LDP is scheming to get Constitution completely rewritten -- Akahata editorial, June 8

The Liberal Democratic Party Research Commission on the Constitution's panel for constitutional revision has put forward points to be included in an LDP draft of the Constitution. These points will be formally approved by the Research Commission by the end of this week.

The panel calls for the present Constitution to be completely revised, stating that the Preamble needs to admonish egotism in dealing with "respect for fundamental human rights". It also sees the Constitution's pacifism as a problem and calls for it to be corrected by revising Article 9 to correct the error of "unilateral pacifism" and add a clause about patriotism. The draft states that a provision should be included to make clear that Japan possesses war potential for its security.

People to be controlled by government

The danger of the LDP points for discussion is apparent in that it denounces the key principles of the present Constitution and respect for fundamental human rights and pacifism with insulting phrases.

To protect the basic human rights of the people, the Constitution stipulates how a government should rule and restricts the operation of state powers. This is an important characteristic of the Constitution, unlike other laws. Article 99 stipulates: "The Emperor or the Regent as well as Ministers of State, members of the Diet, judges, and all other public officials have an obligation to respect and uphold the Constitution." Not the general public but members of the government and public officials are tasked with abiding by the Constitution, because state power is the main object for the Constitution to control. In other words, under the principles of people's sovereignty and democracy, it is the sovereign people that control the power structure to make it comply with the Constitution.

In this respect, however, the concept and details of the LDP points of discussion are completely undemocratic. To say that admonition against the trends of excessive selfishness should be stated concerning fundamental human rights is a denial of the Constitution's role to protect the people's rights and freedoms. The LDP draft proposal aims at the opposite: people as subordinates to the government.

The Japanese people's everyday life shows that human rights are not always protected. The people therefore demand the establishment of constitutional rights and freedoms. The LDP criticizes it as an "egoistic" demand and is trying to restrict popular movements by drastically revising the Constitution. Stressing the need for the Constitution to mention "patriotism", the LDP points of discussion show the LDP's intention of putting citizens' conscience under state control, indicating its disregard of human rights.

Because of the LDP's anti-constitutional and undemocratic characteristic, it bulldozed the pension cut bill through the Diet in disregard of the constitutional right to "maintain the minimum standards of wholesome and cultured living" (Article 25).

Give citizens' verdict

The constitutional pacifism rejects war and the use of force, and calls for peaceful means to be used to influence the world as part of efforts to guarantee the provision that "all peoples of the world have the right to live in peace." The LDP criticizes the Constitution as "unilateral pacifism" and insists that it include "maintenance of war potential". What it is trying to do is to enable Japan to join the "hegemonic" U.S. in using force in foreign countries.

However, as the Iraq war clearly shows, military power alone cannot create "international order". A country may defeat another country alone but cannot build peace alone. Pacifism in Japan's Constitution significantly shows the way that the world should pursue in the 21st century.

The LDP's attempt to revise the Constitution increases the possibility that "the horrors of war though the action of the government" will take place again. In order to give the citizens' verdict on such an attempt, let us develop citizens' joint efforts in opposition to constitutional revision. (end)

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