Japan Press Weekly

Providing information of progressive, democratic movements in Japan
HOME  > 2014 May 14 - 20
Prev Search Next

2014 May 14 - 20 [POLITICS]

Abe’s initiative for legalizing use of collective self-defense right faces mounting public criticism and protest

May 17, 2014
Prime Minister Abe Shinzo’s announcement about the start of discussions on legalization of Japan’s use of the collective self-defense right is facing mounting public criticism and protest.

Abe made the announcement on May 15 based on his private advisory panel’s report.

In Hiroshima, on the same day, a citizens’ group working to protect Article 9 of the Constitution waged a sit-in protest at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park.

Former spokespersons of the Liberal Democratic Party which has been in control of the government for most of the postwar period and former heads of the Cabinet Legislation Bureau which has responsibility for constitutional interpretation are criticizing the prime minister for the blatant attempt to negate constitutionalism.

Former LDP Secretary General Kato Koichi in an Akahata interview published in the May 18 Sunday edition said that if the constitutional ban on the use of the right to collective self-defense is lifted, the Japanese Self-Defense Forces will be able to go to countries on the other side of the earth in response to U.S. demands. Criticizing Abe’s way of enabling Japan to exercise its collective self-defense right by reinterpreting the Constitution, Kato said that Abe should abide by the principles of constitutionalism.

Another ex-LDP spokesman Yamasaki Taku in a Jiji Press interview pointed out that the PM’s decision has brought about a great transformation in Japan’s security policy and will lead to serious problems in the future.

Former Cabinet Legislation Bureau chief Sakata Masahiro attended a gathering held on May 15 in Kanagawa’s Kawasaki City in protest against the PM’s announcement. He said that approval of Japan’s use of the controversial right by changing the constitutional interpretation will take away the function of the Constitution to curb any excess use of power by the government. He called on participants to increase public awareness about the PM’s dangerous attempt.

Some major dailies and local dailies on May 16 in their editorials criticized the PM’s announcement. The Asahi Shimbun editorial condemned Abe for departing from constitutionalism that the government should be based on.

Trade unions, women’s groups, and civil groups also issued statements and comments in protest against Abe’s move to lift the ban on collective self-defense.

The National Confederation of Trade Unions (Zenroren) in its statement expressed its determination to work hard to increase joint efforts with a broader range of people in order to block Abe’s constitutional reinterpretation to enable Japan to exercise the right to collective self-defense.
Prev Next
Mobile  PC 
Copyright (C) Japan Press Service Co.,Ltd. All right reserved