The Constitution of Japan, which commemorates the 66th anniversary of its promulgation, is in an unprecedented crisis. The ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) insists on revision of Article 96 of the Constitution to ease the specified condition over a two-thirds vote of the members of both Houses to a simple majority in initiating amendment procedures. The party attempts to win seats for candidates who want to rewrite the Constitution in the Upper House and occupy over two-thirds of the entire seats. The election is scheduled in summer.
PREPARE COUNTER-OFFENSIVE MOVEMENTS AGAINST CONSTITUTION AMENDMENT ATTEMPTS
Not only the LDP but also the Nippon-Ishin-no-kai and the Minna-no-to are in favor of amending Article 96, which requests a concurring vote of two-thirds or more of lawmakers of each House in a revision process of Constitution. The LDP led by Premier Abe wants a law, Basic Act for National Security, through which execution of the right of collective defense may be constitutional, compatible with Article Nine which prohibits such a right. The ultimate goal is to change Article Nine and to create National Defense Troops. The party will later openly commit in the issues.
Government Prepares Secret Protection Law, Too
Reportedly, the Abe government will present a bill to enact a secret protection law in the extraordinary Diet session scheduled in September. It is to punish public workers who might leak classified information on diplomacy, defense and public safety. The objective is to build up an administrative structure to keep information secret in the context to create a National Security Council (the Japan's version of US National Security Council).
The controversial law is combined with another, Act on Common ID Number, whose bill is to be approved by the Diet in mid-May. The government intends to keep information of the state's power secret, imposing penalties, while it will control and watch unilaterally and systematically personal data of citizens.
Criticisms against the government and anti-establishment activities will be more easily suppressed, if the Conspiracy Act is enacted and the Eavesdropping Act is intensified. Constitutionalism, in which laws bind power of state, will be replaced with a scheme shown by the LDP in its new constitution text, by which people are subjugated to the supreme law. The society will be made, before the existing constitution is revised, into one in which constitutionalism is absent.
Another development of the Abe government is designation of the date April 28 as Day of Recovery of Sovereignty, when Emperor and Empress are to attend the ceremony hosted by the government. The event had been pledged by the LDP for the first time before the December general election. It aims to 'invoke patriotism', disregarding the political developments after WWII. The decision has in fact provoked anger among people, including residents of Okinawa, who regard the date as 'day of humiliation'.
A reactionary trend is remarkable in the sector of history perception and school education, too. Premier Abe takes more rightist and challenging stance, comparing with that of his last cabinet, insisting on 'casting off from the self-torturing notion on history' and 'intensifying patriotic school education' and organizing a body, called Education Reconstruction and Enforcement Council. At the same time he claims to revise the statements made by ex-Premier Murayama and ex-House President Kono on the modern history of Japan as Mr. Abe is zealously engaged in denying 'the history of Japan's aggression against Asian nations'. He indicates that he will announce an 'Abe statement' internally as well as externally.
Let's look at the society here. In 2011 out of the entire working population 35.2% is categorized as irregular workers. In 2009 those who earned less than two million Yen a year in the private sector counted 11 million, or one out of every four workers were regarded as poor.
Meanwhile the total amount of net financial assets of the rich and super-rich 810 thousand households accounts 188 trillion Yen (2012). The rich become richer, making gaps deeper and sharper. The society is being split off.
Last year the number of suicides was lower than 30 thousand, but until 2011 over 30 suicides had been seen every year for consecutive 14 years. Chauvinism and racism are instigated in the split society: street demonstrations are waged with slogans saying 'hang Koreans' and 'kill bad Koreans as well as good Koreans'.
Chauvinism concurrently emerges with a tense situation in East Asia, which nurtures soil leading to deterioration of constitutionalism. The New Socialist Party actively commits in struggles to defend democracy and livelihood as well as peace under these circumstances.
April 23, 2013