Amid angry scenes, ruling parties force security bills through Lower House committee

by and

Staff Writers

The ruling bloc rammed two security bills through a special committee of the Lower House on Wednesday — amid a chorus of yelling opposition lawmakers — clearing a critical step toward the enactment of legislation that would expand the scope of Self-Defense Forces’ missions overseas.

During Wednesday’s session, opposition lawmakers mobbed committee chairman Yasukazu Hamada of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party and tried to halt the voting procedure.

But amid the clamor, ruling lawmakers stood up to show their support for the bills, and Hamada declared that the legislation was passed.

The bills would lift a number of restrictions on the SDF’s operations, including a ban on exercising the right of collective self-defense, or the right for a country to use force to aid an ally under attack even when not under attack itself.

Article 9 of the pacifist postwar Constitution was long considered to prohibit exercising the right. The Abe administration amended the government’s official interpretation of the text, and then submitted the security bills to the Diet, but many experts have argued the reinterpretation is unconstitutional.

The bills are now expected to clear the lower chamber’s plenary session on Thursday and to be sent immediately to the Upper House.

That would leave more than 60 days before the current Diet session ends on Sept. 27, a period of time that all but guarantees enactment. If the Upper House fails to vote on a bill within 60 days of its passage by the lower chamber, it can be sent back to the Lower House and enacted there if more than two-thirds of attending members of the lower chamber agree.

The ruling camp of the LDP and Komeito currently holds a more than two-thirds majority in the Lower House, and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe appears determined to enact the bills by the end of the current Diet session.

Wednesday’s row at the Diet, however, may mark a turning point for the Abe administration. It enjoyed generally strong opinion polls following its inauguration in December 2012, but surveys show a majority of voters oppose the enactment of the security bills and that support is dwindling.

A survey by Asahi Shimbun, conducted on Saturday and Sunday, found a 42 percent disapproval rate for the Cabinet. The figure is significant because it exceeds the approval rating for the first time since November.

Senior officials apparently fear the planned reactivation of the Sendai reactor in Kagoshima Prefecture could further eat away at the Cabinet’s ratings.

Kyushu Electric Power Co. plans to restart the Sendai reactor as early as Aug. 10, making it the first reactor to be reactivated on a long-term basis following the triple meltdown at Tepco’s Fukushima No. 1 plant in 2011. The Cabinet has long pushed for reactivation of the nuclear reactors halted in the wake of the nuclear disaster.

On Wednesday, the three largest opposition parties — the Democratic Party of Japan, Ishin no To (Japan Innovation Party) and the Japanese Communist Party — opposed the ruling camp’s proposal to have a vote on the government-sponsored security bills.

But during Wednesday’s Diet session, Abe pointed out that the bills have already been deliberated for as many as 113 hours and urged a swift conclusion.

He also noted that many voters opposed the controversial revision of the Japan-U.S. security treaty in 1960 and enactment of a bill in 1992 to allow the SDF to participate in U.N.-led peacekeeping operations, but that now a majority of people support them.

“We will press ahead while deeply and silently considering the mission given to us,” Abe told Wednesday’s Lower House session.

Meanwhile, Ishin no To and the DPJ’s counterproposals to the government’s bills were voted down.

Yorihisa Matsuno, head of Ishin, slammed the ruling camp’s decision to bulldoze the bills through the committee at a time when the legislation remains poorly understood by the public.

“It was an awful forcible passage,” Matsuno said. “I can’t understand why the ruling camp was in such an hurry to take the vote on the bills.”

He added that regardless of the amount of hours lawmakers spent deliberating the bills, there is still little public comprehension of the texts and their implications.

He also criticized the ruling camp for taking the vote when there had been too little time to debate Ishin’s alternative bills.

“It’s a shame that (our bills) were voted down after just five hours of deliberations,” Matsuno said, adding that Ishin will continue talks with the ruling camp after the government’s legislation is sent to the Upper House.

DPJ leader Katsuya Okada also condemned the manner in which the passage took place.

“A vote was forcibly conducted over the bills that would drastically change security policies that are strongly suspected to be unconstitutional,”Okada told reporters at the Diet. “We protest.”

He added: “The bills should be withdrawn and we should start deliberations afresh.”

  • Saron Pos


  • Kazuhiro Shino

    Absolutely imperative under current international climate no way to postpone the legislation defence is number one priority of the nation look around the world how many countries are suffering by insufficient defence

  • http://ameblo.jp/cluttered-talk/ Michiko

    We are not going to get involved with any warfare.
    For the sake of all the victims of the previous war, for the sake of the future of all the people in the region too.
    Because we are the people who love peace, unlike American people.
    Now angry 25,000 people are surrounding Diet and increasing the number so to crush the war bill.
    And Shinzo Abe will be nailed up to resignation soon.
    Shinzo Abe is a criminal who’s ignoring rule of law, just like his war criminal grandfather Nobusuke Kishi was.
    He is NOT getting our major support at all.
    His so-called mandate is all about illusion standing upon the illegal elections, or oppression on the media, and abuse on certain people those not tame.
    Shinzo Abe is nothing but a dictator, nothing different from Saddam Hussein, Assad, Qaddafi, or Kim in NK.
    Shinzo Abe is an absolute fascist.
    We are not Abe, we are not Abe, we are not Abe.

  • http://ameblo.jp/cluttered-talk/ Michiko

    It gets 100,000 people rallying in front of Diet now. https://twitter.com/Satan_02/status/621328031072673792
    We are not going to get involved with any warfare.
    Listen to our voices, we are not going to kill people again, we are against war, we love peace, we hate war and warmongers.
    Resign Abe, a grandson of a sordid A class war criminal, you failed, this is our will, obey our will as we are masters of this country, this is DEMOCRACY.

  • Liars N. Fools

    The bills were forced through because Abe promised Obama that they would be passed by the summer even though at the time of the summit meeting they had not been introduced. The Americans will undoubtedly welcome the enactment of the bills because the Americans are in need of Japanese “boots on the ground and on decks and butts in cockpit seats” to help the stretched and stressed American forces.

    America is not the instigator of this forced passage, but America will stand by Abe and his approach to democratic governance.

  • Ahojanen

    The opposition Democrats were behaving like kindergarten children…big turn-off. Abe will (have to) quit premiership some time, yet there seems little chance for immature Democrats to come in to power.

    Constitutional reforms will be necessary in the future for the constitution to stay consistent and viable with these security bills.

  • Brion Valkerion

    Glad to see the Japanese populace starting to really take protesting the nonsense their officials do seriously but in all reality it will end up meaning nothing as usual unless they get a real political opponent to run against these guys. All the protests in the world which barely get covered by the international press, mean nothing if you have no figurehead to knock them down. Abe and his peeps will continue to strong arm random laws and ideas like he always had while everyone just becomes complacent again… exactly how stuff like this happens.

  • StevenStreets

    There is infamy in the womb here. Such as infected Free Russia before Banker Putins Neo-Coup for the Russia Central Banks Military-Industrial-debt complex. Central Banks lust for war debt with no regard to the consequences for a free society.
    Beware! Japan. This is tragic history repeating itself.

  • g_grey_shrike

    We have to point out that the security bill went through the House by vote – the ruling parties didn’t “force” it. The reporter must have fabricated the headline, it seems. In addition, no logical utterance or writing has been published why the new security law will lead Japan to a war. The media to mislead the naive public to act frantically is really shameful.

  • timefox

    If you miss the Chinese invasion, so that trouble occurs in more Pacific Ocean islands than now.

    Aggression, provocative behavior of the recent China
    East China Sea
    May 21: A bomber flying between Okinawa Island and Miyako Island (nominal training)
    May 28: Senkaku Islands offshore in territorial waters violation (three ships ship sea 警局)
    June 3: In the Senkaku Islands off the coast of Ishigaki, Okinawa Prefecture, China sea 警局 ship (Coast Guard) is intrusion into Japanese territorial waters
    June 13: in China sea 警局 of Zhejiang Wenzhou coast (near the Senkaku Islands), announced plans to build a large base. Site area 500,000 square meters, is set to allow large vessels berthing of up to six vessels of vessels such as to wastewater 10,000 tons class, hangar of airplanes and helicopters, also large training facility construction plan
    June 14: Japan’s exclusive economic zone from the Senkaku Islands Kubashima north 96 km (EEZ), research vessel navigation
    June 17: In the Senkaku Islands off the coast, three ships “Coast Guard” of China sea 警局 Japan’s territorial waters in the invasion
    June 21: the Senkaku Islands in the exclusive economic zone from Taisho Island of northern Japan (Ishigaki, Okinawa Prefecture) (EEZ), the sea, such things as Chinese marine research ship “Science No. 3″ is net and basket check was dropped twice. Is different from the had waters report in advance, Japan Coast Guard patrol vessels request to stop

    South China Sea
    May 28 : One of the artificial island that is construction in the South China Sea , artillery two installation of mobile ( the US military reconnaissance aircraft confirmation )
    May 31 : Chinese military grandson founding Deputy Chief of Staff , ” artificial island ” in the Asia Security Conference in Singapore remarks as ” in order to meet the needs of military defense .”

    China’s defense budget “about 40 times in the past 26 years .”
    Defense budget of 15 years 886 800 000 000 98 million yuan ( about 16 trillion 900 billion yen ) . 1989 and later, in continuing the double-digit growth with the exception of the ’10

    To deny the defense , it does not prevent the aggression .

  • timefox

    Reaction of Asia Pacific Ocean countries
    1. Agree
    New zealand

    2. Opposite
    South Korea

    3. Unknown
    North korea

    After all , the two countries that are opposed to this bill . Korea invaded the Japanese Takeshima , China is trying to invade the Senkaku Islands in Japan. For those countries , this bill is in the way . So, it’s common for the two countries oppose .

  • timefox

    The number of demonstrators before the National Assembly is opaque . Organizers was advertised as 100 000 people , but the security official announced that people 6000-7000 .
    In addition , in the demo it is also said that there was a core faction . Core faction has caused a lot of violence terrorist attacks ,
    National Police Agency and the Public Security Intelligence Agency has been recognized as a far-left violence group – extremists .

  • timefox

    We do not forget the red coral of the Ogasawara Islands , which were destroyed in China . Self-Defense Forces and the Coast Guard , so that the same thing as this incident does not occur , we should continue to closely .

    Security legislation will help to prevent the island invasion of China .