• Kyodo

  • SHARE

A mayor in Mie Prefecture said Thursday he is planning to file a lawsuit over the Cabinet’s decision to allow Japan to use the U.N. right to collective self-defense, because he believes it is unconstitutional.

Matsusaka Mayor Mitsushige Yamanaka, 38, held a news conference to announce that he will seek to confirm that the Cabinet’s decision Tuesday is invalid because it runs counter to the Constitution, which guarantees people’s right to live peacefully.

“It’s difficult for rank-and-filers to retrieve peace after mindless policymakers destroy it. It’s vital to legally confirm (the Cabinet decision) is unconstitutional,” he said.

The mayor said he will call on lawmakers, the heads of other municipalities and the general public to join his initiative, adding that he will soon establish a civic group to promote pacifism.

Yamanaka said Japan should not exercise the right to collective self-defense, or coming to the defense of allies under armed attack, because it is “important not to give chances (to other countries) to wage war.”

“Sticking to pacifism will lead to deterring war,” he added.

After the mayor unveiled his plan, about 130 responses were sent to the city of Matsusaka and Yamanaka’s Facebook page, with more than 70 percent of them supporting his initiative, city officials said.

On Tuesday, the Cabinet of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe approved a decision to reinterpret the Constitution, rather than formally amend it, to legally permit the Self-Defense Forces engage in collective self-defense, departing from the exclusively pacifist postwar security policy spelled out by war-renouncing Article 9 of the supreme law.