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HOME  > Past issues  > 2007 December 12 - 18  > Sticking to resumption of MSDF mission, ruling bloc forcibly extends Diet session
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2007 December 12 - 18 TOP3 [POLITICS]

Sticking to resumption of MSDF mission, ruling bloc forcibly extends Diet session

December 15, 2007
“We will make an all-out effort to build strong public awareness in opposition to the special measures bill and drive the ruling parties into a corner so that they cannot forcibly enact it,” JCP Chair Shii said.

The ruling Liberal Democratic and Komei parties on December 14 used their majority to extend the current Diet session for a second time, until January 15, with the aim of forcibly enacting a new anti-terrorism special measures bill to allow the government to resume the Maritime Self-Defense Force refueling mission in the Indian Ocean, fulfilling the government pledge to the United States.

The opposition Japanese Communist, Democratic, Social Democratic, and People’s New parties voted against the motion. On behalf of the JCP, Sasaki Kensho took the rostrum of the House of Representatives to speak in opposition to the motion.

At a press conference later in the day, JCP Chair Shii Kazuo expressed his strong protest against the forcible extension of the Diet session. He said that the move showed the ruling parties’ intention to enact by force the anti-terrorism special measures bill at any cost.

The ruling parties apparently intend to again pass the bill by their two-thirds majority through the House of Representatives in order to enact it, overturning House of Councilors decisions.

Shii stressed two points: (i) the special measures bill is to support the U.S. war of retaliation in the name of eradicating terrorism, but the continuing war will aggravate the Afghan situation and thus the bill will do more harm than good in eradicating terrorism; (ii) the forces pushing the bill are implicated in the on-going defense scandal, and thus lack the minimum qualification to speak about “international contributions.”

By revealing these problems through Diet discussions, making the problems widely known to the general public, and increasing citizens’ movements, “We will make an all-out effort to build strong public awareness in opposition to the bill and drive the ruling parties into a corner so that they cannot forcibly pass the bill in the House of Representatives,” Shii said.

Shii also demanded that the government urgently undertake three tasks: (i) to equally relieve all victims of the drug-induced hepatitis C, (ii) to find an effective solution to the pension fiasco issue, and (iii) to take urgent measures to deal with the unprecedented increases in the oil prices.
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