A month has passed since the Lower House began deliberations on the government-proposed security legislation. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s ruling coalition voted this week to extend this Diet session, originally scheduled to end Wednesday, by an unusually long 95 days through Sept. 27 — an indication of his resolve to get the legislation enacted, which he effectively pledged in his April speech to the United States Congress to achieve “by this coming summer.”
There is speculation — denied by members of the Abe administration — that the coalition extended the session for such a long period to make sure it can enact the legislation via a revote in the Lower House on the strength of its two-thirds majority even if it gets stuck in the Upper House. However, time spent in the Diet alone won’t legitimize the bills. Serious doubts about the proposed legislation have emerged through the Lower House debate, including charges by constitutional scholars and former heads of the Cabinet Legislation Bureau that it is unconstitutional — to which members of the administration have not supplied convincing answers.