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HOME  > Past issues  > 2024 May 8 - 14  > 2 bills to promote a war-capable Japan enacted
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2024 May 8 - 14 [POLITICS]

2 bills to promote a war-capable Japan enacted

May 11, 2024

Two bills to promote the attempt to turn Japan into a war-capable nation became law at the House of Councilors plenary session on May 10 by the majority vote of the Liberal Democratic Party, the Komei Party, the “Ishin no Kai” party, the Democratic Party for the People, and the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan.

The Japanese Communist Party voted against both bills on the grounds that they would trample on the peaceful principles of the Japanese Constitution.

The economic secrets protection law will establish a system of secrecy equivalent to that of Japan’s military allies and like-minded countries in order to promote the joint development of weapons. However, the government, until the very end of the Diet debate, talked as if the economic secrets protection bill had nothing to do with the military establishment.

The revised Defense Ministry Establishment Act will create a “joint operations command” to centrally direct the Ground, Maritime, and Air Self-Defense Forces. During Diet debate, the government intentionally covered up the main purpose of the bill which was to place the SDF under the command and control of the U.S. military, and forced a vote on the bill after only a short period of time for deliberation.

On the same day, concerned citizens gathered in front of the Diet building to stage a protest, voicing their anger against the enactment of the two bills.

JCP member of the House of Councilors Inoue Satoshi and head of the Social Democratic Party Fukushima Mizuho took part in the protest and delivered speeches in solidarity.

Lawyer Kaido Yuichi pointed out, “The economic secrets protection law makes private citizens, including for example engineers, subject to background checks. Everything from their personal lives to their political beliefs will be checked.” He called for a government change to abolish both the economic secrets protection law and the existing state secrets protection law.

Sugihara Koji, head of the Network against Japan Arms Trade, criticized, “After only one day of committee deliberation in the House of Councilors, the bill to create the joint operations command was enacted.”

Past related articles:
> Akamine criticizes Japan-US agreement as placing SDF under US military command [April 19, 2024]
> Economic secrecy bill aims to facilitate weapons development with allies [April 3, 2024]
> Bill on economic secrets would abuse corporate employees’ privacy [March 28, 2024]
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