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LDP draft of Constitution turns its back on people's wishes for peace
Akahata editorial

The Liberal Democratic Party at its 50th anniversary convention published its "Draft of a New Constitution" as well as its new platform and new philosophy.

Since it adopted a platform calling for "independent revision to the present Constitution" at its founding convention in 1955, the LDP has been an advocate of constitutional revision. But this is the first time that the LDP calls for constitutional revision by putting forward a draft.

The platform expresses its determination to establish a new Constitution of Japan in its opening paragraph, showing how firm the LDP is on revising the Constitution. But this only increases the contradictions with the majority of the public.

Threatening lives and security

The LDP platform is a list of abstract political slogans and presents no analysis of Japanese politics, economy, and society. Clearly, it does not provide any ideas as to how to resolve the problems facing the people. This kind of platform suffices for the LDP'S purposes because it is a party that has long been committeed to the old framework of extraordinary subservience to the United States and politics serving the interests of large corporations. Its "philosophy" emphasizes that the LDP is a "national party," but it's not engaged in politics to defend the interests of the people.

The LDP "draft of a New Constitution" makes clear that the LDP interests run counter to the public interests as is made clear by its call for the "peace constitution" to be changed into a "war constitution."

The draft has totally replaced the present Constitution's preamble stating that we "resolved that never again shall we be visited with the horror of war through the action of government" with a paragraph that requires the people to fulfill the "duty to defend the nation."

The draft has deleted paragraph two of Article 9 of the present Constitution: "In order to accomplish the aim of preceding paragraph, land, sea, and air forces, as well as other war potential, will never be maintained. The right of belligerency of the state will not be recognized." It has replaced this paragraph with one providing that Japan will "maintain its self-defense military," which will allow Japan to dispatch troops abroad constitutionally. It also provides that a military tribunal can be held to hold trials by court-martial.

Thus, the LDP draft has discarded the constitutional principles of peace. This will turn Japan into a war-fighting country that takes part in U.S. preemptive wars by enabling the Self-Defense Forces to fight in wars abroad. This is nothing but a policy of endangering the people's lives and safety.

Article 9 of the Constitution is the basis of Japan's pacifism as well as the basis for gaining international trust. At a news conference after the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting in Pusan, South Korea, Prime Minister Koizumi was asked by a reporter about his visits to Yasukuni Shrine. Emphasizing that his Yasukuni visits are from the position of wishing for peace, he said that "over the past 60 years Japan has not fought a war against any country." He also said, "The SDF members who have gone overseas for humanitarian and reconstruction assistance have not fired a single bullet. They have not killed anyone."

What he doesn't mention is that all this is thanks to Article 9 of the Constitution. Clearly, the LDP draft of a new constitution adversely revising Article 9 is contrary to these remarks of Prime Minister Koizumi.

LDP's arrogance

We now see the LDP that proposes a draft of a constitution paving the way for Japan's participation in wars receiving backlash in Japan and internationally. Koizumi diplomacy's isolation is such that even the United States expresses concerns about Koizumi's Yasukuni visits and is in a no-way-out situation. Meanwhile, local governments and residents are increasing their opposition to the fusion of the Japanese Self-Defense Forces and U.S. forces and to the strengthening of U.S. bases in Japan. The movement in defense of Article 9 is also increasing more than ever before.

Many people are aware of the present danger conducive to war and are keeping a critical eye on the actions of the arrogant LDP. The continuing rule of the LDP will never help to develop a peaceful future.
- Akahata, November 23, 2005

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