The leaders of six opposition parties Friday agreed to form a united front in trying to prevent the ruling camp bulldozing two contentious security bills into law.
The government and the ruling bloc, which comprises the Liberal Democratic Party and Komeito, are aiming to have the bills passed by the Upper House as early as Sept. 14, without resorting to a second Lower House vote under a so-called 60-day rule on Diet votes.
The six opposition parties involved include the Democratic Party of Japan, Ishin no To (Japan Innovation Party), and the Japanese Communist Party. Their leaders plan to hold talks again next week to discuss what they can do, including submitting a motion of no confidence against the Cabinet of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. “There is no doubt that the more opposition parties get together, the stronger the power,” DPJ President Katsuya Okada told reporters followingtalks in the Diet building.
“The end of the current Diet session is closing in, and the security legislation is entering a critical phase. We must block its passage using every possible measure,” Okada said.
Thebills would enable the Self-Defense Forces to come to the aid of allies overseas.
Later in the day, Abe expressed his resolve to get the legislation enacted during the current Diet session through Sept. 27.
“With (the extended session) approaching its end, we have to make a decision when we have to. That is the rule in democracy,” Abe said in Osaka during a TV program aired live nationally, with his ruling coalition aiming to put the bill to a vote at the House of Councilors in two weeks.
With the DPJ in mind, Abe said, “Regrettably, (the DPJ) has not presented counterproposals and only accused our bills of violating the Constitution. Such a stance will not lead to deeper deliberations on the bills.”
Information from Kyodo added