The coalition government took advantage of the majority in the Diet to extend the Diet session by 95 days in order to fulfill a pledge made in favor of the Obama administration. The prolonged term is the longest in the years since the end of WWII. The ruling parties of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and the Komeito are adamant in approving war legislation by any means. The current situation is volatile. The ruling bloc could adopt the bills with force. Let’s struggle against the government which runs frenziedly.
LET’S STRUGGLE TO RETRACT WAR BILLS RESOLUTELY!
The controversial war bills clearly violate the Constitution, without referring to an overwhelming number of law experts’ claims, and therefore, they have been proven to be inconsistent. In the explanations given by the government contradictions and discrepancies have emerged one after another. The majority of people are against, naturally, the government plan to pass the bills during the current session.
Irritations Plague in Ruling Bloc
Under these circumstances people’s protest began on May 26 just when the bills were submitted for Diet debates. Civic struggles to repeal the bills have rolled up various organizations and encouraged movements to extend across the country. Certainly the political tide has been changing. The LDP members are impatient and irritated. That is why some members have produced a gaffe, condemning some media companies which criticize the war bills.
A certain LDP member claimed: ‘in order to penalize newspapers it is necessary to reduce their advertising revenue. Intellectuals should work on the Keidanren, the Japan Business Federation’.
That position was uttered by a young parliamentarian closely linked to Prime Minister Abe Shinzo. The party’s thirty-seven junior members met in a meeting held on June 25 at their headquarters office, organizing a Commission on Culture and Art.
The ‘intellectuals’ include a writer Hyakuta Naoki, who is intimate with the premier. The novelist told, reportedly, that ‘there was nothing on the ground of the Okinawa island when the Futenma Air Station was built, just a paddy field’, referring to the location. In fact, however, the land had been confiscated by the US authority with bulldozers and bayonets. He added to say that ‘two newspapers in Okinawa must be destroyed’ in the said meeting.
Arrogance of the prime minister is conveyed to his followers to be infected with his attitudes to ignore parliament. Young LDP members are made to be extremely hazardous and crude. Immature politicians are unaware of free press and free speech. We can easily imagine that with the dangerous war legislation how this wild government could behave.
Let’s Repeal Other Bad Bills!
Another contentious bills presented to the current session include those to revise the Wire-Tapping Law and the Criminal Procedure Act. The laws constitute ‘the other side of the war bills’, and the latter would provide for plea bargaining. The bills are debated in the House of Representatives at the moment. Separately, controversial bills to amend the labor acts have already passed the Lower House with a force of the majority and been sent to the Upper House: the laws would allow employers not to pay for overwork and to remain the status of their employees permanently as irregular workers. In addition, the Diet debates a bill to increase functions of the Citizens’ Code Act which puts a number code on every citizen.
The current session lasts until September 27, debating horrible laws including the war bills. The ordinary session of the Diet can be extended only once (Article 12, the Diet Act).
Sit-ins and protest actions will be staged on the citizens’ side during the extended period. The Executive Action Committee to declare ‘Not to Destroy Article Nine of Constitution’ is planning various actions to respond to the changing situation.
The New Socialist Party has taken the lead in staging a sit-in campaign around the Diet building from June 15 through 24. Party members are determined firmly to keep struggling until the government abandons the bills even after the session term is extended.
July 7, 2015