The Lower House adopted a “farewell to war” declaration Tuesday supported by the three ruling coalition parties, but the move was labeled an election ploy by the opposition.
“Based on reflection on past history, we will strictly stick to defense under the Constitution and never become a military superpower (that will) cause a threat to other countries,” Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori told the Lower House after the declaration was passed.
Members of the Liberal Democratic Party, New Komeito and the New Conservative Party voted for the declaration in a plenary session of the Lower House while opposition lawmakers remained seated to demonstrate their objections.
Declining public support ratings for Mori’s Cabinet since he made a controversial remark May 15 that Japan is “a divine nation centering on the Emperor” may have influenced the ruling bloc in pushing the declaration, political analysts said.
Four opposition parties — the Democratic Party of Japan, the Japanese Communist Party, the Liberal Party and the Social Democratic Party — said such a Diet declaration should be adopted unanimously.
The opposition also questioned the timing of the declaration, coming before the expected dissolution of the Lower House in preparation for a general election tipped for June 25.
But during a steering committee session earlier in the day, members of the ruling camp voted to send the declaration to the plenary session.
The LDP proposed May 23 that the Lower House adopt such a declaration.
The declaration says: “Facing past war scars or new menaces of force of arms, Japan and other countries must renew their resolve to attain international peace, which is human beings’ greatest wish — to save future generations from the horrors of war.”
“Our country, under the principle of the Constitution and learning from history, will make the utmost efforts to contribute to achieving international peace.”
The declaration says the July Group of Eight summit in Okinawa Prefecture can serve as a starting point for countries to take an oath to solve international conflicts through peaceful measures.