Prime Minister Shinzo Abe took up the issue of collective self-defense in the Diet on Wednesday for the first time since he announced his intention to seek changes to the government's long-standing interpretation of the Constitution to enable Japan to take military action overseas when a country with close ties to it is attacked — even though Japan is not under attack.

The scenarios he used to push his case seem farfetched. His remarks also suggest that the "checks" he says will be imposed on the Self-Defense Forces' military actions outside Japan are so vague that they could be expanded almost limitlessly, although he insists that the scope of Japan's engagement in collective self-defense would be just the minimum necessary.

During the Lower House Budget Committee session, Abe said that Japan needs to be able to engage in collective self-defense so that it can protect the lives and property of Japanese nationals. This is a proposition nobody can oppose, but the prime minister still has the duty to uphold the rule of law in this country. What Abe is trying to do is change the Constitution without going through the required constitutional process. Yet he simply ignores the danger this action poses to constitutional government — the basis of a modern democracy. Abe is trying to appeal to people's emotions to achieve his goal. Lawmakers and ordinary citizens alike should not be duped by his rhetoric.