Defense official: 'Wartime bills were defeated by Akahata'

Citizens' grass roots campaigns and the Japanese Communist Party's Diet debates have cornered the contingency bills into a failure of passage through the current Diet session which closes on July 31.

On July 18 when the government and the three ruling parties reportedly "gave up on the passage" of the emergency bills through the present parliamentary term, an Akahata reporter received a call from a former Maritime Self-Defense Force official. The ex-officer said, "It's amazing that you have blocked the bills while the government was trying to do everything to get them passed."

In the Diet Building, a Defense Agency official stopped another Akahata reporter and said, "You win. Your campaigns have defeated us."

In Osaka, an anti-wartime bills group distributed leaflets with a reply postcard attached to all houses in the prefecture. As of July 27, the number of cards returned have reached 3,328, with more than 10,000 signatures on them in support of the anti-wartime bills campaign. People wrote on the cards their sentiment against war such as: "During WWII, firebombs burned my house and I ran away from the fire. For my grandchildren, I'm against the wartime legislation," "I don't want my dear son to be a murder machine."

The government and the ruling parties, however, confirmed to strive for the bills to be passed through the extraordinary Diet session in the autumn. The second round of struggle has already started. (end)