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The partisan pushing of the contentious security package through the Diet by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s ruling coalition is the wrong way to enact legislation that marks a major shift in the nation’s postwar defense posture and merits a broad-based political consensus to ensure stability in its future implementation. Support that the alliance secured from three minor conservative parties toward the end of the process has served only as a flimsy excuse to demonstrate that the coalition was not unilaterally forcing the legislation through the Diet.

Abe might argue that the opposition camp has always opposed the Liberal Democratic Party-led government’s policies on matters relating to defense and security, ranging from revising the Japan-U.S. security treaty in 1960 to the 1992 law on Japan’s participation in United Nations-led peacekeeping operations. In the face of criticism from constitutional scholars that the security legislation is unconstitutional, senior LDP leaders said when the Self-Defense Forces were created in 1954, most academics at the time said the move violated the war-renouncing Constitution — and that Japan would have been in danger if the government had listened to them. Do they want to say that history has proved that the government was right?

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