The Special Committee of the House of Councilors, following the adoption in the House of Representatives, approved September 17 the controversial legislation by smart and violent techniques staged by the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and the Komeito. And on the September 19 midnight the plenary session passed the bills for enactment. Simultaneously, struggles have been unleashed on the side of people to abrogate the laws.
PEOPLE’S STRUGGLE HAS BEGUN TO ANNIHILATE WAR LAWS
On August 30, when debates on the bills were on the peak in the House of Councilors, subsequently after the forced approval in the House of Representatives, 120 thousands of protestors rallied to fill the streets around the parliamentary building and in the Kasumigaseki area where ministries are concentrated. In total over 1000 large and small rallies and demonstrations were held across the country on the day. People shouted ‘Abolish War Bills! Prime Minister Abe, Listen to People’s Voices!’ in every corner of the islands.
Reacting to the growing mass movements against the bills, the government led by the LDP and the Komeito, presupposing to employ the rule of 60 days, had extended the session period by 95 days till September 27, which is the longest in the history after 1945. That is a rule by which the Lower House has the right to automatically re-approve the bill if it fails to be adopted in the Upper House. The ruling parties stood ready to pass the bills by any means.
Komeito, or Party of Peace, is Dead
The LDP, whose principle is to amend the Constitution so that Japan may commit in a war, was anticipated to certainly pass the bills with force, as Prime Minister Abe is especially eager to rewrite the supreme law. The LDP leader would use every tactic to force the bills to be enacted, enjoying the majority in the Diet.
The Komeito, however, which has boasted of being a party of peace, is based on the Soka-Gakkai, a religious organization: its principle is of the Buddhist teaching, ‘don’t get intimate with the state’s power’ of the Monk Nichiren. The party has betrayed the monk’s preaching and emerged as a ruler.
On the other hand, some of the followers opposed the current leadership: former Vice-President of the Komeito Futami Nobuaki, members of the local assemblies and many Soka-Gakkai members joined the protest rallies and demonstrations. Some of the LDP’s local assembly members left the party, objecting leadership of Prime Minister Abe. Furthermore, restlessness has prevailed deeply among members of the Self Defense Forces, who face a first risk to be sent to ‘war zones’ after enactment, and their families.
If people’s struggles had been more powerful to shake up the central government and the cabinet, they could have withdrawn the bills and toppled the administration. Conscious citizens of various strata voluntarily took part in the rallies and demonstrations. Organized workers and retired workers as well joined the mass movements.
In the 1960’s and 1970’s mass movements organized workers went on to political strikes against the US-Japan Alliance. If such struggles had been coordinated with the broad citizens’ campaigns, people’s power might have developed extensively to bring down the government.
Former Presiding Judge of Supreme Court Joined
One of the events to be worth noting is participation in the opposition camp by Former Presiding Judge of the Supreme Court, Mr. Yamaguchi Shigeru, as well as former chiefs of the Cabinet Legislation Bureau.
Mr. Yamaguchi mentioned in the interview held by the Kyodo News Agency: ‘legislation to admit the right of collective self-defense violates the Constitution’. He added with a harsh criticism, referring to the government’s justification based on the Supreme Court’s ruling of 1959 on the Sunagawa Incident and the official statement of the 1972, that ‘it is logically contradictory and has no meaning’.
The account of Mr. Yamaguchi is to be focused as it will certainly affect on judgment of the court of justice under the circumstance in which groups of people are ready to file a suit on unconstitutionality of the war legislation.
October 6, 2015