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HOME  > Past issues  > 2017 April 26 - May 9  > JCP Koike issues statement on 70th anniversary of pacifist Constitution
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2017 April 26 - May 9 [POLITICS]

JCP Koike issues statement on 70th anniversary of pacifist Constitution

May 3, 2017
On May 3, the day marking the 70th anniversary of the pacifist Japanese Constitution coming into force, Japanese Communist Party Secretariat Head Koike Akira issued the following statement:

This year marks 70 years since the enforcement of the postwar Constitution. The Constitution of Japan contains the world’s most pacifist clause, Article 9, and 30 clauses which possess various pioneering advances in the field of human rights. On Constitution Memorial Day, the JCP renews its determination to defend all the provisions of the Constitution and establish a government that makes the best use of the Constitution.

At the same time, the JCP firmly opposes the Abe administration’s dangerous attempt at constitutional revision in order to turn Japan into a “war-fighting nation” and determines to work together with a wide range of citizens to foil Abe’s attempt.

Amid increasing international tensions, the point is how to best utilize Article 9. North Korea’s nuclear weapons and missile development is totally unacceptable. Diplomatic means are the only way to work to resolve this issue. It is unacceptable to choose military options which will inevitably involve serious sacrifice. The U.S. Trump administration on April 26 released a statement willing to tighten economic sanctions on the North and pursue diplomatic measures. This is worth noting. Meanwhile, what is of concern is that the Abe government supported and welcomed the U.S. move to intensify military tensions. In particular, it invoked the war laws and ordered a Self-Defense Forces ship to guard U.S. military vessels, which not only will bring about the escalation in military tensions but also is a dangerous act because if the Trump-led U.S. uses its armed forces, it will have the SDF automatically take part in military operations. If Prime Minister Abe intends to protect Japanese people’s lives and safety, he should work hard to lessen military tensions, prevent a military clash, and achieve a diplomatic solution. It is of paramount importance to conduct diplomacy based on the Japanese Constitution.

The LDP-Komei coalition government led by PM Abe, as part of its anti-constitutional runaway policies, is now pushing ahead with the enactment of an “anti-conspiracy bill”. Under this bill, people’s freedom of thought and conscience which Article 19 of the Constitution stipulates “shall not be violated” may become subject to punishment. For this reason, a wide range of citizens, including those in the judicial community, writers, manga artists, and journalists are expressing their strong concern and opposition to the bill. The JCP will also continue to make its utmost effort to kill this bill in order to block Abe’s attempt to create a surveillance society with the aim to silence public dissent.

PM Abe is eager to revise the existing Constitution. However, he does not make clear to the general public which clauses he wants to change. What he really has in his mind is to rewrite the war-renouncing Article 9 so as to allow the country to possess national defense forces. He also seeks to delete from the Constitution Article 97 that guarantees the fundamental human rights “held for all time inviolate” to the people of Japan. All these revisions are called for in the LDP draft constitution, but Abe never reveals this fact straightforwardly to the general public. The present regime’s admiration of the wartime “Imperial Rescript on Education” reflects its aspiration for a return to prewar times, which is so aberrant that many people cannot accept such a move.

All areas of life such as people’s livelihoods, peace, fundamental human rights, and democracy are now being targeted by Abe’s runaway policies. However, more and more citizens are engaging in civil movements in order to stop the regime from going too far, defend the country’s constitutionalism, and protect individual dignity. It is essential to further increase the joint struggles of the opposition parties with concerned citizens, beat Abe’s maneuver to revise the Constitution at any cost, and bring down the morally-hazardous and out-of-control Abe government.

The JCP in the coming general election will strive to break through the current “two-thirds pro-revisionist status quo” in the Diet and drive the LDP, Komei, and their supplementary parties into a minority position in the Diet.
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