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HOME  > Past issues  > 2014 April 2 - 8  > Public opposition mounting against Japan’s use of collective self-defense
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2014 April 2 - 8 [POLITICS]

Public opposition mounting against Japan’s use of collective self-defense

April 8, 2014
Public opposition is rapidly growing against the Abe government’s move to change the conventional interpretation of the Japanese Constitution in order to enable the state to exercise the right to collective self-defense.

The number of municipal assemblies that approved a resolution opposing the revision of constitutional interpretation reaches 48 as of April 5. In Nagano Prefecture, 23 local assemblies, about 30% of all municipalities, adopted resolutions of this kind.

The statement endorsed by the Konan City Assembly, Shiga Prefecture, points out that the Constitution’s supreme role is to “strictly restrain” state power, including that of the prime minister. “If the power that be is able to change the constitutional interpretation at will, the Constitution can no longer be called the Constitution,” it states.

Recent opinion polls conducted by major newspapers show that a majority of the general public are against the move as well.

According to a poll published by the Asahi Shimbun on April 7, the percentage of respondents in favor of “maintaining a stance not to use the collective self-defense right” increased to 63% from 56% last year. The respondents against revising the war-renouncing Article 9 of the Constitution also went up to 64% from 52%. Another poll the Mainichi Newspapers released on March 31 indicated that 64% are opposed to the supreme law’s reinterpretation.

In the meantime, local newspapers have been taking a firm stand against the argument to “conditionally” authorize the exercise of the right to collective self-defense, which was recently presented by executives of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party.

The Hokkaido Shimbun argued on April 3 that even with some conditions attached, the use of the right to collective self-defense is unconstitutional. The Tokyo Shimbun in its April 5 editorial condemned the LDP argument as “chop logic”, stressing, “All lawmakers should be aware that Japan’s constitutionalism is now in imminent danger.”

Past related article:
> City assembly denounces Abe’s move to legalize right to collective self-defense [March 1, 2014]
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