The government accelerates legislation process as the ruling bloc reached broad agreement on bills ? bills for war. The United States welcomed the framework as it will help the Self Defense Forces (SDF) of Japan could take part in the US military operations around the world. People’s struggles to defend Article Nine of Constitution are critically important until the current ordinary session of the Diet ends in August.
LET’S STOP LEGISLATION FOR LEADING JAPAN TO WAGING WAR!
The ruling bloc of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and Komeito reached a tentative agreement March 20 on ‘national security legislation’. A massive amount of arguments have been cleared up in the seven rounds of consultation meetings of the two parties. In fact, however, the LDP unreservedly accepted drafts prepared by bureaucrats from the ministries of military and foreign affairs, and then, Komeito proposed several ‘conditions’ to rectify the text. That was practically a ceremony.
The text contains controversial part which even exceeds the boundary of the last July’s cabinet decision, which overturned the historic interpretations of Constitution though. That means the government is to run swiftly for legislation so that Japan may wage a war abroad, disregarding objections of people.
Schedule for Legislation
The government, responding to the draft pact of the ruling bloc, hurries up in working out bills. The ruling parties will discuss again in mid-April a text of the bills. After reaching an agreement, the cabinet will make a decision on them before May 12 to submit to the Diet.
Bills on diplomacy and national security are usually debated in the Committee on Security in the House of Representatives and in the Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defense, but as for the bills in question a special committee may handle them. It is because the permanent committee holds a meeting twice a week and a special committee can meet every day to shorten time for debates considerably.
The LDP regards that approximately 80 hours are needed to debate the bills before they are approved: that means some time late July and early August the bills will become laws. For this reason some propose to keep the Diet debates till August 10 by extending by 47 days although content of the bills are unknown at the moment.
Under these circumstances people’s struggles will face a critical moment immediately after the May 3 Constitution Day.
Defense Cooperation Guidelines Revised Again
The problem does not stop here. The two governments are planned to sign April 27 a revised text for the Guidelines for Bilateral Defense Cooperation in the meeting of the US-Japan Security Consultative Committee (2+2).
Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff visited Japan March 25 to have a meeting with Prime Minister Abe Shinzo and US Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter came to Tokyo early April to reaffirm substance of the guidelines and to discuss the construction plan of a new base in Henoko, Okinawa.
‘The cabinet decisions’ are, reportedly, incorporated in the revised guidelines: Japan’s military cooperation with the United States will expand beyond the limit of ‘emergency situation surrounding Japan’ and will be lifted the bans imposed on supplies of weapons and ammunitions, and thus Japan’s SDF may take part in joint military operations with foreign troops. In the scheduled summit meeting on April 28 in the White House the politicians will declare ‘historic progress for global alliance between the United States and Japan’.
That is again a threatening technique. The two administrations are to consent to ‘international pledges’ to pressure the legislative organ as well as people in general before presenting the bills to the Diet.
A broad mass movements comprising political parties and civic groups, called ‘Comprehensive People’s Action ? No War! Don’t Destroy Article Nine!, will stage campaigns until the second week of May beginning on April 27.
Let’s campaign throughout the country with a slogan, ‘War Legislation, No!’.
April 7, 2015