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HOME  > Past issues  > 2008 December 10 - 16  > Ruling parties railroad through two controversial bills in Lower House by overriding Upper House rejections
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2008 December 10 - 16 [POLITICS]

Ruling parties railroad through two controversial bills in Lower House by overriding Upper House rejections

December 13, 2008
On December 12, the ruling Liberal Democratic and Komei parties at the House of Representatives plenary session used their force of numbers to ram through two controversial bills by using the constitutional right to override the rejection by the opposition-controlled House of Councilors.

The Japanese Communist Party voted against both the bill to extend the deployment in the Indian Ocean of Maritime Self-Defense Force units and the bill to allow the government to inject public funds into financial institutions.

Under the Japanese Constitution, if the House of Councilors rejects a bill, the House of Representatives, where the ruling parties are in the majority, can override the decision with a two-thirds majority vote.

At the House of Councilors plenary session earlier in the day, the anti-terrorism bill was rejected by the majority vote of the Japanese Communist, Democratic, and Social Democratic parties.

Regarding the bank recapitalization bill, the House of Councilors approved the Democratic Party’s amendment bill by the Democratic and the Social Democratic parties’ vote in favor.

At the House of Representatives, the amendment bill was rejected and the original government-sponsored bill was approved again.

At the Lower House plenary session, Japanese Communist Party representative Akamine Seiken took the floor to express opposition to the bill to extend the Anti-Terrorism Special Measures Law. He stated, “Dispatching the Japanese Self-Defense Forces to the Indian Ocean in order to assist in the U.S. retaliatory war in Afghanistan is obviously in violation of Article 9 of the Constitution.”

Pointing out that the Japanese government is called upon to play a major role in promoting settlement through negotiation and humanitarian aid, Akamine stressed, “The Japanese government should end its subservience to the U.S. and stop providing assistance to the war in Afghanistan.”

Opposing the bill to allow the government to inject public funds to financial institutions, JCP representative Sasaki Kensho criticized the government by stating, “What is the justification for using tax money to support financial institutions which wasted their capital through speculative investment?” He emphasized that in order to protect people’s lives from the negative effects of the financial crisis and current economic turmoil, what the government should do is to take measures to secure employment and to prevent big corporations from further exploiting subcontractors.
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