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HOME  > Past issues  > 2007 April 11 - 17  > Two major adverse bills bulldozed through Lower House
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2007 April 11 - 17 [POLITICS]

Two major adverse bills bulldozed through Lower House

April 14, 2007
At a House of Representatives plenary session on April 13, the ruling Liberal Democratic and Komei parties bulldozed through the House two major adverse bills, a bill to establish procedures for constitutional revision that will pave the way for changing Article 9 and a bill to implement the realignment of U.S. forces in Japan in order to upgrade the Japan-U.S. military alliance to a “U.S.-Japan global alliance.”

Directly challenging the demand for peace of the overwhelming majority of the public, these bills are to mark an initial step toward implementing the Abe Cabinet policy to turn Japan into a nation fighting wars abroad with the U.S.

The Lower House also approved a ruling parties’ proposal to establish a special committee to discuss three bills to enforce the Fundamental Law of Education which had been adversely revised in the previous Diet session.

At a press conference immediately after the plenary session, Japanese Communist Party Chair Shii Kazuo denounced the LDP and Komei for forcibly passing these bills and expressed his determination to scrap them in the House of Councilors.

Constitutional revision procedure bill

As regards the bill to establish procedures for constitutional revision, JCP representative Kasai Akira in the plenary session protested its forcible passage, stating, “This is an important bill that will have a bearing on the nation’s supreme law, and therefore requires prudent discussions. The ruling parties, nevertheless, forcibly cut short discussions and put it to the vote, an outrageous act that puts a blot on the nation’s constitutional history.”

He pointed out that this bill is incorporated in Prime Minister Abe Shinzo’s plan for changing Article 9, and that with the failure of setting the minimum voter turnout rate as well as the imposition of restrictions on public servants’ and teachers’ freedom of expression of opinions, it is designed to favor the pro-constitutional revision forces.

Stressing that the Constitution demonstrates Japan’s international commitment to renounce war, Kasai said, “The majority of the public will continue to endeavor to build a Japan where peace, human rights, and democracy enshrined in the Constitution will blossom.”

U.S. forces realignment bill

Speaking against the bill to promote the realignment of U.S. forces in Japan, JCP representative Akamine Seiken in the plenary session condemned the government and the ruling parties for forcibly passing it through the House with totally inadequate discussion.

This bill will allow Japan to use an enormous amount of tax money for constructing new U.S. bases on Okinawa and Guam. “It is clear that a pretext of ‘reducing Okinawans’ base burdens’ is false and cannot justify the realignment plan,” Akamine stressed and demanded that the plan be withdrawn and the bill be scrapped. - Akahata, April 14, 2007
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