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HOME  > Past issues  > 2007 November 7 - 13  > New special measures bill forcibly passed through Lower House
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2007 November 7 - 13 [SDF]

New special measures bill forcibly passed through Lower House

November 13 & 14, 2007
The ruling Liberal Democratic and Komei parties on November 13 used their majority in the House of Representatives plenary session to forcibly pass the new Anti-terrorism Special Measures bill to allow the government to resume the Maritime Self-Defense Force refueling mission in the Indian Ocean.

The bill was sent to the House of Councilors in which the opposition parties hold the majority.

The Japanese Communist, Democratic, and Social Democratic parties voted against the bill. The People’s New Party walked out of the chamber.

In a Lower House special committee meeting the previous day, JCP representative Akamine Seiken expressed his opposition to the bill, stressing that the committee discussions have revealed that this bill is intended to continue Japan’s assistance in the U.S.-led retaliatory war in violation of the Constitution and is counterproductive for the eradication of terrorism.

Akamine criticized the bill for allowing the MSDF to support any operation of the U.S. forces, including aerial bombardment. The U.S. forces are carrying out the maritime interdiction operation as well as operations in Afghanistan and Iraq as a package, and the government admitted that the MSDF had refueled foreign warships undertaking multiple missions, he pointed out.

Akamine stated, “Waging wars in response to terrorism has worsened the situation in Afghanistan.” Since Prime Minister Fukuda Yasuo has also found the recent Afghan moves towards political dialogue significant, the government must withdraw the bill and call on the U.S. to put an end to its military operations there, he pointed out.

Amid the scandal involving former Vice Defense Minister Moriya Takemasa and an arms firm, Akamine stressed that priority should be given to a thorough investigation into the collusive relationship between politicians, bureaucrats, and the arms industry at a time when suspicions are growing that a number of politicians are also involved in scandals and that the arms trader may also be involved in a scandal over U.S. military realignment in Japan.

Akamine also criticized the prime minister for discussing with Democratic Party President Ozawa Ichiro in their recent behind-closed-door talks the enactment of a permanent law to enable the government to send the SDF at any time to anywhere in the world.

“The JCP will never condone the dangerous moves toward the enactment of such a permanent law and will make every effort to defeat the special measures bill,” Akamine stated. - Akahata, November 13 & 14, 2007
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