New ministers of the Abe government were appointed on September 3. The cabinet includes five women ministers, and a post of Minister in charge of vitalizing local economies is established. Prime Minister Abe calls his new government ‘a cabinet to carry out pledges’. This government, however, represents to people antipathy as it will impose in coming months 10% of consumption tax rate and obligations of TPP, restart nuclear power plants and legislate relying on the unilateral decision to admit the right of collective self-defense. People face many barriers to tackle and schemes to reject.
LET’S STOP VIOLENT DRIVE OF ABE GOVERNMENT WITH ALL OUR MIGHT!
Premier Abe named five female ministers in order to improve an image of his administration, but they are all hawkish quite similar to the premier. A new post of Minister in charge of promoting women’s participation does not intend to take care of women who live in poverty or struggle with child care. Another new post of a minister to vitalize local economies represents a government’s wish to activate jeopardized provincial economies, but in fact it aims to prepare for local elections scheduled in April, 2015.
Two Important Gubernatorial Elections
Behind these technical arrangements of the new cabinet there lies a political schedule that may impact on state level politics. Gubernatorial elections will be held to vote on October 26 in Fukushima Prefecture and on November 16 in Okinawa.
These two events are important to the electorate as the results will directly send people’s voices against the Abe government; it has begun with force to reclaim land for a new military base at the beach of Henoko, Okinawa, after it had admitted in July the right of collective self-defense. It is hasty in restarting nuclear plants across the nation, making the Fukushima disaster ‘a thing in the past’. The ruling parties attempt to grant 310 billion Yen to Fukushima for its acceptance of a planned intermediate facility to store nuclear debris and another 340 billion Yen to boost economy in Okinawa. The payments constitute a procedure to settle issues with money.
The government will commit in vital agenda by the end of the year: a decision on another hike of the consumption tax rate up to 10% and TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership) conditions.
The Abe administration is planned to present bills to activate local economies and to legalize casino in the September’s Diet session. It will submit a bill again to revise the Worker Dispatch Act, which was rejected in the last regular session.
The Abe administration takes a fighting stance for the 2015 regular Diet session; to immediately approve the Fiscal 2015 Budget, which will exceed 102 trillion Yen in terms of the estimated demands, and to pass through the Diet in mid-May after the local elections a series of laws relevant to the right of collective self-defense. For a purpose of legislation the government has a schedule to have meetings from coming October 3 to review the US-Japan defense cooperation guidelines in the Japan-US Security Consultative Committee (=SCC, or 2 plus 2).
According to media reports, the number of bills concerning the right of collective self-defense counts approximately 20. The government attempts to set up a special committee to debate and vote all of the bills at once. As for the labor issue, a bill that allows employers not to pay for overwork will be presented, a notorious one characterized by ‘white collar exemption’.
Enhance Mass Movements!
Under the circumstances progressive forces engage in ‘combined protest campaigns’ against the Abe government from this autumn and continue until early summer next year. The movements focus on withdrawal of the cabinet decision on the right of collective self-defense and rejection of reoperation of nuclear plants across the country.
Support campaigns of the Anti-War Committee of 1000 and develop common struggles to defend the Constitution! The New Socialist Party (NSP) opposes a new base at Henoko, Okinawa, and fights for the gubernatorial election there. The NSP will send a delegation in solidarity with local people of Henoko. It calls for donation for the election. Through these campaigns the NSP prepares for the local elections of April next year for victory.
Let’s struggle so that the government should not open a way to wage wars. Let’s intensify mass movements to end nuclear energy generation! Let’s strengthen the NSP!
September 16, 2014