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HOME  > Past issues  > 2015 May 27 - June 2  > Kill Abe’s war legislation bills that totally trample on Constitution
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2015 May 27 - June 2 [POLITICS]

Kill Abe’s war legislation bills that totally trample on Constitution

May 27, 2015
Diet deliberation on bills related to war legislation, which will drastically change Japan’s postwar framework if passed, started at a House of Representatives plenary meeting on May 26. Japanese Communist Party Chair Shii Kazuo pointed out in an interpellation of Prime Minister Abe Shinzo that although the Abe government refers to the bills as “legislation for peace and security”, they are actually designated to turn Japan into a country fighting wars abroad.

Prime minister gives no clear answers

The JCP chair in his interpellation grilled the prime minister about three major problems with the war legislation which totally tramples on Article 9 of the Constitution. Abe, however, gave no clear answers, putting on display yet again his irresponsible attitude.

The first problem is that the proposed war legislation will enable the Japanese Self-Defense Forces to provide military support to the U.S. military even in combat zones when it starts wars anywhere in the world like it did in the Afghan War (2001) and the Iraq War (2003).

Shii argued that if the SDF troops enter combat zones, they would have weapons ready for use in the face of possible attack and that this could escalate into all out combat operations. In response to Shii’s argument, the prime minister insisted that the SDF will not be engaged in combat abroad. He, however, admitted the possibility that combat could break out in areas in which SDF troops perform their activities and said that they will be allowed to use weapons to defend themselves in an emergency. Abe provided no explanation about what the difference is between his logic and the use of armed force prohibited under Article 9.

The second is that the SDF will participate in missions without control by the United Nations, perform various activities such as policing in areas where armed conflicts occur in spite of a formally-signed ceasefire agreement, and expand the use of weapons for more purposes.

The prime minister cited local consensus on any ceasefire and an acceptance of SDF troops as necessary conditions for the SDF’s participation. He, however, stopped short of denying the possibility of the SDF’s participation in military operations like ones done by the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan in the wake of the U.S. retaliatory war. The ISAF operations were integrated into the U.S.-led counter-terrorist operations and about 3,500 international soldiers were killed in the ISAF mission. This also clearly shows the possibility that SDF troops will take part in the fighting which may lead SDF members to kill and be killed on distant battlefields.

The third is that even if Japan does not come under direct military attack, Japan will participate in U.S. wars by exercising the right to collective self-defense and that the SDF will use force of arms abroad.

Prime Minister Abe has always been hinting at the possibility that Japan will use the collective self-defense right even in U.S. preemptive wars, but, at the Lower House plenary session he said that Japan will provide no support to a nation waging military action in violation of international law. However, asked by JCP Chair Shii about how many times the Japanese government has objected to America’s use of armed force as going against international law since Japan became a member of the United Nations, PM Abe stated, “Not once.”

Japan blindly follows U.S. requests

The United States has repeatedly fought wars in violation of international law, such as its aggression against and invasion of Vietnam and its invasion of Iraq. It is obvious that Japan, which has never said “No” to the U.S. lawless wars, will enter such wars by blindly following the U.S. requests even if they flaunt international law.

The war legislation-related bills, the worst-ever set of bills in Japan’s postwar history, arrogantly trample on the Constitution. The need is to increase public opposition to scrap the bills through thorough Diet deliberations.
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