The evening issue of the major newspapers put a sensational lead on August 2, which said 'groundwork for new interpretation on the right of collective defense, Advocate is chosen as Chief of the Cabinet Legislation Bureau'. On August 8 the Abe government decided in the Cabinet meeting to appoint former Ambassador of Japan in France Komatsu Ichiro as Chief of the bureau. The selection is an extraordinary, forbidden tactic.
GOVERNMENT TRIES TO BREAK THROUGH BARRIER OF PROHIBITION ON THE RIGHT OF COLLECTIVE DEFENSE
Prime Minister Abe Shinzo has a zealous wish to exercise the right of collective defense of Japan, and has been persistent in achieving his goal. The government, which has won the majority in both of the Houses after the July election of the House of Councilors, is to drive the cabinet shamelessly to a dangerous direction. The selection the chief is a first task.
National Security Act
The first round Abe government set up in 2007 a panel, called Council on Legal Base Reconstruction for National Security, as a Prime Minister's private advisory body, and it had committed in preparative jobs to approve and use the right of collective defense of the nation. But the attempt seemed failed as the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) lost in the 2010 election of the Upper House and the Abe government withdrew.
However, last July when the LDP foresaw a prospect to be a government, it decided in its general meeting on a bill (outline) for National Security Basic Act, which is characterized by the right of collective defense as one of the major policies. The Party had pledged promulgation of the law during the last two campaigns of the December 2012 Lower House and the July 2013 Upper House elections. The bill is to be presented to the Diet in the ordinary session in 2014.
As for presentation of the said bill to the Diet, the LDP has kept a policy of House member legislation. It is because if it were to be presented to the Cabinet, the Legislation Bureau would reject it as the office maintains that use of the right of collective defense is unconstitutional.
If a bill is dealt with by way of a lawmaker channel, each Legislation Bureau of the both Houses examines on constitutionality of the bill. It is parliamentarians, however, that decide to submit a bill to the Diet. The LDP may have thought that it would be more convenient to put the bill through a lawmakers' channel.
A Change how to break first barrier
The Abe government has changed its stance immediately after the July election; Premier expressed that he would use a channel of the Cabinet Legislation Bureau. He would have thought that the lawmakers' initiative might produce disarrays in relation with the Bureau as the bill would first take a devious route from it. The government now chose a way to break through from the front line.
In other words by altering Chief of the Bureau, which is the guardian of Constitution, the government attempts to let the Bureau admit use of the right of collective defense as constitutional. The LDP's new tactic is to go through the Cabinet Legislation Bureau in submission of the bill for Diet debates after conquering the barrier of the bureau.
Mr. Komatsu Ichiro, from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, has served in the important positions, like Chief of Department of International Treaties and of the Bureau of International Law. He was engaged in the secretarial work for the said council on national security in the first-round Abe government.
Chief of the Cabinet Legislation Bureau is nominated by the Cabinet. It is, however, arbitrary and unreasonable for the Cabinet to commit directly in the personnel affairs with a motive to change interpretation of articles of the Peace Constitution. That is a vital issue.
War in Iraq
Ten years ago a war began in Iraq. If the government had admitted the right of collective defense, the Self Defense Forces (SDF) deployed in the territory would have been drawn in the warfare of the United States which committed in the preemptive strike for self defense.
The SDF, however, did not overtly take part in the combat missions because the collective defense right was interpreted as violation of Article Nine of the Constitution.
August 20, 2013