Members of the Abe administration appear to be getting around key questions about the controversial package of security legislation as Lower House debate got into full swing over the past week. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is sticking to the obvious as he tries to set the parameters for overseas missions by the Self-Defense Forces in their expanded role involving international security, while key Cabinet members evade going into specifics as if in fear their statements could tie Japan’s hands in responding to future security situations.
The Abe administration is bent on getting the legislation enacted during the current Diet session on the strength of the ruling coalition’s Diet majority, but public support and understanding of the bills is apparently not gaining steam. In a Kyodo News poll taken just as the Lower House debate kicked off late last month, 81 percent of the respondents said they did not think the government had sufficiently explained the bills, and 68 percent said the legislation, if enacted, would increase the risk of Japan getting drawn into war — which Abe vehemently denies. About 48 percent of the pollees said they opposed the legislation while 35 percent expressed support.