Peace or war? Diet plays security bill name game


Staff Writer

The government says it is aimed at “peace.”

Not everyone is buying that explanation.

The opposition parties and much of the public are protesting the government’s use of that word in the titles of two security bills, one of which allows the Self-Defense Forces to use force overseas for the first time since World War II.

The two bills, endorsed by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Cabinet on Thursday, are named the kokusai heiwa shien hoan (international peace support bill) and the heiwa anzen hosei seibi hoan (peace and security legislation development bill).

The word heiwa was apparently thrown in to ease public anxiety over the controversial security shift.

Katsuya Okada, president of the Democratic Party of Japan, criticized the names Thursday, saying he does not see the legislation as leading to the safety and peace of this country as Abe has repeatedly claimed.

DPJ Secretary General Yukio Edano also slammed the titles. “The fact that it highlights ‘peace’ represents the dangerous nature of its contents,” Edano said Wednesday.

Earlier this week, executive members of Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party agreed to refer to the legislation as a whole as the “peace and security legislation” to counter the opposition, which has been calling it the “war legislation.”

The bills, submitted to the Diet on Friday, will mark a major turning point in Japan’s security policy if passed, by expanding the SDF’s scope abroad, loosening tight limits on weapons use during peacekeeping operations, and allowing Japan to use collective self-defense, or coming to the aid of another nation under attack, for the first time.

Last month, the LDP demanded that Social Democratic Party Deputy Chief Mizuho Fukushima retract her references to the “war legislation” in the Diet.

After she refused and the opposition parties backed her, the LDP retracted its demand.

At Thursday’s news conference after the Cabinet approved the security bills, Abe repeated that to call them “war legislation” is wrong and “irresponsible.”

  • Liars N. Fools

    I like “Support American Security Interests Law. “

  • LLLeon

    The servicemen stationed at those bases spend a great deal of money off base, thus contributing to the Okinawa economy.

  • Barbara Trout

    These are comments posted by Yamiko Otokawa that I like.

    Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is the BIGGEST THREAT to Japan, among all the threats. He :

    (1) wants to take away the basic Constitutional rights of all Japanese citizens under the false excuses of threatening national security or revealing national secrets. These are the same excuses used by dictators and totalitarian governments to control their citizens.

    (2) revises the Constitution without the “required” approval of the two-thirds majority in BOTH houses and the majority of Japanese voters in a referendum. He does not called it revising, he calls it reinterpreting. He has no respects for the highest laws of Japan.

    (3) wants the young and the future generations of Japanese to learn history based on “his” interpretations, revisions, etc., not based on factual materials, evidence, etc. This is what happens in North Korea, Soviet Union, etc..

    (4) wants to silence and intimidate the press like newspapers, TV stations, radio stations, etc. by using laws on national security and secrets.
    He wants to deprive Japanese citizens of their Constitutional rights to know about the LDP’s secret deal allowing US to bring nuclear weapons into Japan, 18.4 million “missing pensions” scandal, Fukushima radiation leakage, corruption, mishandling of industrial accidents, etc. by the government. He wants the press NOT to show, write or say bad things, even if they are true, about “his” government.

    (5) wastes paying billions of yen in “extra” foreign aid to bribe other countries into voting for Japan’s permanent membership in the UN Security Council. He squanders this money despite knowing that the bid can not succeed with China’s veto. This “wasted” money can be better spent to help millions of Japanese like some of “you”, with their living expenses, food, educational expenses, Fukushima resettlement, rebuilding from disasters, etc..

    More than 159,000 Japanese were evicted from lands too radioactive to live in the Fukushima nuclear disaster. Many are still waiting for help, compensation, etc. to rebuild their lives.