Nobody will forget July 1, 2014, when the Abe government made a cabinet decision that the right of collective self-defense is constitutional. That means an administration invented interpretation of Article Nine of the Constitution for the first time in the history of Japan after the WWII. Simultaneously the date means that people’s struggles have begun to revoke the reckless decision and stop enactment of relevant laws. Let’s go forward, getting united with all forces together in order to repeal the decision of the Abe government.
WE MUST FIGHT SO THAT GOVERNMENT MAY WITHDRAW DECISION!
On July 1, 1954, exactly 60 years ago, a military unit, Self Defense Forces (SDF), was inaugurated: its antecedent was Police Reserve Force created during the Korean War which began in 1950. And then it was reorganized into National Safety Forces to be the SDF. The Abe government proclaimed that the SDF had grown, developing from the military ready exclusively for self-defense, to be a combat unit which can battle everywhere in the world. The new concept is ‘a dynamic defense force’.
The cabinet’s decision means a coup d’etat against the Constitution. It encompasses legislative arrangements on national security so that Japan could commit in a war. The 19 ministers of ruling bloc, the Liberal Democratic Party and New Komeito, reached an agreement in a period of just a month and a half without allowing full debates in the Diet and winning people’s understanding.
Limit and Restraint Are Absent
Necessary legal steps taken in connection with the approval will totally contradict Article Nine of the Constitution. One government now will be allowed to make arbitrary interpretation on the right of collective self-defense as no limit or restriction is imposed. The new stance inverted the official measures so far on national security. The Abe government proposes ‘three conditions for the SDF to use military force’.
The government insists that, firstly, Article Nine does not deny the right of collective self-defense: Japan has the right of collective self-defense to cope with clear contingency when ‘people’s lives, freedom and the right to pursue happiness may be endangered fundamentally’, referring to ‘armed attacks against a country which has a close relation with Japan’. That is a violent change.
Secondly, it explains that the SDF could engage in military operations in the forefront together with the US forces even in a so-called gray zone situation. The government told that SDF troops may be sent to ‘a combat zone’ in the initiative of international activities.
The government has issued a Q&A booklet in which it explains that the SDF may join operations developed on the basis of collective defense of multiple nations.
Arrangements in Relevant Laws
The government told the right of collective self-defense ‘was approved by the Cabinet based on the debates made in the National Security Council’. And then it has immediately set up a team of staff in charge of legislation. It has already begun working. Legal arrangements are indispensable on relevant laws as a sole decision of the Cabinet cannot mobilize the SDF.
Related laws count over ten, including the SDF Act, Act on Emergency Situation around Japan and Act to Respond to Armed Attack. The government is planned to revise laws successively in the coming Extraordinary Session in September and the 2015 Regular Session of the Diet, examining reactions of a coalition party, New Komeito, and opposition parties.
Surveillance over People
Opposition movements had prevailed in the country and many municipalities had adopted resolutions to oppose the government’s position before the Cabinet approved. However, the Abe government did so. Now surveillance over people will be anticipated, as the government tries to excuse for terrorist actions and plans to legislate on conspiracy.
Let’s enhance mass movements jointly both inside and outside the Diet. Let’s intensify labor movements to bring down the Abe government. Let’s encourage civic movements to oppose Constitution amendment, getting united with actions of Anti-War Committees of 1000.
Let’s struggle together with mass of people! Let’s speed up organizational efforts!
July 15, 2014