Ruling parties rush to enact wartime bills

In an attempt to get wartime bills passed by the House of Representatives in May, the three ruling coalition parties unilaterally set dates for public hearings on the bills by closing parliamentary discussion.

In the Lower House Special Committee on Contingency Legislation meeting on May 21, the four opposition parties called for the Diet discussions to be continued before holding public hearings. The ruling parties, however, unilaterally adopted schedules for public hearings (May 24 and 27 for regional hearings and May 27 and 28 for Tokyo areas) with the opposition absent.

At a joint news conference by the four opposition parties, Kijima Hideo, Japanese Communist Party Lower House member, criticized the government outrageous action. He said: Only 34 hours were allowed for discussion; the government is unable to explain the definition of an armed attack situation; and Special Committee Chair Kawara Tsutomu is under suspicions of graft. There will be no hearings to hear from the public.

Reporting the news, Akahata of May 22 commented that the undemocratic ways based on a preconceived conclusion are a reflection of the character of the contingency bills. (end)