politics

Upper house panel approves contentious defense bills amid chaos

56 Comments
By Linda Sieg

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56 Comments
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Unbelievable. There is still just enough time for sanity to prevail. We may hope

7 ( +10 / -3 )

And the deal is done....

Regardless of your view on the policy itself, this is a constitutional travesty. If this Article can be "reinterpreted" by the Cabinet and then passing a law without changing the Constitution, then it can happen with any Article.

I assume there will be a court challenge over the constitutionality of this at some point, but I don't hold my breath, given the wishy washy rulings that come out of the Supreme Court in Japan.

Be afraid, Japan, be very afraid....

15 ( +19 / -3 )

Democracy has deserted Japan. Japanese politicians should use their brains, not muscles, to get it back. Now, just look like their show to get votes in the next election. Abe and his cronies should be held responsible criminally once adverse outcomes surface in future.

8 ( +12 / -4 )

Good.

Now, all the “hatemus Japanicus” will come out of the woodwork.

On one hand Japain is hiding under the US's skirt; on the other, they're the first ones to lambast Japain for wanting to come from underneath that smelly skirt.

-11 ( +8 / -19 )

Japan becomes ever more like China, with the constitution looking good on paper but ignored in practice. Of course, the supine Supreme Court could strike down this legislation, but given its propensity to rule that black = white I wouldn't hold out much hope of that ever happening.

2 ( +8 / -6 )

Peeping twat ... Come raise a family here then you mouthy shitehawk!

3 ( +5 / -2 )

"The protests were reminiscent of those that forced Abe’s grandfather, Nobusuke Kinship, to resign 55 years ago after forcing a U.S.-Japan security treaty through parliament."

Well, let's hope in this respect he can be just like his granddad; not just the criminal points.

In any case, Japan has taken another step towards being a dictatorship. LITERALLY thousands in the streets and millions across the nation against the legislation -- in fact, you'd be hardpressed to find someone FOR it, and even then someone for it who actually knows anything about it (and doesn't just hate China), and people INSIDE the DIET literally fighting against it and Abe and his cronies, including the sell-outs in Komeito, ram it through. That is not democracy, people.

Shame on the government. I think the people need to get more physical and storm Parliament and physically remove the would-be dictator from his throne. THAT would be people power.

A very, very sad day for Japan. You'd think it learned from WWII, but instead it's going back to the days preceding, and leading up to it.

10 ( +17 / -7 )

Hahaha! Ali.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Abe will go down in history for this but not in the way he wants. As I said before - once the body bag count begins and terrorists because of Japan's intervention start bring their war here then Japan will really understand why their inaction with Abe was their folly.

8 ( +12 / -4 )

Now the real struggle begins.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

The security policy shift, which Abe says is vital to meet challenges such as a rising China, has sparked protests and sharply eroded his popular support.

Vital to meet the challenges such as a rising China? As opposed to a sinking China? I didn't know "rising" was considered to be a bad thing?

4 ( +5 / -1 )

People of Japan are really angry with Abe I don't think so he will stay too long in the power, anyhow I just don't get why he isn't thinking about the future consequences......just is stupid.....I know Japan is afraid for what they did to China but this's isn't the way to deal it. "An eye for an eye and the whole world goes blind" by Mahatma Gandhi

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Abe has to do it because the US says so. The Us also stopped the central bank in Japan from more monetary easing. We need to let the US take care of these policy issues because there is little wisdom among the politicians here. Do not worry; big brother is in control :-)

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

The German army has no limitations left that were imposed by the Allies.

Why is it such a big deal when Japan tries to lift them.

It seems to me that some people can differentiate Nazis and Germans, but they can't do the same with modern Japan and Imperial Japan.

-7 ( +7 / -14 )

It seems that mojority is power to rule Japan no matter how good or bad it is for people. Japan may become militarism again to conquer.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Why is it such a big deal when Japan tries to lift them.

I don't think anyone is arguing that the Japanese don't have the right to lift such limitations. But, the way the LDP is attempting to ram this bills through Parliament is a disgrace. Let the Japanese public decide and not impotent, childless, old men.

13 ( +16 / -3 )

Come on China.

Come on in.

It couldn't be any worse than this!

0 ( +9 / -9 )

Germany doesn't anger its neighbors like Japan still does. Regardless of how many sorries one gives, the recipient(s) are the ones who determine if they feel sincerity or not. There's the difference. Germany is fighting with their neighbors, not against. Things are not the same.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

'Good.

Now, all the “hatemus Japanicus” will come out of the woodwork.'

The majority of the Japanese public are against this. You are from the UK. Did you enjoy seeing the UK yapping on the end of Uncle Sam's leash when they walked into Iraq?

4 ( +5 / -1 )

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1GipydxSFX8

0 ( +0 / -0 )

BertieWoosterSep. 17, 2015 - 07:38PM JST Come on China. Come on in. It couldn't be any worse than this!

So you're advocating that China invade Japan?

-12 ( +3 / -15 )

@bigfujiyama,

Why is it such a big deal when Japan tries to lift them.

@cardsfan5 gave a pretty good response, but I also want to respond.

It IS a big deal. Anytime you make changes to something that has been such a fundamental part of post-war Japan's policies, it is a big deal.

That said, as @cardsfan5 said, Japan absolutely does have the right to do so. If the people agree and it is done in a manner consistent with the Constitution and the rule of law. This was an approach that clearly took an end run around the Constitution and used a highly questionable, if not unconstitutional approach to making the change.

So, the points are:

Is it a big deal? Yes. Does Japan have the right to do it? Of course, as a sovereign nation. Should they do it? That is a question for the people. Does it matter HOW it is done? Absolutely.

It is the last point that is most important. The moment you allow the ends to justify the means, even if the means is questionable, illegal or unconstitutional, you destroy the absolute underpinnings of a government based on the rule of law. And that is what gives rise to tyranny and dictators.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Dictatorship Japanese style, a sad day for Japan and a sad day for peace ;o(

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Here comes the false flags, you wait and see

6 ( +7 / -1 )

@cardsfan5

But the Japanese public voted them in. They had a chance to get rid of Abe, but he won a landslide victory and people knew his policies then.

Perhaps the silent majority agree with him.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

The opposition parties and groups seem to believe doing nothing is the best. They would also oppose amendment of any articles of the Constitution even after they became relics. The nation where the Constitution has been deified can not exercise the real democracy.

The current Constitution was supervised by the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers 70 years ago. on the assumption that Japan was surrounded with good neighboring countries.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Fight back but remain pacifist? Which is which? Abe is going to push forward because no one in Japan can stop him not even the mass protests of which by the way are just noise nuisance and like a knat on a shoulder is either shooed way or squashed, splat...

The mass protesters will not be heard, Japan is entering and moving forward as Abe has planned all along, will use the US to get its military, then eventually turn against the US and lean towards China, where finally China will be the one calling the shots for Japan and the Abe administration will love them for it after they have reeked in the millions and millions of yen in their fat accounts. Already in the US bases encroachment issues and downsizing the American bases can be seen as SDF expands their roles. The question that no one is asking is who is Japan going to bury and mourn? Which family's son will not be coming home, which neighbor, friend, husband or father will not be coming home due to Abe and his greed for more power.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@sakura3110,

The opposition parties and groups seem to believe doing nothing is the best. They would also oppose amendment of any articles of the Constitution even after they became relics. The nation where the Constitution has been deified can not exercise the real democracy.

That is just a breathtaking statement in its implications. So, to be sure that I understand it:

First, you are saying that the Constitution, because it has been held in such high esteem, has prevented the exercise of real democracy.

Second, you are arguing that the opposition would do nothing and, indeed, would fight the amendment of any article of the Constitution even if/when they become obsolete or outdated.

On that basis, what is implied in your statement, but not stated is that because of these factors, it is OK for the LDP to bypass the Constitution. You seem to be implying that the end justifies the means and that the current Constitution should be ignored when the LDP believes it is in the best interests of the country. Yes??

If that is the case, then you are arguing for a government bound by nothing other than its own belief in what is right and wrong. Which is a recipe for tyranny.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Nobusuke Kinship

Freudian predictive text?! KISHI

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I can see both sides of this story. But to say that all Japanese are against this is not correct. My husband thinks the protestors are stupid and he is a Japanese citizen. He is one of those who would like to see the Japanese have pride in themselves once again. He thinks these people who are against this bill are not right. As for me I would also like to see Japan stand up for themselves. Stand with pride beside their allies instead of hiding in the shadows. A Chinese fishing boat invades Japanese waters and attacks Japanese ships and the government did nothing. They sent him home to China as a hero. So many Japanese hung their heads in shame that day. This could be the chance to get the pride back that the young people need. I don't think Japanese will conquer anymore as the mindset of the emperor is very different from the past. So I say good job Abe.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

'But the Japanese public voted them in. They had a chance to get rid of Abe, but he won a landslide victory and people knew his policies then.

Perhaps the silent majority agree with him.'

Around 25% of the adult population voted for the LDP in the last election. Doesn't sound like a ringing endorsement, does it? Have you come across any polls to back up your speculation? The polls I've seen say the opposite.

Those who didn't bother voting and are now opoosing this should learn that apathy is dangerous.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Ask these protesters why people put stickers of ALSOK and the likes at their homes and offices. Anyone who can answer that wouldn't be doing this needless protest.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

But the Japanese public voted them in. They had a chance to get rid of Abe, but he won a landslide victory and people knew his policies then. Based on this, I am going to assume you are an American. I am too. The Japanese public did NOT vote him in to office. Popular election has nothing to do with the Japanese election system. A small group of voters in rural Shimane voted him back into office. The LDP has long been a big supporter of JA, which rural, agrarian Japan is largely a part of. LDP provides them with generous subsidies and they supply the LDP with votes.

As Cleo has already pointed out before, and Jimizo has here in his post, rural Japan receives more votes than they actually should. For example, one vote in Shimane is worth 4.5 votes more than Hokkaido votes and 2.5 or so than what the average vote is worth. Therefore one can hardly claim this is the will of the people.

Mind you, even the Supreme Court has even ruled this unconstitutional following the Summer 2013 elections, yet it was still allowed to happen in the last election. Utterly disgraceful.

My only wish is the cowards who voted in favor of reinterpreting article nine will have the courage to lead the charge into battle, if and when it happens.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

OssanAmerica,

So you're advocating that China invade Japan?

Er, no.

I wanted to say that there wouldn't be much difference if they did. There is a similarity in the "democracy" is interpreted by Abe, CRP and the People's DEMOCRATIC Republic of Korea (North Korea). "Democracy" according to these, is defined as "Rule of the people by those who know best!"

I thought it might be an Asian thing.

But the U.S.A. is doing it too!

0 ( +2 / -2 )

As Cleo has already pointed out before, and Jimizo has here in his post, rural Japan receives more votes than they actually should. For example, one vote in Shimane is worth 4.5 votes more than Hokkaido votes and 2.5 or so than what the average vote is worth. Therefore one can hardly claim this is the will of the people.

And yet the LDP won 4 out the top 5 most voting districts in terms of population while DPJ won the voting district with the least population.

My only wish is the cowards who voted in favor of reinterpreting article nine will have the courage to lead the charge into battle, if and when it happens.

It's not 'courage'. The very same people who voted for LDP in the last election and have some reservation about this security bill will again vote for LDP will reflect and say "what was all that commotion about?" come next summer. This is what essentially happened to the 'highly contested' secrecy bill where the opponents were using the fear mongering tactic where they predicted people and journalists would be arrested. It didn't happen.

Sound legislation and policies prevails over emotion and ignorance. The previous cabinet proved this with SDF law, U.S. Security treaty, and PKO laws.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

“The majority of the Japanese public are against this. You are from the UK. Did you enjoy seeing the UK yapping on the end of Uncle Sam's leash when they walked into Iraq?”

Actually, I was because it showed we still had the balls in the right place.

It confirmed that we had/have the capability to be forceful whenever necessary.

Without the army and navy the Argie Bargees would have taken the piss out of us in the Falklands.

Japain’s Constitution is an aberration that MUST be done away with. ONE WAY OR ANOTHER!

Since nobody else has the guts to take Japain off their stupor, Abe has stepped in and more kudos to him.

Let Japain came back.

The ancestors of the current herbivores did it before; Japain can do it again, if necessary. Notwithstanding the HT’s (hatemus Japanicus).

China has tried to take advantage of Japain’s toothless and emasculated position for almost the whole of the past century. They’re still trying to do it today!

China will become a good boy all over again, playing by the rules that the vast majority of countries abide by, whether liking it or not.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

Tried posting this article on Facebook and it blocked me... Anyone out there might know as to why this is??

Also Peeping Tom, I'm also from the UK and I feel embarrassed by our past foreign policy.... Praising Iraq... What the hell is wrong with you!!? And as far as Falklands go, we should give them back... They were never ours to begin with.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I did not praise Iraq.

I praised our boys and our resolve.

Something Japain must do as well.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

The United States has been pushing Japan to do this since 1950. It is about time that Japan contributed to regional security on a level commensurate with it's economic level. I praise Abe for doing what is the correct thing for Japan to do although a great degree of credit goes to the Chinese dictatorship's willingness to show it's true colors to the rest of Asia and the world. It's also amazing how comfortable and isolated a great portion of the Japanese public have become under American protection for 70 years, and how distant they are from anything outside their little islands.

"Dictatorship Japanese style, a sad day for Japan and a sad day for peace "

Why? Is Japan returning to a fascist militant regime and going to invade somebody? Or is it doing what is necessary to prevent such a regime from taking advantage of it because of it's defensive limitations?

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

Changing the so-called pacifist Article 9 is what should be done. Not this.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Doesn't bode well for a peaceful Japan when the decision makers in fisticuffs. All the smart suits and campaign trails but it never really gets beyond playground level.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

“The majority of the Japanese public are against this. You are from the UK. Did you enjoy seeing the UK yapping on the end of Uncle Sam's leash when they walked into Iraq?”

'Actually, I was because it showed we still had the balls in the right place.

It confirmed that we had/have the capability to be forceful whenever necessary.'

Let me get this straight. You think that getting involved in a failed bloodbath in Iraq based on lies which killed tens of thousands of innocents was good because it showed the lapdog had its balls in the right place?

Please tell me I've misread your post.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

The people should sue because this is unconstitutional

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Readers, please keep the discussion focused on Japan.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I still don't understand why those who oppose the US bases are not for the change in the bill. If the US is to leave Japan, Japan must have the ability to defend itself. Those who think otherwise or that Japan can be pacifistic and not be threatened by others without the US or their own military are just being naive or they want Japan to be weak.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

notasap is perfectly correct.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

way to go Japan- this bill is good for security!!!!! look at Sweden for example-their considering joining Nato: times have changed.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Major protests outside the Diet. Major protest inside the Diet. Abe has an agenda and the other 98% of Japan are not included.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Japan must have the ability to defend itself.

Japan already has the ability to defend itself. The current ruckus in the Diet isn't about self-defence. What Abe is after is the ability to join in other countries' (America's) wars, overseas. That's what the 'collective' bit of 'collective self-defence' means.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@zones2surf

I'm sure you don't know much about Japan's Constitution. Some statements are so ambiguous that people can interpret in some ways. That's one of the reasons the constitution should be amended to be clearer. It's not correct that the bill is against the Constitution. There is still controversy among constitutional scholars and the media. The posters like you state their opinions without getting much information of pro-and-cons inside Japan.

By the way, this bill is supported by five parties ( including opposition parties) out of ten parties. How can you say this is tyranny?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@sakura3110,

I'm sure you don't know much about Japan's Constitution. Some statements are so ambiguous that people can interpret in some ways. That's one of the reasons the constitution should be amended to be clearer. It's not correct that the bill is against the Constitution. There is still controversy among constitutional scholars and the media. The posters like you state their opinions without getting much information of pro-and-cons inside Japan.

You make a number of assumptions about me, including my knowledge of the Constitution and the pros and cons inside Japan. That's fine, you are allowed to make your assumptions even if they are incorrect, but in the end, it really is a question of whether what I am saying has validity.

So, the Japanese Constitution and Article 9. I am actually very well versed on Article 9, both its original text and how it has been interpreted and applied since the Constitution was enacted. You are absolutely right, one can say there is controversy over the text and its application. Indeed, some would argue that the Article would seem to imply that the current SDF is unconstitutional. However, there is almost universal agreement that the reinterpretation and the supporting law is unprecedented. If this change should be done, it should be done as an amendment to the Constitution. As you yourself said.

By the way, this bill is supported by five parties ( including opposition parties) out of ten parties. How can you say this is tyranny?

What I said is that the moment the Constitution is reinterpreted rather than being amended and politicians do an end-run around the Constitution, it undermines the rule of law and will inevitably lead to tyranny. It doesn't matter how many parties support this. If the government is doing something that violates the Constitution or does something that does an end-run around the Constitution, it is a violation of the rule of law and I don't care (and it doesn't matter) how many parties support it.

Oh, and about those 5 parties that support it? How many of them are essentially LDP splinter groups?! I have lost track of all of the parties since they seem to form and dissolve and realign almost every election cycle.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

the constitution should be amended

Then they should be following the appropriate procedures for amending the Constitution, not simply saying they think it means something different (which it obviously doesn't, even if you look at it squint-eyed) and trying to force through laws that are clearly unconstitutional.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@peeping tom

"UK yapping on the end of Uncle Sam's leash"

Think you need to learn a bit more about geopolitics - global banking - agenda 21 - history of the league of nations/UN etc the creation of Israel the Balfour Declaration before making such a statement.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Upper house panel approves contentious defense bills

Doesn't seem so with Hiroyuki-kun on top there

0 ( +0 / -0 )

You'd think it learned from WWII, but instead it's going back to the days preceding, and leading up to it.

And therein lies the rub. People have learned little about WW2, beyond the fact they were the victim of atom bomb attacks. Thus when the media kept beating the drum about China - they started to believe it, and were lulled while Abe crept in with his legislation. Now of course, they have woken up. A bit late, but finally it's happened

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

A victory for Nippon Kaigi and Uyuko!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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