as public opinion will reject them in the subsequent referendum. In the worst case scenario that Japanese have been lying to pollsters (common in Japan as politics is taboo and folks dont want to be seen supporting a decreasingly popular leader), a referendum could suport Abe. The bills would then be enacted. But, if his ratings fall enough and Abe is cut from power and a coalition opposing the bills gets in, the bills can be repealed in future.

I predict Abe will eventually be held accountable for interfering in freedom of speech and breaking laws regarding neutrality of the media, worsening relations with neighbors, history revisionism (immoral but also illegal in many developed countries unlike Japan) and other misdemeanors at best, crimes at worst. Abe cannot learn from history. From the failure of his grandfather and the failure of his first disasterous term some years ago as leader. But if history teaches us anything, it is that he is absolutely doomed to fail eventually and he will be forced to learn. He will not go unpunished and I for one cannot wait.

20 ( +20 / -1 )

Nakanoguy, my guess is that those voters, (who had no credible opposition to vote for anyway, in what was the most outright cynical snap election I've ever seen), had high hopes for "Abenomics" and payed little attention to his uhh, "revisionist" leanings because they thought he would grudgingly bend to public opinion in the end. Now they know otherwise, and I'm guessing the LDP and Komeito are going to pay dearly for this.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

It has been stated in the mass media including on this website that once approved, assuming Dear Leader Abe and other cronies approve them this week, the bills are then subject to referendum under Japanese Law.

No. What mass media have you been reading? It's a bill that once approved by the lower house, it goes to the upper house.

This is essentially a 'pass' phase in a lower house panel which Abe has "rammed through" for the grand total of (drum roll please).,,,, TWICE.

While the opposition, DPJ, who during their ruling coalition days, who are now holding signs that stated "Against ramming bills through", managed to conduct such acts over dozen times during their short tenure. Hence, my response, "Coming from DPJ, that's rich".

-10 ( +4 / -14 )

These legislative bills will turn out to be more exercises of pusillanimity than applied capability but that pusillanimous attitude and posture could land Abe's Japan in some hot situations. America was wrong to have encouraged and enabled this aspect of Abe Shinzo.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Democracy is this. No problem.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Cracaphat: Abe's saying,"I've got this Suga,calm down.Ain't going to be any serious fallout beyond shouganai.This is Japan."

Bwahahahha.....so true....so true.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

It has been stated in the mass media including on this website that once approved, assuming Dear Leader Abe and other cronies approve them this week, the bills are then subject to referendum under Japanese Law."

No. What mass media have you been reading? It's a bill that once approved by the lower house, it goes to the upper house.

Oops.

I remember reading that on this website yesterday too. Unlike you, I bothered to check:

"Abe has made clear he wants to revise the constitution, but formal amendment requires approval by two-thirds of both houses of parliament and a majority in a referendum, conditions that have never been met."

http://www.japantoday.com/category/politics/view/security-debate-masks-deeper-divide-over-pacifist-constitution

Granted, not sure how accurate it is, but considering how much you seem post on here, very surprised you missed it.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I have no doubt it was 'pushed' through, with all kinds of skulduggery and intimidation.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

yes… ramming the bill through… like i said earlier, shades of 1960…

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Nigelboy, you might want to read article 96 of the Japanese Constitution if you are still in doubt that a referendum is necessary:

ARTICLE 96. Amendments to this Constitution shall be initiated by the Diet, through a concurring vote of two-thirds or more of all the members of each House and shall thereupon be submitted to the people for ratification, which shall require the affirmative vote of a majority of all votes cast thereon, at a special referendum or at such election as the Diet shall specify.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

All democracies (republics and monarchies) should have it so that if govt (cabinet) falls below 50% approval on average of polls, new elections be held. Voters may like a party's stance on economic policy, but find their foreign policy lacking...

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@Mataka. The operative word is "formal". Formal amendment of said constitution does require what you say but Abe and his cronies have thought of that. They will instead just have the constitution mean what they want it to mean and then there are no more requirements than passing any other bill. Some of us hold out hope that this "reinterpretation" will be found unconstitutional by the Supreme Court but don't hold your breath.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

So all the protests we read about the past few weeks were for.... nothing....

6 ( +7 / -1 )

On second thought, let them do it. Only when body-bags start coming in and then gnashing of teeth will they wake up from this hideous stupor. As the saying goes," be careful what you pray for, you just might get it ". May be get it, they will.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

@Moonraker. Thank you for pointing that out. I have hope too.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

My understanding is that this bill is to allow for a reinterpretation of the constitution - not an amendment - thus allowing Abe to circumvent the need for a referendum. I can't see him leaving this to "the luck" of a popular vote among the people. Of course I'm happy to be proven wrong on this issue

1 ( +3 / -2 )

No other country in the World has a Constitution imposed, or even written by a foreign power; Japan is the ONLY one!

The current Constitution MUST be replaced as a matter of national sovereignty.

No ifs or buts.

-12 ( +2 / -14 )

@ nigelboy JUL. 15, 2015 - 03:23PM JST

While the opposition, DPJ, who during their ruling coalition days, who are now holding signs that stated "Against ramming bills through", managed to conduct such acts over dozen times during their short tenure. Hence, my response, "Coming from DPJ, that's rich".

What exactly are you referring to with "such acts"? I believe you are comparing apples with oranges here as the "ramming through" does not merely refer to a majority vote in the house about some normal legislation.

What we are talking about here is a bill that the large majority of scholars deem unconstitutional and as such is touching the very basics of democracy. Other then the LDP the DPJ didn't attempt to "ram through" any bill that could have violated the constitution in a similar way.

If you believe there was anything comparable from the DPJ then tell us which bill you are concretely referring to, otherwise your claims here don't really make much sense.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

The current Constitution MUST be replaced as a matter of national sovereignty. No ifs or buts.

The Japanese Constitution which I'm assuming you have read, works and covers the needs of the people, so in what way do you think it can be improved?

4 ( +6 / -3 )

I wonder if the support continues if there are body bags returning to Japan. Go ahead and thumb this down, but you have to wonder...

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Bruinfan.

I definitely doesn't have the support of your average Japanese, for the last 18yrs I have seen regular protests against changing article 9.

Problem is in the election you truly have 2 strong parties and a strong of small parties by members of the above 2.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Zichi

A Constitution is the highest piece in a legislative body.

It should never, even be written by outsiders.

It runs counter to the meaning of national sovereignty.

It hurts national feeling of pride and self-worth.

How would you like Britain to have a working Constitution written and imposed by the Germans?

Even if it's "working" (which it isn't, as it imposes undue restrictions on Japanese rights to have a military, just like everyone else) it has to go.

Abe is right on this one.

-10 ( +3 / -13 )

Peeping_Tom

you didn't answer my question, how can it be improved or in what way does it not work for the people? The majority of the people are happy to have Article 9 which allows for all the self defense forces it thinks it needs to defend the country against foreign invasion.

How would you like Britain to have a working Constitution written and imposed by the Germans?

Britain does not have a codified constitution but an unwritten one formed of Acts of Parliament, court judgments and conventions. Some of those were probably written by various invaders just like the Magna Carta we also have a monarch descended from a German family.

In fact, these days you would be hard pushed to fine a pure Brit family but I'm one of 100% pure Keltic blood.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Peeping_Tom,

No other country in the World has a Constitution imposed, or even written by a foreign power; Japan is the ONLY one!

The current Constitution MUST be replaced as a matter of national sovereignty.

Do you imagine that Abe's rewrite of the constitution represents the majority opinion in Japan at this time?

The Japanese right wing is a curious mix. The nutcases that tear around blasting out their diatribe, that form ridiculous groups like the "Osprey fan club, that march up and down in front of Shinjuku Station, these guys bear the flags of Japan AND the U.S.A.

Abe and his gang purport to support nationalism, yet they suck up to the U.S.A.

Curious.

Whether the Japanese constitution was written by Japanese people or not, the Japanese people have made it their own. The majority would seem to be in agreement with it.

Of course, in a democratic country, there would be a referendum on such an important matter.

But Shinzo (Kim) Abe is above all that!

5 ( +8 / -3 )

@Mataka & DVDexpert; this isn't an amendment to the constitution, so no referendum is required. Abe would like to amend it for sure, but he knows it wouldn't pass the referendum; hence reinterpretation rather than formal amendment.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@nakanoguy The people didn't vote for him---only a small percentage of the voting population did.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Abe would like to amend it for sure, but he knows it wouldn't pass the referendum; hence reinterpretation rather than formal amendment.

So just more of PM Abe's revisionism

5 ( +6 / -1 )

It's irrelevant what improvements I may think Japan needs; I am not Japanese.

Japanese and Japanese alone can and should make such changes.

Now to keep it as it was drafted it's clearly wrong.

Sorry if answers take time, I’m working.

-8 ( +2 / -10 )

Isn't the PM e!ected via a Poll within the Party without the population involved?

Population only elects the party, PM won't change as long as he got the support from his party.

One thing I like about country we elect the ruling party every 4 years and the President every 6 and they often are from different parties.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Interestingly, Abe's NHK didn't broadcast the proceedings live:

http://www.asahi.com/articles/ASH7H3QJJH7HUTIL01Q.html?iref=comtop_6_02

I wonder why...

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Peeping_Tom

I believe if there were a referendum on the constitution the majority would support the current version including Article 9. I suggest you read it, available online in English and you will probably enjoy it since you work legal services. To even remove or change Article 9 requires a two-thirds vote in both houses. Currently, the LDP have the upper hand in the lower house and would get it passed but would fail to pass in the upper house and that's not something PM Abe wants to face because he's manic when it comes to failure.

Japanese and Japanese alone can and should make such changes.

Look! we can agree on that point that any change or abolition of the constitution should be a matter for all the people in a referendum.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Whether the actual text of the constitution was written by outsiders is of very little importance. In the end, it was only Japanese diet members who voted on whether it should be adopted or not. The vast majority voted for it and it passed, but a few did vote against it. That's democracy, whether you like it or not.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

“Whether the actual text of the constitution was written by outsiders is of very little importance. In the end, it was only Japanese diet members who voted on whether it should be adopted or not. The vast majority voted for it and it passed, but a few did vote against it. That's democracy, whether you like it or not."

Mockery! That's what some would want to shove down some other people's throat!

Once MacArthur decided on the draft there was nothing the "free will" of the Japanese Diet could do; they were not at pleasure to do nothing but accept what was put in front of them.

Any country following a revolution/change of Government changes the Constitution and Criminal Laws as matter of utmost urgency.

Just like a foreign born cannot be a President in the US; a foreign king no longer admissible in England.

No foreign president in South Korea.

A foreign drafted and imposed Constitution is not acceptable.

Abe is right on this one.

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

Peeping_Tom

Nearly 10,000 academics have thrown their support behind a movement to oppose national security bills...

The group was formed after three professors of constitutional law unanimously agreed at a Lower House Commission on the Constitution session that the security legislation was unconstitutional.

http://ajw.asahi.com/article/behind_news/politics/AJ201507150047

6 ( +7 / -1 )

China and South Korea are against the bills right away. It must be very good bills for Japan.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Zichi

They may well be opposing it for various reasons; perhaps the bills as proposed violate the Constitution.

Yet this does not detract from the fact that the Constitution itself is the "wrong" Constitution.

Hence Abe's (and he's not alone on this) drive to have it replaced with a genuine Japanese Constitution.

Every country does that; it would be hypocritical do demand Japan to be an exception, especially when all we read on this very site is claims that Japan is not an exception at all.

If Japan is not an exception in anything (as per the foreign detractors) then they should not be an exception in having to live with laws drafted by a foreign power.

It stands to reason.

Just bear with me the answer may come with a slight delay (work, sorry).

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

BEST DAY EVER!!!

-14 ( +1 / -15 )

Peeping_Tom

Hence Abe's (and he's not alone on this) drive to have it replaced with a genuine Japanese Constitution.

PM Abe knows it would be impossible to replace the constitution requiring two-third majorities in both house, probably a referendum and probably a general election. He knows its impossible to even change Article 9 so he's trying to revise without actual changing which is what the security bills are about.

Again, there's no British constitution?

2 ( +4 / -2 )

they should not be an exception in having to live with laws drafted by a foreign power.

Tom, would you also say that Magna Carta is wrong for the UK? You must be aware that Magna Carta was drafted by the French Barons and that all the negotiations at Runnymede were conducted in Old French. Of course, the British have taken Magna Carta and made it their own despite the fact that it had nothing to do with the majority of English peasants at the time. It's just like the Japanese who have made the 1947 constitution their own. The Japanese constitution is neither right or wrong, but it's the law of the land as long as a majority of people don't wish to amend it. Of course, you and I are welcome to have our own opinions on what might be better or worse.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Peeping_Tom

Life after the Constitution for the common man, woman and child was a whole lot better than before with rights and protections they never had and there's even a National Holiday to celebrate the constitution. Those rights came as a lost to those who previously held power over the common people so they didn't agree and have been trying to regain those powers ever since. People didn't own their rice fields, they paid rent to the rich landowners. Following the end of the war those people were given their fields to work to support their families and help the country develop and grow, so shall we also return to the systems prior because the current practices were imposed by the invading foreigners, Americans and British.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

it doesn't seem to worry peepingtwat, as he doesn't have kids and doesn't live in Japan.

A few years here would change your rosy specs.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Zucchi

We don't have a written Constitution, i.e. a unified Code, just like we have it for Criminal Civil or Commercial.

Not a Constitution just like every other country has it.

M3MM3M3

The Magna Carta was never the Constitution; written by the Archbishop of Canterbury, no French at all.

You should know this.

Alistair,

What can I say but ask the Mod why has this has not been removed.

Meanwhile me old bugger, keep yer dentures on and leave the grown-ups to discuss in civility.

Nobody wants the opinion of a geriatric.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Oh mr citybank karateman you scare me so much. At least I don't use a psuedonym.

Come on billy bullcrap ..... is that the best you can do ?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

As a couple of people have noted, this bill will not change the constitution. They would love to gut it completely, but they don't have the support to do so. The bill is about reinterpreting X to mean Y, and then preventing challenges from people who say that X is not Y.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

"What Abe is doing is illegal, and he should be prosecuted for it. (Not holding my breath) I'd love to see the day he's brought to book"

This refers to his illegal interpretation f the constitution. So no, it's not off topic

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Would like it US constitution had an Article 9. We really need it with all the executive undeclared wars...

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@ Peeping_Tom JUL. 15, 2015 - 08:22PM JST

Hence Abe's (and he's not alone on this) drive to have it replaced with a genuine Japanese Constitution.

Peeping_Tom, have you actually read Abe's "genuine Japanese Constitution" proposal?

It puts a not clearly defined "wellbeing of the state" above the wellbeing of the citizens and reinstates the emperor in way that resembles pre-war Japan, expecting citizens to bow to the emperor regardless of whether he acts in a reasonable way.

Do you believe "genuinely Japanese" means, to to be not fit for a truly democratic system, or to need someone to tell you what is good for you?

What you call "genuinely Japanese" to me appears rather genuinely from another era as we had such a kind of top-down rule all over the world just a few generations ago.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

bam-boo

Genuine Japanese Law means MADE BY JAPANESE, for the Japanese.

Just like EVERY OTHER country out there.

Show me one, just ONE (hell I'm lower the bar here, HALF of ) sovereign state that has a Constitution drafted and imposed by outsiders!

Then we may be able to talk,

Just because you don't like and oppose it it's not here nor there. You are not Japanese therefore have no valid say on this matter.

Even if you live there and have adopted Japan. This is a purely Japanese issue, a question of principle.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

What exactly are you referring to with "such acts"? I believe you are comparing apples with oranges here as the "ramming through" does not merely refer to a majority vote in the house about some normal legislation.

Bam-boo.

Sigh. "Ramming through" or commonly referred to ”強行採決” describes an act in which despite opposition party's request to further discuss/debate the proposed bill is rejected by the ruling party(s) and is called to vote so that it could be submitted to one of the Legislative houses for approval.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

Just because you don't like and oppose it it's not here nor there. You are not Japanese therefore have no valid say on this matter.

Weren't you just trying to make us believe you're British and now you rant about non-Japanese having "no valid say on the matter". You're not coming across very convincing here, Peeping_whoever.

By the way, democracy used to be a foreign concept to almost every single nation in the world just over 100 years ago. So it doesn't really matter where a political concept comes from, but whether or not the citizens of a nation embrace it.

And at the moment it seems as if the majority of the Japanese citizens embrace the current constitution more then the one Abe tries to sell as "genuinely Japanese".

Could it be that a majority of Japanese would rather choose a foreign drafted constitutional system that guarantees individual rights and peace then one drafted by Japanese that puts an unspecified "public welfare" above everything else? (and then guess who's going to specify "public welfare"... the ruling class of course)

Your concept of "genuinely Japanese" because "made by Japanese" is not convincing at all. You sound like you're more worried about ethnicity then about a reasonable constitution that respects the rights of citizens.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

@Angus McGillicuddyJUL. 15, 2015 - 06:38PM JST @nakanoguy The people didn't vote for him---only a small percentage of the voting population did.

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LDP was a majority winner.. So, LDP lawmakers had voting. There were Aso and some candidates and Abe was elected.

Abe will push his wish and may resign from PM but don't expect that will be end of him. Yamaguchi Ken rooted prime ministers tend to become PM many times since their prefecture ancestors created Meiji Ishin. Gakumon shite Shusse shinasai (Do study and succeed) just like Kishi san, busybodies in Choshu lectured to boys.

''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''

It is not voted in lower House (Shugin) yet. So we have to see if 2/3 more or less. later. Popularity or media opinions do not matter.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

But then , I think this could just be a way for Japan to seriously get into the arms trade. With other sectors of the economy floundering, and having recently moved to allow the sell of weapons,what better way than to do away with this article 9, join more token war games,like the recent one with the Philippines and other Western powers in Down under ( Australia & New zealand). Like in golf, you join the boys club , make a show of playing a few rounds, make contacts and close deals. Just thinking, they may camouflage their primary intention ( to sell Arms) by hyping war rhetoric, raise temperatures while making a killing( literally if necessary). May be all this thing is really informed by Abenomics.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@ nigelboy JUL. 16, 2015 - 12:10AM JST

So then, nigelboy, tell us which are the potentially unconstitutional legislations that the DPJ has "rammed through" during their time in power?

2 ( +4 / -2 )

So then, nigelboy, tell us which are the potentially unconstitutional legislations that the DPJ has "rammed through" during their time in power?

Huh? I gave you the definition of "ramming through" but for some unknown reason, you limit your scope to a contentious issue that surrounds a constitutionality issue.

Does the placard which these opposition party members brought and waved around the panel meeting today had that?

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

So your point, nigelboy, is only about parliamentarian formalities and not about the appropriateness of the legislative process in question?

One of the reasons why a majority of Japanese apparently side with the oppositional placard holders and don't agree with the "ramming through" here is because all three of the constitutional scholars questioned (even the one called in by the LDP!) in the process said the legislation is unconstitutional. I don't think there could be any better reason to further discuss the matter and not just ram it through.

So the DPJ parliamentarians are not simply blocking a reasonable legislation, but are trying to prevent a potential violation of the constitution from taking effect. That is a quite reasonable conduct.

The DPJ did not attempt anything remotely comparable and therefor I believe your arguments about the ramming through are just trying to divert from the main topic: whether the LDP proposal is constitutional and appropriate or not.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Japan needs to learn from its past and never going to war again. Protecting oneself from invasion is one thing but sending troops overseas is yet another. The USA wants another proxy to do its fighting. Again ans again I say NO NO No NO!!!

5 ( +5 / -0 )

I did say three years ago to my family Abe would be dangerous to Japan and the world, but nobody believed me.

Too late now. What is disturbing also is not just how Japan's constitution was so easily manhandled and manipulated like a Lego toy by Abe, but also how the Japanese people are either so weak, late and/or apathetic to stop him. Even the Chinese people sacrificed their own lives at Tiannemen for more freedom, and last year Hong Kong Chinese were out in full force for many many weeks to keep their freedom/democracy. Heck, I thought there would be an honest general or somebody who would do something drastic such as a (coup d'etat?) or something... or very very outraged citizens ramming their way into the parliament building. Abe and Ishihara must be laughing and rolling and partying tonight... and an extra flower next to his "war-criminal" (not convicted, conveniently) grandpa : "yatta!"

Well, it seems it is R.I.P Japan constitution... sayonara. Japanese people have learned a lesson... they took what democracy they had for too much granted. Now the only hope is that citizens and the court will declare the security bills as unlawful and can be ignored/withdrawn.

Now I understand better what other posters said before about Japan not being any different from North Korea etc.

If I were Nihonjin, I would fear the next manipulation by Abe and his brainwashed cronies: conscription. New army paired with USA and off they go to China, Mid-east, Ukraine etc... not that China has not already prepared a nice welcoming surprise, I bet...

I wonder how the 80-90% of anti-security bills Japanese folks and scholars feel tonight and from now on..

In what universe do the dissenting voices of 89-90% of citizens and scholars PLUS the unlawful manipulation of the constitution are superseded by that country's leader's wishes.....???

0 ( +3 / -3 )

A few days ago, Pentagon revealed that USA has shortage in soldiers. I forgot hpw many but some millioma. Youngsters will have benefit of GI Bill to attend Univ but they prefer to enlist to Coast Guard. The analyzer mentioned, Abe might not do but Military loved to draft old men during WW II. One animal not mentioned but drafted was doves. They were used to communicate front and back HQ in Asia. Glad it is robot era now.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

So your point, nigelboy, is only about parliamentarian formalities and not about the appropriateness of the legislative process in question?

I simply pointed out the hypocricy by the DPJ members based on their conducts when they were the majority party in addition to the fact that they were absent from the panel meeting the day before.

One of the reasons why a majority of Japanese apparently side with the oppositional placard holders and don't agree with the "ramming through" here is because all three of the constitutional scholars questioned (even the one called in by the LDP!) in the process said the legislation is unconstitutional. I don't think there could be any better reason to further discuss the matter and not just ram it through.

That's how the media portrayed it to the public but the debate took well over 100 hours and sincerely doubt that the same public sat and watched through all of that. Constitutuional scholars (憲法学者)are simply just interpreting within the scope of the word by word interpretation constitution while ignoring the premise of jus naturale and the supremacy of treaty executed by Japan afterwards (SF Peace Treaty, U.N. membership and the rights afforded by the Charter) which ' Japan have the inherent right of individual or collective self-defense'. In addition, their 'job' sort of speak, is to evaluate the contents of the said constitution to determine which clause is beneficial or not and to offer suggestion on how it could be revised to better the society.

And as such , with other previous contested cases where all of this will be considered, the real 'constitutionality' of various laws and implementation thereof, conducted by the Japanese government will be ruled exclusively by the Judicial branch.

"Article 81. The Supreme Court is the court of last resort with power to determine the constitutionality of any law, order, regulation or official act. "

Many impactful laws have had their constiutionality in question throughout the process and as recently as Obamacare.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

@nigelboyJUL. 15, 2015 - 01:54PM JST If only there were elections or something to make their disapproval known... Abe made his plans clear from the beginning. It shouldn't come as a shock to anyone. Good point. How about the opposition parties submitting a no confidence vote for starters? I'm all for Abe to again call for snap election. There already exists a rumor that it could happen in September

''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''

It was many years ago. Not sato or Ikeda time. non confidence vote ere handed So, it is possible..

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

"Weren't you just trying to make us believe you're British and now you rant about non-Japanese having "no valid say on the matter". You're not coming across very convincing here, Peeping_whoever."

???????

I am British, very British and forever will be one. Don't get where you got the idea I was "trying to make us believe you're British, etc., etc., etc.

I don't have a valid say in Japanese politics, neither do you or anyone foreigner for that matter.

Abe is Japanese and he's the Prime-Minister. He recognises what you as a foreigner conveniently want to suppress:

The fact that no single country (other than Japan of course) has a Constitution both written, drafted and finally imposed by the will of a foreign power.

The Constitution was written with such stringent amendment safeguards because the "clever" Americans wanted to make it virtually impossible for the Japanese to revoke it (hence the required majority in both houses, et al).

Abe is no fool (despite what foreigners may think of him) and wants it done with, if only for the pride of having it replaced with a Constitution drafted by the Japanese themselves.

Only the uninformed, decidedly anti-Japanese or conformed with the status quo ante will agree that the Constitution does not need replacing.

It does and it's not a matter of if, it's a matter of when.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

Peeping_Tom JUL. 16, 2015 - 05:23AM JST Only the uninformed, decidedly anti-Japanese or conformed with the status quo ante will agree that the Constitution does not need replacing.

People in Japan have grown extremely fond of the freedom they have enjoyed in the past seven decades, even if that freedom was initially imposed mostly by U.S. The risk is that the Japanese people might be tricked into signing away their own freedoms. They may focus too much on the repeal of Article 9, and ignore the replacement of human rights with obligations. It doesn't help that Japan’s opposition parties are weak, divided and mostly incompetent. Obviously, if Abe want to create an intolerant state, some in the LDP may already regard its draft constitution as the “true” law of the land. The real danger in this new constitution may be part of a wider LDP effort to crack down on civil society, which has become more disruptive because of the economic situation in Japan. The change in Article 9 would open the door for the authoritarian obligations and the weakening of human rights.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

If you wish for peace, prepare for war.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Let’s have a party and burn the Constitution; it’s useless anyway. A Salute to Abe, he’s made it happened. Here are some of the benefits of this change: some Japanese soldiers got to die with honour along with their American brothers, well-paid military career with free foods and travel, effective population reduction, new image of howling Japan after 70 years of peace, upholding undemocratic one party ruled Japan, a chance to remain a world class bully, possible expansion of Yasukuni Shrine, Tokyo a ground zero for nuclear arms race, crying Japanese child’s picture captured by National Geographic, Abe remembered in history as father of destruction, and helping the US achieving its ”pivot to Asia” agenda to make Asia a little better than the Middle East.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Japanese people have been uninterested in politics (or irresponsible) for decades. Fortunately, Abe's craziness to be an obedient pet of US has waken up them. Wish politics will become a career choice for younger (smarter) generation and then we will likely see a change in such disappointing Japanese politics.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

So what you are basically trying to say is that the the LDP knows better how to interprete the constitution then the Japanese public, renown constitutional scholars and the media? So if the LDP says x is y then we should rather believe that x is y because they will have kindly considered everything that is important for the well-being of their "subjects"?

No. I'm simply stating that debating the constitutionality among these so called constitutional scholars whose limit I stated above should not be the primary theme to determine if the proposed bill should be passed in the panel. Such determination, like I stated, is determined by one entity which is the Supreme court. Heck. These so called scholars considers the very existence of JSDF as unconstitutional.

http://www.zakzak.co.jp/society/politics/news/20150715/plt1507151550001-n1.htm

Delusional. It just goes to prove that focusing on one area is completely irrational.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Don't really get your point here.

While the Supreme Court is the highest institution to check the constitutionality of a legislation it is neither above the constitution nor above the will of the people. In fact in a proper democracy the Supreme Court has to take care that the will of the people is respected as the people are the sovereign. Even the Supreme Court has to serve the people and if it fails to do so it can loose its legitimacy.

At the moment it seems as if the Japanese people are not in favor of rewriting the constitution in the way the LDP would like to and also it seems obvious that the public does not support the LDP's preposterous constitutional interpretation.

That is why so many Japanese feel that the way the LDP is pushing through this piece of legislation is damaging democracy.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

While the Supreme Court is the highest institution to check the constitutionality of a legislation it is neither above the constitution nor above the will of the people. In fact in a proper democracy the Supreme Court has to take care that the will of the people is respected as the people are the sovereign. Even the Supreme Court has to serve the people and if it fails to do so it can loose its legitimacy.

Utopian fallacy. Although the principle of democracy is correct, we live in a society and system where there are issues that not all citizens get to make a decision based on popularity. If so, every bill will be done through referendum and we would not need legislature.

At the moment it seems as if the Japanese people are not in favor of rewriting the constitution in the way the LDP would like to and also it seems obvious that the public does not support the LDP's preposterous constitutional interpretation.

Yes. Much like the previous decisions that their government made which includes the establishment of JSDF and the U.S. Security agreement under Kishi, all of which were unpopular. Time, of course, proved that those who were protesting were dead wrong and those who participated in the ANPO demos are ridiculed by today's younger generation.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

That is why so many Japanese feel that the way the LDP is pushing through this piece of legislation is damaging democracy.

Which is why more people need to get out and actually do something about it

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@ nigelboy JUL. 16, 2015 - 10:02AM JST

Utopian fallacy.

That the people are the sovereign is not an utopian fallacy, but THE basic principle of democracy. Of course this doesn't mean that policies should be decided by polls on a day to day basis. The government creates legislation, the parliament approves it and the judiciary checks it, but we should never forget that they are all only representatives and have to do their best to serve the will of their sovereign.

And to protect the will of the people is exactly why most democracies have constitutions that can only be altered through a deliberate process that requires more then just simple majorities.

The LDP actually wants to make the constitution something that they can alter to their convenience, and looking into how they want to alter it clarifies that they are not at all trying to promote the cause of democracy and citizens rights.

If so, every bill will be done through referendum and we would not need legislature.

We are not talking about "every bill" here, but about a bill that clearly threatens the current constitution and as such a referendum would be quite appropriate democratic tool.

Time, of course, proved that those who were protesting were dead wrong

Just because one concept was realized doesn't prove that someone who was fighting for another concept was "deadly" wrong. History proved that the Japan which Kishi helped to create worked fairly well up to now, but how can you prove that there was no other option that could have worked even better?

And then nigelboy, do you know what kind of policies Kishi might have realized without such a strong opposition? Todays Japan is a result of policies was carefully shaped under the strong influence of an outspoken opposition. So it could have been much worse...

those who participated in the ANPO demos are ridiculed by today's younger generation.

Don't know what you are trying to say here, but young people who are protesting Abe's policies now do so because they have ideals worth fighting for and luckily so.

Let's just hope that Abe and his arrogant policies don't leave an even more disillusioned Japanese youth behind.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

That the people are the sovereign is not an utopian fallacy, but THE basic principle of democracy. Of course this doesn't mean that policies should be decided by polls on a day to day basis.

Then why are you arguing? These lawmakers were entrusted by their constituents to make the decisions for them. So let it play out.

Just because one concept was realized doesn't prove that someone who was fighting for another concept was "deadly" wrong. History proved that the Japan which Kishi helped to create worked fairly well up to now, but how can you prove that there was no other option that could have worked even better?

Can you come up with one during Cold war era and with the current constitution in place? The alternative, or the opposition (Socialist Party of Japan) at that time wanted to simply terminate the agreement.

Crazy as it sounds, that's essentially what the so called Japanese masses wanted.

Don't know what you are trying to say here, but young people who are protesting Abe's policies now do so because they have ideals worth fighting for and luckily so.

Yep. That's exactly those ANPO activists believed and acted more vigilantly.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

These lawmakers were entrusted by their constituents to make the decisions for them. So let it play out.

It seems a clear majority of Japanese don't feel that they have entrusted such a blatant disregard of the constitution to their lawmakers. They have voted for their representatives on the basis of the current constitution and not for changing or ignoring the constitution.

Can you come up with one during Cold war era and with the current constitution in place?

Just take a look around Asia for how different concepts there were to deal with cold war threats. Thailand, the Philippines, Taiwan, Korea all had different approaches that all worked out fairly well. So I don't believe there was only one answer to such a complex topic, though I would agree that every nation for some part relies on the aptitude of it's political elite in regard to what it is able to achieve.

Can you prove which had a larger share of responsible for the long and peaceful post-war era in Japan, the ANPO or the current war-renouncing constitution? I don't think so.

Many Japanese apparently do believe that the constitution in its current form was crucial for realizing such a prosperous and peaceful post-war history and are therefor rather reluctant about drastically changing it.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Say what you want about Abe, but at least he managed to assemble a reserve of "mandate", so to speak, and is not afraid to use it to back the causes he wants. Japan's security debate proceeds at a glacial pace due to the lack of politicians willing to rock the boat.

As for the whole "ramming" thing, on the security issue, it is more like people have been dragging their heels on necessary progress for the past 20 years. Everyone knows the vital elements and primary pros and cons of the new legislation. Now they are in overtime. It is not so much Abe ending the debate prematurely but saying "This time we have to put it to a vote".

By the way, the so called ramming through is not undemocratic. It just means "Instead of continuing to allow filibustering, let's get going to the vote".

@matakaJUL. 15, 2015 - 03:52PM JST

Perhaps you should start by not confusing two issues. Changing the actual wording of the constitution, an amendment, requires the referendum in accordance to Article 96, as your quotation says. These security bills do not change the actual wording of the constitution.

@Peeping_TomJUL. 15, 2015 - 07:46PM JST There is actually some validity to such a position. Unfortunately, no Japanese coalition has been able to draft out a Constitution that Japanese people consider superior to the incumbent.

Genuine Japanese Law means MADE BY JAPANESE, for the Japanese.

Unfortunately, Japanese politicians haven't exactly been very good at making Constitutions for the Japanese. So most prefer the one not made by Japanese but for the Japanese.

@bam_booJUL. 16, 2015 - 12:52PM JST Actually, Nigelboy has a point. The people may be the sovereign, but in most countries, they tend to exercise their sovereignty indirectly through representatives rather than directly through continuous referendums and it is not all because of time or access to a suitable voting booth (especially in the era of the Internet).

The other reason for representative democracy is that there are issues that will inevitably go against the vein of the mundane citizen. Let them directly vote and they'll veto it every time until death is at their door which is a bit late. Defense budgets and taxation are good examples. So what happens is that the politicians alternate between gathering up a reserve of mandate by popular acts like more social insurance, and then on the side they bull the necessary bills past. They lose popularity each time they do it, but sometimes it has to be done.

Just take a look around Asia for how different concepts there were to deal with cold war threats. Thailand, the Philippines, Taiwan, Korea all had different approaches that all worked out fairly well.

Will have to look up Thailand, but Taiwan never had a chance to really go Japan's path since 1970. The Phillipines got the US out of there after the Cold War and are now beginning to regret it. Korea is acually kind of what Japanese "liberals" fear, having participated in more than one US led war.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

@ Kazuaki ShimazakiJUL. 16, 2015 - 03:02PM JST

Japan's security debate proceeds at a glacial pace due to the lack of politicians willing to rock the boat.

It's obvious that Abe is trying to "rock the boat", but people are starting to doubt that he is doing this for the good of the people. And he's just drastically worsening his image through the complete numbness with which he's going about his agenda at the moment.

Abe appears like he has set himself on straight tracks towards achieving his "beautiful Japan" agenda long ago and is not able to take even the slightest turn. Apparently he's trying to postpone or hide part of his agenda, but has yet to prove that he can engage into a meaningful discussion with his opponents in order to reach compromises. In a way he appears to me like an example for political autism.

The other reason for representative democracy is that

I think you're missing my point. I was not suggesting to change the system from a representative democracy to a direct democracy.

I was just pointing out that in my eyes, just like in the eyes of the leading scholars, the security bill Abe is trying to push through is a constitutional fraud. Everybody knows that Abe would love to change the constitution, but because he fears that he wouldn't succeed, he tries to push through at least part of his agenda by ignoring the constitution and by deceiving the public.

The PR disaster with the constitutional scholar his LDP called into the discussion showed that Abe is not even able to get to terms with a rational discourse.

Here's a take on just how clearly people who have studied the matter think about Abe's bill:

http://ajw.asahi.com/article/behind_news/politics/AJ201507110046

Of the 122 renown constitutional scholars who responded to a survey 104 say the proposed legislation is unconstitutional and another 15 say it is possibly unconstitutional. A whooping 2 say it is constitutional! I don't know any better reason to further discuss and change the legislation.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

bam-boo

"So you are a British citizen with limited English language skills who sound exactly like a Japanese right-winger? Well, we'll take that for granted."

Well, this is just too preposterous and stupid to elicit anything resembling a reasoned answer.

But you're right; I'm not an Engrish teacher like you definitely proving to be.

Japanese policy does not concern you either, in spite of all attempts at sounding important and indispensable for the resolution of this crucial issue regarding the Japanese polity.

Your condition as an Engrish teacher clearly limits your ability to understand what's what stake here.

Irrespective of the fact that the Constitution has been "adopted" it falls foul of the basics, i.e. a supreme law of any Jurisdiction cannot and should not be written by outsiders. That's basic jurisprudence well beyond your limited knowledge as an Engrish teacher. If you knen anything about the hierarchy of laws without having to resort to your best "matey" Wiki, we probably could move things forward a bit.

But then again I am the one with limited Engrish, sounding more like a right wing Japanese trying to pass off, enne?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@bamboo What compromise? At the core, this is a very basic issue, whether Japan can employ collective self-defense or not. 1 or 0. What compromise is possible on such a digital issue?

As for the "Constitutional scholars", as Nigelboy points out they can only provide a horribly specialized viewpoint - that of whether a law is compatible or not with 100 or so articles worth of text. Is that really worth a specialty?

Those scholars argument has fundamental problems. Certainly, it is not hard to read Article 9 in a way that bans collective self defence, since it bans individual self defense as well. More constitutional scholars than not take this view. Of course, they don't have to deal with realistic problems like how to maintain a relatively large sovereign country without any armed force.

Since no one realistically thinks we can get rid of the SDF by now, we are de facto limited to interpretations of article text that allow for self defence and possession of well ... something ... to that end. The problem is, how can you read Article 9 in such a way that it only allows for individual self defence and still not sound ridiculous.

The text's there. This is not science, where you have to put faith in scientists because they have the fancy toys. This is not history where only historians can realistically have access to obscure archives. Article 9 and all the Constitution are available within 3 clicks. Try it for yourself.

No, you can't. In fact, you will also find that other "tenets" of faith, such as "minimum force" to be indefensible.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

"The Japanese Constitution was written by Americans, yet it has now been adopted...."

Yes, it's been adopted.

However, the undeniable truth is that it was born illegitimate.

Clearly lots of self-proclaimed linguistic experts residing here don't even know what the difference between illegitimacy and illegality is.

The illegitimacy has been legalised but there's nothing to prevent it from being stripped off its current status.

A little legislative history for certain linguistic experts; usually national Parliaments are tasked with drafting Constitutions.

GHQ was not Japan's Parliament, yet they drafted, approved and enacted (under coercion) that which sits at the very top of law’s hierarchy vis a vis any nation. Abe understands this and wants it done away with.

The current bills may contravene the Constitiuon as it was written and imposed by outsiders, with a view of ensuring Japan's emasculation once and for all.

America shot itself in the foot by promoting safeguards so strict that made any amendment a herculean task; hence this constant ad-hoc re-interpretations to suit specific situations.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

The illegitimacy has been legalised but there's nothing to prevent it from being stripped off its current status.

not easy, would require two-third votes in both lower and upper houses in addition probably a referendum and also a general election. The majority of the people don't want to abolish the constitution or even rewrite Article 9.

Accept for people in position of power none would want to return to those times prior to the constitution.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Zichi

Always a pleasure to exchange info with you.

I really mean it.

Sadly, have to get ready; off to Germany tomorrow for a concert this weekend. NO, not playing!

Cheers

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@ Kazuaki Shimazaki JUL. 16, 2015 - 08:39PM JST

At the core, this is a very basic issue, whether Japan can employ collective self-defense or not.

The constitution is very clear about this, it only allows for Japans individual self-defense, so if Japan wants to engage in collective self-defense and send its army, sorry, its "self-defense force" to an armed conflict that is not about directly defending Japan it should change the constitution.

If Abe is so confident about the rightfulness of his agenda he should by all means attempt a revision of the constitution and not try to deceit the people.

As for the "Constitutional scholars", as Nigelboy points out they can only provide a horribly specialized viewpoint

Sorry, but what do you base such a presumptuous claim on? Do you know all Japanese constitutional scholars? Have you read all their papers? Do you know their research? I suppose you didn't even know that there were so many such scholars until the LDP created its own PR disaster by calling such a scholar to testify against its own cause.

By the way, why do you think did the LDP bother to call in constitutional scholars if they're not able to provide a comprehensive view on the topic?

Certainly, it is not hard to read Article 9 in a way that bans collective self defence, since it bans individual self defense as well.

Article 9 specifically allows for Japans individual self-defense, so I don't know what your are talking about here.

Article 9 and all the Constitution are available within 3 clicks. Try it for yourself.

I have read article 9 and a large part of the other articles as well as the LDP revision draft and thats what makes me really suspicious about Abe's real motifs. I believe to "normalize" the Japanese armed forces for Abe is just a first step on a path towards recreating a militarily powerful pre-war like Japan that makes people forget the shame of having been so badly defeated.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

It seems a clear majority of Japanese don't feel that they have entrusted such a blatant disregard of the constitution to their lawmakers. They have voted for their representatives on the basis of the current constitution and not for changing or ignoring the constitution.

Nope. The plan has been laid out prior to the last election.

https://www.jimin.jp/election/results/sen_shu47/political_promise/trade/index.html

「国の存立を全うし、国民を守るための切れ目のない安全 保障法制の整備について」(平成26年7月1日閣議決定) に基づき、いかなる事態に対しても国民の命と平和な暮ら しを守り抜くため、平時から切れ目のない対応を可能とす る安全保障法制を速やかに整備します。

http://www.cas.go.jp/jp/gaiyou/jimu/anzenhoshouhousei.html

Just take a look around Asia for how different concepts there were to deal with cold war threats. Thailand, the Philippines, Taiwan, Korea all had different approaches that all worked out fairly well. So I don't believe there was only one answer to such a complex topic, though I would agree that every nation for some part relies on the aptitude of it's political elite in regard to what it is able to achieve

Great example. Korea. Still divided. Sigh.

Can you prove which had a larger share of responsible for the long and peaceful post-war era in Japan, the ANPO or the current war-renouncing constitution? I don't think so.

It's easy.

Exercizing the right of individual self defense and the formation of JSDF that followed and the revised 1960 ANPO all of which were enacted/implemented all of which were contested by a road block known as Article 9.

Article 9, in it's purest interpretation, is essentially announcing to a thief that his/her house will not be locked so it's there for the taking.

Example. Under Sygham Rhee and his unilateral declaration of Syngman Rhee Line, Japanese fishermen were killed and held hostage for decades resulting in the illegal occupation of Takeshima.

It's only when the prior cabinets made an effort to reinterpret or by and large circumvent through the concept of supremacy of bilateral/multi lateral treaty and jus naturale that her current deterrent exist.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

The constitution is very clear about this, it only allows for Japans individual self-defense, so if Japan wants to engage in collective self-defense and send its army, sorry, its "self-defense force" to an armed conflict that is not about directly defending Japan it should change the constitution.

If the Constitution is very clear about something, it is that it does not allow for any armed force, period.

Unlike many "constitutional scholars", you can pry it away from that interpretation, but it takes creativity and once you do that, within a very broad arc you can justify any position (not just the ones that are in circulation).

Sorry, but what do you base such a presumptuous claim on?

Really, their titles as "Constitutional scholars" say it all, doesn't it.

Frankly, I don't know what the LDP was trying to do there, because it is no secret really that if the Constitutional Scholars of Japan had their vote, not only will there be no collective self-defence, but there would be no SDF. And you can't really blame them because the most straightforward reading of the text says exactly that. No possession, no usage, and no right of belligerency - if that means they get conquered, tough. As constitutional specialists, they are obliged to present that viewpoint.

The best explanation I can come up with is that they know these scholars won't do them a favor, but such an occurrence demands that they be called (in Japan anyway) - they'll look even worse if they don't call them so they chose to at least decide when they will eat their medicine. Or they chose to try to look even-handed.

Article 9 specifically allows for Japans individual self-defense, so I don't know what your are talking about here.

No it doesn't. Read the text - you don't see even the words 自衛 in it, do you (it is not in the whole constitution for the matter). How it can "specifically allow" for something it doesn't even state?

I have read article 9 and a large part of the other articles as well as the LDP revision draft and thats what makes me really suspicious about Abe's real motifs.

If you think Article 9 specifically allows for Japan's individual self defense, you hadn't read it enough.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Abe and Aso together like their ancestors Kido and Ohukbo who modernized Japan by Meiji Ishin.If Abe is right and succeed, he might receive either UN Peace prize. or nobel Peace prjze like Koshi or Satoh. I like peace but looks like S Korea is ready to attack Japan. Idon;t worry Chins. SouthEast Asiann countries will be busy against China, But if USA can help Japan. I think I am going back to PeaceNick

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@ nigelboy JUL. 17, 2015 - 12:49AM JST

Nope. The plan has been laid out prior to the last election.

It hasn't been laid out that such a bill violates the constitution. The deceiving term "seibi" 整備 means maintenance or improvement nothing more.

Great example. Korea. Still divided. Sigh.

True, Korea as a whole is not a good example, but South Korea has done fairly well despite of a situation that is much more complicated and dangerous then the one Japan has been facing.

Anyway I was not trying to directly compare or evaluate the different situations, but just show how many different approaches to national security there are even in Asia.

Article 9, in it's purest interpretation, is essentially announcing to a thief that his/her house will not be locked so it's there for the taking.

Article 9 renounces "war ... and the use of force as means of settling international disputes". It also states that "the right of belligerency of the state will not be recognized". Nowhere does it renounce the right of Japan to defend itself in the case of an attack and that's why the euphemism "self defense force" was created.

As the current Japanese self defense force was basically created just like a normal army its constitutionality is of course more then doubtful, but that has become a reality for Japanese.

The plan to send this "self defense force" into armed conflict unrelated to the defense of Japan creates a completely new situation. While the LDP tries to present it as a "normalization" the majority of the Japanese people don't buy it as that.

And looking at what Abe has been agitating for in the past they have good reason to mistrust him. They know very well that this so called "normalization" for Abe is just a first step on road towards realizing his gloomy "beautiful Japan" vision, which is more about cleansing the stain from Japans not so beautiful 20th century history record then about beauty as such.

I'm quite sure that if a more credible Japanese prime minister with a more human future vision would have undertaken an attempt to revise the constitution he could have gained widespread support.

Under Sygham Rhee and his unilateral declaration of Syngman Rhee Line, Japanese fishermen were killed and held hostage for decades resulting in the illegal occupation of Takeshima.

Don't know what you are trying to prove here. Do you really believe that the "self defense force" stopped Syngman Rhee or any other "enemy" of conquering Japan? Absurd.

This was a singular incident about a disputed island. To make it look like more is pure political agitation.

The fact that Japan was part of the western bloc and an ally of the US alone was more then enough to stop any serious threat (there was no realistic threat of an attack anyhow).

@ Kazuaki Shimazaki JUL. 17, 2015 - 12:54AM JST

If you think Article 9 specifically allows for Japan's individual self defense, you hadn't read it enough.

True my wording "specifically allows" is misleading, but as stated above the intention of the article is clear and it nowhere says Japan can not defend itself, so your statement that it doesn't allow for individual self defense isn't correct either.

Really, their titles as "Constitutional scholars" say it all, doesn't it.

Very convincing evidence :P

2 ( +3 / -1 )

It hasn't been laid out that such a bill violates the constitution. The deceiving term "seibi" 整備 means maintenance or improvement nothing more.

Click on the second link below which is the Q & A of the cabinet decision last summer.

True, Korea as a whole is not a good example, but South Korea has done fairly well despite of a situation that is much more complicated and dangerous then the one Japan has been facing.

Lame. South Korea (or Korea, the non communist lead one) had no policy for their leader contemplated on exiling to Japan before the U.S. Forces got involved to protect Japan from communism. They (South Korea) is essentially a by product and nothing more since the cease fire agreement is with U.S. and North Korea.

"....Many years ago, at the time of the Korean War, when it was a great debate as to whether Truman should or should not have gone into Korea, I was talking to a man who is a great expert on the World Communist Movement. He said something that stuck in my mind ever since that time. He said, “Truman had to go into Korea. We had to go into Korea, because what we must remember is that the war in Korea for the Communists is not about Korea. It is about Japan.” Of course, it was..."-Nixon

Article 9 renounces "war ... and the use of force as means of settling international disputes". It also states that "the right of belligerency of the state will not be recognized". Nowhere does it renounce the right of Japan to defend itself in the case of an attack and that's why the euphemism "self defense force" was created.

Who are you trying to fool?

Why on god's earth do you leave out,

"In order to accomplish the aim of the preceding paragraph, land, sea, and air forces, as well as other war potential, will never be maintained"

Don't know what you are trying to prove here. Do you really believe that the "self defense force" stopped Syngman Rhee or any other "enemy" of conquering Japan

How should I put this accurately?

Rhee was such a joke that he had asked the Japanese Foreign Ministry to set up a exile camp for he and his 60K of the Korean citizens in Yamaguchi. This was how desperate he was when Kim started marching southward before U.S. Intervened.

So yes. If Japan had SDF already in place, he wouldn't think of encroaching.

As to the other more superior enemy trying to occupy Japan's territory, the best reference would be to ask U.S.

So to clarify what would have transpired if Japan had strictly adhered to Article 9, it would of been a mass looting with no end in sight.

Of the 122 renown constitutional scholars who responded to a survey 104 say the proposed legislation is unconstitutional and another 15 say it is possibly unconstitutional. A whooping 2 say it is constitutional! I don't know any better reason to further discuss and change the legislation.

I forgot to respond to this Asahi poll for apparently you did (or could) not read the link I provided at JUL. 16, 2015 - 09:08AM JST

Of the 104 survey responded above, 77 responded that the "Self Defense Force" in of itself is unconstitutional and/or possibly unconstitutional.

The funny thing is that the initial Japanese Asahi web edition had the above result published but later on, deleted it by only publishing the result of the collective self defense. I guess Asahi realized that publishing both results would 'backfire' their goals. I'm sure I'll find the cache of the original. Lol.

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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.

In order 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.

Ministry of Defense

Of course, since Japan is an independent nation, these provisions do not deny Japan’s inherent right of self-defense as a sovereign state. Since the right of self-defense is not denied, the Japanese Government interprets this to mean that the Constitution allows Japan to possess the minimum level of armed force needed to exercise that right. Therefore, Japan, under the Constitution, maintains the Self-Defense Forces (SDF) as an armed organization, holding its exclusively national defense-oriented policy as its basic strategy of defense, and continues to keep it equipped and ready for operations.

http://www.mod.go.jp/e/d_act/d_policy/dp01.html

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Of course, since Japan is an independent nation, these provisions do not deny Japan’s inherent right of self-defense as a sovereign state

Zichi,

Why not then,

"Of course, since Japan is an independent nation, these provisions do not deny Japan’s inherent right of individual or collective self-defense as a sovereign state.."??

U.N.Charter Article 51

"Nothing in the present Charter shall impair the inherent right of individual or collective self-defence.."

Treaty of Peace With Japan

"(c) The Allied Powers for their part recognize that Japan as a sovereign nation possesses the inherent right of individual or collective self-defense referred to in Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations and that Japan may voluntarily enter into collective security arrangements."

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nigelboy,

U.N.Charter Article 51

"Nothing in the present Charter shall impair the inherent right of individual or collective self-defense.."

The current problem is "collective self defense" and what meaning Japan attaches to that expression. The passing of the two PM Abe Bills allows for some limited interpretation of the expression. PM Abe says he will explain to the public his interpretation of his two Bills and his interpretation of "collective self defense." PM Abe will do that during deliberations in the Upper House. Not sure why he didn't do it before presenting them to the Lower House.

The Bills revise 10 existing laws and enable the expansion of the SDF to provide logistical support to militaries of other countries engaged in military operations, is just another expression for "war", even when those wars have no direct link to the security of Japan but also to come to the aid of an ally under attack.

Not sure how to think about "ally under attack" since the only ally of Japan in this region would be America, who are more than capable of defending itself without the help of Japan.

If American troops in South Korea were attacked by troops from China or North Korea or even Russia since there are many shared borders in the region, Japan would be required to send SDF troops to South Korea, which I assume would require the permission of the South Korean government too.

Don't think most South Korean citizens would be happy to have Japanese troops in their country, again.

Any attack on American bases in Japan, would also be an attack against Japan.

The first Bill revises the current law on the situation in this region, which could be very volatile with so many shared borders of powerful nations, which are Japan/America, China, Russia, North Korea and South Korea.

Resolving the Korean War, and the nuclear weapons held by North Korea would improve the region. In the 25 years I've lived in the country I haven't seen an increase in the threat level from China or North Korea.

Anyway, the first Bill revises the Laws on the Situation in the Areas Surrounding Japan.

I think given the decades of tensions and bad feelings between Japan and South Korea I seriously doubt that the Japanese people would want to see their troops in South Korea.

The second Bill covers the areas to allow the SDF to support militaries in wars in other countries for example the Middle East, Pakistan, Afghanistan. It could amount to nothing more than say providing minesweeping operations but it could also involve Japanese boots on the ground.

Japan would need to be careful of any involvement in the Middle East since that is the region it imports much of its energy.

If there are to be changes allowing for PM Abe's understanding of "collective self defense" will require an increase in the numbers of the SDF and also the amount and type of hardware needed.

This year a Japanese journalist was executed by IS in Syria, I think, there was public outrage of his body bag and that outrage will happen again when the body bag of a member of the SDF appears in the media.

Personally, I see all of this an attempt by PM Abe to create a country resembling more like the country prior to the current constitution than the country since its introduction. In my opinion, PM Abe is on a very dangerous road in his attempts to curtail the freedoms of the people and to try and bend them to suit his visions of what should be.

The dangers to the people can be greater from within than without!

Does Japan need a Constitutional Court instead of leaving the decisions up to the Supreme Court, which in itself would require constitutional changes? To this day, the Supreme Court has never issued a judgment on the legitimacy of the SDF.

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@ nigelboy JUL. 17, 2015 - 12:45PM JST

Who are you trying to fool? Why on god's earth do you leave out,

I was quoting and that usually involves leaving something out. I have already made it clear that I believe the "self defense force" is an euphemism and potentially unconstitutional so what fooling are you pointing to?

Rhee was such a joke

Insulting words towards a former leader of a neighboring nation. The derogatory tone reveals a looking down attitude towards South Korean people and culture.

So yes. If Japan had SDF already in place, he wouldn't think of encroaching.

Pure speculation.

So to clarify what would have transpired if Japan had strictly adhered to Article 9, it would of been a mass looting with no end in sight.

Again not one piece of evidence, but just your personal speculation.

The was absolutely no concrete invasion threat to Japan after WW2 was over and to try to suggest such is absurd.

Ironically the northern territories, and for some time also Okinawa, where taken away from Japan a result of a military-wise "super-powerful" Japan and I find it very easy to understand why so many Japanese take such an experience as a good reason to mistrust any kind of military.

There are a lot of nations around the globe that have no or nearly no armed forces and have never been invaded and in contrast there are many nations with rather well equipped armed forces that have been invaded more then once. If you are trying to suggest that a nation without armed forces can not defend itself and will be "mass looted" then your argument is flawed.

Of the 104 survey responded above, 77 responded that the "Self Defense Force" in of itself is unconstitutional and/or possibly unconstitutional.

Yes, and how does this discredit the opinion of constitutional scholars?

Further, how exactly does this support your argument?

Because the SDF in its current form is already potentially unconstitutional so it's OK to make it even more unconstitutional?

U.N.Charter Article 51 "Nothing in the present Charter shall impair the inherent right of individual or collective self-defence.."

A UN charter does not suspend the constitution of individual nations. Unfortunately not even when human rights are violated.

Again, I don't think a majority of Japanese would oppose a revision of the constitution if there'd be a clear straight-forward, peaceful, democratic and humanist vision. Abe and the current government does not offer anything alike, but only paper tiger policies based on yummy promises, clichés and underlying complexes.

The Japanese people are not stupid and while they voted for Abe because they hoped for an economic effect they won't buy everything Abe tries to sell them.

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The current problem is "collective self defense" and what meaning Japan attaches to that expression.

Zichi.

I'm not quite sure what your point is but your post prior to that, were you not trying to defend the right of self defense as a soverign nation? The operative term there is "inherent" and yet are you trying to argue that "collective self defense" is not applicable? If so, you need to make an argument of why "collective self defense" should not be an "inherent" right as guaranteed by the U.N. Charter.

I was quoting and that usually involves leaving something out. I have already made it clear that I believe the "self defense force" is an euphemism and potentially unconstitutional so what fooling are you pointing to?

Bamboo,

Seriously? Your quote

"The constitution is very clear about this, it only allows for Japans individual self-defense..."

Insulting words towards a former leader of a neighboring nation. The derogatory tone reveals a looking down attitude towards South Korean people and culture.

A 'leader' who escapes and tries to flee while his people are being killed in masses, the word "joke" is hardly insulting.

Pure speculation.

Yes. We're speculating. I already gave you an example of what transpired when Japan did not possess SDF. It resulted in the killing/injuring 44 and capture of 3,929 Japanese fishermen.

There are a lot of nations around the globe that have no or nearly no armed forces and have never been invaded and in contrast there are many nations with rather well equipped armed forces that have been invaded more then once. If you are trying to suggest that a nation without armed forces can not defend itself and will be "mass looted" then your argument is flawed.

And "Cold War" was simply an oral debate.

"....Many years ago, at the time of the Korean War, when it was a great debate as to whether Truman should or should not have gone into Korea, I was talking to a man who is a great expert on the World Communist Movement. He said something that stuck in my mind ever since that time. He said, “Truman had to go into Korea. We had to go into Korea, because what we must remember is that the war in Korea for the Communists is not about Korea. It is about Japan.” Of course, it was..."-Nixon

Yes, and how does this discredit the opinion of constitutional scholars?

If Japan at that time emphasized the opinion of these scholars which you strongly suggest, there would no SDF.

Because the SDF in its current form is already potentially unconstitutional so it's OK to make it even more unconstitutional?

My opinion is that the current consitituion in of itself is the problem when such 'reinterpretation' (which includes circumventing and expanding) need to take place in order for the government to implement a bare minimum security policy to protect her citizens.

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nigelboy

If so, you need to make an argument of why "collective self defense" should not be an "inherent" right as guaranteed by the U.N. Charter.

Provided it does not break the Constitution which is the highest law of the land. If it does then it does not matter what the UN Charter states.

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Provided it does not break the Constitution which is the highest law of the land. If it does then it does not matter what the UN Charter states.

Back to square one for "individual" self defense is by definition, breaking the Constitution. So I ask again, why is "individual" self defense treated differently than "collective self defense"?

In addition, though the Constitution under Article 98 specifies that it is indeed "Supreme Law", the said article also states,

"The treaties concluded by Japan and established laws of nations shall be faithfully observed."

And as Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties states,

Article 27,

"A party may not invoke the provisions of its internal law as justification for its failure to perform a treaty. "

And more ambiguity follows under Article 46

A State may not invoke the fact that its consent to be bound by a treaty has been expressed in violation of a provision of its internal law regarding competence to conclude treaties as invalidating its consent unless that violation was manifest and concerned a rule of its internal law of fundamental importance.

A violation is manifest if it would be objectively evident to any State conducting itself in the matter in accordance with normal practice and in good faith.
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According to recent pools conducted by the Asahi Shimbun, those who considered the security bills must be passed at the current Lower House session accounted for 19 percent as against 66 percent who opposed it. Those who considered PM Shinzo Abe's explanation of the bills was not in detail and so not convincing accounted for 67 percent while only 15 percent considered otherwise.

Abe even owned up to the fact that the majority of the nation didn't understand why the bills must be enacted.

Why then did he push through legislation despite a strong opposition, which he will certainly do again in the Upper House?

The answer: He already promised the Joint Session of U.S. Congress in May that these bills would be enacted by the end of summer.

What a democracy! What a sovereignty! What a prime minister, always minding about the moods and demand of the suzerain U.S. but never about the voice of the nation!

This is also what characterizes the Futenma issue (and the overall Okinawa issue). A disgusting state of affairs indeed.

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Back to square one for "individual" self defense is by definition, breaking the Constitution. So I ask again, why is "individual" self defense treated differently than "collective self defense"?

Not back to square one since we never left it. "Self defense" means the capability to defend the country against an enemy which is the current position of the country with its SDF. "Collective self defense" means having the capability to attack another country even if that country isn't a direct enemy of the country but is an enemy of an ally of the country, say like, USA.

Currently with "self defense" the USA can't request that the country helps it attack another country like Pakistan which isn't a direct enemy but with "collective self defense" a request could be made.

The USA is an ally of both this country and Japan. If North Korea attacks the USA/ South Korea, under "collective self defense" where does that leave Japan?

Yes, the country is a signature to a large number of treaties but nothing trumps the constitution. I can't see the country abolishing the constitution and can't even see the abolition of even Article 9. If there's a contradiction between treaty law and constitutional law then constitutional law wins every time.

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Not back to square one since we never left it. "Self defense" means the capability to defend the country against an enemy which is the current position of the country with its SDF. "Collective self defense" means having the capability to attack another country even if that country isn't a direct enemy of the country but is an enemy of an ally of the country, say like, USA.

Zichi.

I know what the difference is. But you and others have still failed to explain how and why "individual self defense" is allowed in the constitution, while collective self defense is not.

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If Japan at that time emphasized the opinion of these scholars which you strongly suggest, there would no SDF.

Possible, but except for ardent speculations you haven't provided us with one solid argument that could have justified the trillions of yen that went into a so called "self defense force" that is the seventh most expensive armed force on this planet, but has yet to prove that it can do something more meaningful for Japan then engage in grotesque tête-à-têtes around disputed islands.

And I suppose one of the true reasons for Abe's security legislation push is actually to justify the huge amounts of money that are constantly poured into the self defense force by sending it into real armed conflicts, of course without worrying about the inevitable collateral damage this will bring about.

While for most Japanese the current discussion about "collective self defense" (without doubt an audacious euphemism) is a highly contentious issue, for Abe it is only a first small step towards his vision of a "beautiful" and obviously also increasingly belligerent Japan.

My opinion is that the current consitituion in of itself is the problem

Article 9 is surely quite peculiar, but there are many Japanese who believe that they owe 70 years of precious peace with absolutely no involvement in any armed conflict exactly to the bold terming of this article. And I don't think it is possible to fundamentally refute this view.

The good thing about Abe's push is that many Japanese start to realize what a precious value peace is and they don't seem to buy Abe's mantra, that you have to engage in warfare to protect peace.

They look at Abe's paragon the US and wonder whether its constant engagement in all kinds of "peacekeeping" global warfare has actually brought about more peace than it has wrecked. And they look at Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan and while listening to Abe's fuzzy and vague argumentation they wonder which kind of "collective self defense" adventure Japan will be drawn into first.

Amid those considerations obviously many Japanese just think why not stick with a proven remedy: Article 9.

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Possible, but except for ardent speculations you haven't provided us with one solid argument that could have justified the trillions of yen that went into a so called "self defense force" that is the seventh most expensive armed force on this planet, but has yet to prove that it can do something more meaningful for Japan then engage in grotesque tête-à-têtes around disputed islands.

That's because most of you take the current 'status quo' for granted. But Japan has, unfortunately, neighbors who are developing nuclear weapons and have tested short/long range missiles without notification and two who have expansion aspirations and have throughout decades infringed upon Japan's territorial and air space.

As to the article 9, itself, if the great majority so called constitutional scholars believes that this current "status quo" is unconstitutional, it needs to be amended or eliminated all together. These opponents should realize that Japan was able to maintain this peace and prosperity for decades because their prior governments have been reinterpreting (largely avoiding) the clause for decades which resulted in the establishment of JSDF and the U.S. Security Agreement. The notion that Article 9 is the reason for this continued peaceful path is nothing but a 'myth'

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As Abe and his pals do not explain (as usually) what really he means about sending SDF , read Q A on this section. I don't know why he hides details.

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For Abe, there must have been a reason why there was such urgency to change the laws.

The problem is and has been the lack of explanation, the reason, the WHY?, such measures were taken.

The key is what was and is the urgency?

If taken negatively, does it mean war is imminent? If taken positively, is it s deterrent for aggressive behavior of China and S. Korea?

However, media forgets to report that the opposition party members walked off from the "vote"which "allowed" it to pass, in spite of all the "show" of opposition.

Does that "indirectly" tell us that the opposition parties "knew" and "know" the actual facts and the "need" for the changes?

What does that all point to?

Why does this media only address that issue of ruling block and party politics, when national security is at stake?

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People are suspicious Abe might send SDF to help US war in middle east.

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Or rather, that the Japanese government will accept US demands that it sends the SDF to help US war in the middle east.

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Report says if Abe resigns if national voting was less than 1/2 votes

Abe has been expected to win re-election for another three-year term as LDP leader in a September party election. So far no rival has indicated a desire to contest the race.

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Lawmakers are supposed to represent us. It can't be called a democratic society if lawmakers push bills through while quite a number of people cast doubt on those.

Also, the details of these security bills are too obscure. They need to be defined in the simplest manner so that anybody can understand the contents of those.

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Wow, these folks are talking about Japan being entangled in US-led wars? Never mind that they could pull US in with the issues concerning China ;)

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