Serious events have been provoked lately: approval of the right of collective self-defense, lift of prohibition of weapons’ export and arrangement of the National Referendum Act. The Day of Constitution will come on May 3. The Constitution renounces a war and prohibits possession of military forces. We must reassure today the universal value of the Constitution. We must be determined firmly to stop violent drive of the Abe government caught with a war fever.
URGENT NECESSITY TO FIGHT FOR CONSTITUTION IN UNITED EFFORTS
We see crises of the Peace Constitution today. This fact could overhaul the entire efforts for world peace made after the World War II. The Preface of the Constitution says ‘(we) resolved that never again shall we be visited with the horrors of war through the action of government’, which constitutes fruits of deep remorse of peoples not only of Japan but also of the rest of the world.
However, after the WWII many of the nations which once had resolved to contribute to peace have abandoned the pledge: Big Powers pursued nuclear arms and built up military capabilities. Many wars have been fought; in the Korean Peninsula, Vietnam, Iraq, and etc. In spite of these wars Japanese people have in any way defended the Peace Constitution. Therefore, until today the country has never been targeted by terrorists’ attacks, which is exclusive among Big Powers of the world.
Article Nine Deserves Nobel Prize
People in the world today regard Article Nine of the Japanese Constitution, which renounces a war as a means to settle an international conflict and prohibits possession of war potential, as a great asset of the world as they see vicious spirals of hatred resulted from the US invasion to Iraq. Recently Article Nine was nominated and accepted, naturally, as a candidate for Nobel Peace Prize.
Premier Abe Shinzo openly insists on the right of collective self-defense, which means he will undermine the Constitution. This is historic stupidity. China and Democratic People’s Republic of Korea are as a matter of course obliged to prepare to defend the nations in the name of ‘self-defense’ and intensify military ability to counter Japan’s behaviers.
The government, knowing the fact, provokes social opinions here: ‘what will you do when an attack comes?, or ‘What is a concrete example of national emergency?’ Such allegations remind us of Hitler. The government is stupid enough as it tries to cut Article Nine in pieces in the unrealistic arguments.
If the right of collective defense is approved, Article Nine is removed as entity in line with a military rule that ‘an attack is the supreme form of defense’. That means slaughter of other peoples by the state’s power is legalized and a war is imposed as an obligation of people.
Referendum to Change Constitution
A bill to revise the National Referendum Act will be put on the Diet debates in the current session. One point is to get down the age limit of eligible voters to 18 years of his/her age. If the bill is approved, a referendum could be held at any time in four years to change the Constitution.
According to the recent surveys by the two major newspaper companies, the Asahi and the Mainichi, held in early April, well over 60% of respondents oppose execution of the right of collective defense and want to keep Article Nine. In the Asahi’s survey, though the majority of respondents had supported ‘a necessity to change the Constitution’ after the year 1997, this time 44% of them favored a necessity of amendment while 50% replied ‘No’. The poll showed an opposite result. People express anxiety in the current social developments and appreciate the value of Peace Constitution.
In the Diet, however, those who oppose the government’s drive are few: lawmakers from the Social-Democratic Party and Communist Party and a small number of independent legislators are against the bill to revise the Referendum Act. In the same way, as for the nuclear power issue, the majority of people are against it, while in the elections those who advocate win seats.
These facts demonstrate that responsibility lies in the camp of progressive political forces or those who defend the Constitution, to which the New Socialist Party belongs.
What should we do to reflect people’s will in the politics? How should we organize a political front in the united efforts? Unless we can rightly respond to the task, we cannot be successful to have a prospect.
April 22, 2014