Some people say, judging from the harsh loss of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) in the recent election of the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly and a rapid decline in the government support rate, that constitution amendment moves have faded away. But that is a mistake. The Abe government, taking advantage of the increased tension between the United States and Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, accelerates a military expansion policy and intensifies attempts to rewrite the Constitution. It is the right time for us to wage struggles in the joint mass struggles against the government led by Premier Abe to impede its overweening ambition to revise the Constitution.
LET’S FIGHT JOINTLY TO STOP GOVERNMENT MOVES TO REVISE CONSTITUTION!
Prime Minister Abe Shinzo has reshuffled the cabinet for the third time to conceal and soothe the scandals of Moritomo Gakuen School and Kake College and to grip further power in the administration, facing a sharp drop of the support rate of his government. The premier recently stated there was no concrete schedule for constitution amendment, though on May 3, the Day of Constitution, he told explicitly his ambitious plan.
Majority Seats in Both Houses
The LDP’s section to promote constitution amendment has not changed its policy: to present a draft text of a new constitution in the coming extraordinary session of the Diet scheduled in late September and propose debates in the ordinary session in the next year. The party’s office has rightly responded to the decision of Prime Minister and strengthened its authority.
The recent statement of Premier reveals a simple division of roles of the ruling LDP. The government will certainly stage offenses to revise the Constitution, taking advantage of the majority seats in the both of the Houses (over 2/3 of the members are advocates of amendment). Premier Abe does not give up his plan to change the Constitution by the Year 2020. It is because his support group, the Japan Conference= the Nippon-Kaigi, actively works behind the scenes to implement Premier’s decision.
Joint Mass Struggles
We, the New Socialist Party, must struggle against the amendment moves; how should we fight in the unified efforts with various political and civic organizations? The Executive Committee of the Joint Mass Struggles, ‘No War and Defense of Article Nine!’, has lately proposed an action plan.
Firstly, to keep intensifying the campaigns waged until today in order to topple the Abe government: abolition of the so-called war legislation and the conspiracy act, condemnation of misappropriation of state power=the scandals of Moritomo and Kake, solidarity with Okinawa’s mass movements to oppose the construction of a new base at Henoko, and struggles against poverty and gaps of the rich and the poor.
Secondly, in the simultaneous way, to commit in a campaign specifically focusing on constitution amendment: the Civic Action across the Country, Article Nine Amendment by Abe Government, No!
30 Million-Signature Collection
A founding rally of the new movement will be held on September 8 at the Nakano Zero Hall, with enthusiastic calls of 18 well-known people, including Mr. Uchida Tatsuki, Kamata Minoru, Nakanishi Rei, Tanaka Yuko and Hama Noriko.
The campaign integrates religious figures, consumers, farmers’ organizations and those regarded as conservative, too. It is a big signature collection campaign to win support of 30 million people to defend the Constitution and apply it to our daily life. It aims to unify several thousands of grass-root civic groups. It tries to follow citizens of the Republic of Korea who overthrew the government of Park Geun-hye. The campaign anticipates parliamentary debates for amendment will begin in the 2018 ordinary Diet session.
A big civic action is scheduled on November 3, the 71st anniversary of Constitution implementation, around the parliamentary building. Other commemorative programs are planned, too. The campaign seeks to get united with the Civic Federation to demand abolition of National Security Legislation and Recovery of Constitutionalism as well as opposition political parties for the general elections and the referendum on the Constitution.
Amendment of Article Nine by the Abe administration must not be allowed. The New Socialist Party is determined to fight together with various political and civic groups in the united efforts for the Constitution and democracy and against the government. Don’t make Japan commit in a war.
September 5, 2017