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2015年9月17日 (木)

社説:安保関連法案 成立に強く反対する

September 16, 2015 (Mainichi Japan)
Editorial: We strongly oppose passage of government-backed security bills
社説:安保関連法案 成立に強く反対する

Does Prime Minister Shinzo Abe think he's a prophet?

"The public's understanding and support toward the security bills will undoubtedly spread after the bills are enacted and time passes," he told the House of Councillors special committee on special legislation on Sept. 14.

Saying that "people will understand in time" while having provided no convincing counterarguments to the many objections that have been voiced against the bills demonstrates the great extent to which Abe, full of conceit, belittles the public.

The objections toward the bills are not temporary, nor are they purely emotional. They are based on the real fear of the possibility that common sense will be distorted and Japan's accomplishments over the years as a peaceful nation will be sabotaged.

Japan's national security policy is the result of a delicate balancing act between war-renouncing Article 9 of the Constitution and the Japan-U.S. security treaty. It has comprised the solid backbone of post-World War II Japan, born from a coexistence of deep remorse for a reckless war and the realistic need to protect the country.

However, the security bills now before the Diet, if passed, would greatly reduce the binding force of Article 9, allowing the center of gravity of Japan's security policy to shift dramatically to the Japan-U.S. security alliance.

Seventy years have passed since the end of World War II. There would be room for debate if this significant change in policy were being taken through the appropriate legal channels. But that has not been the case.

In the nearly four months that these bills have been under deliberation in the Diet, close Abe aide Yosuke Isozaki's comment that legal stability is irrelevant has left the strongest impression. Those words, uttered by the Abe government's core national security strategist, have made the philosophy behind the bills' design glaringly obvious.

The administration is placing utmost priority on military demands based on Cold War-era thinking. In one swift move, it made a complete about-face on an interpretation of the Constitution that had been maintained for over 40 years, citing "changes in the environment." And when a former Supreme Court chief justice pointed out the many holes in the bills' logic, the prime minister brushed the criticism aside, saying the former justice was now merely "a private citizen."

Abe has called on China to observe the rule of law in light of its growing naval presence, but has shown blatant disregard for legal order in his own country. He has exceeded the authority given to him.

The security bills are flawed not only in their quality, but also in their volume. Under the banner of guaranteeing "seamless" responses to security situations, the bills aim to maximize the range of activities the Japan Self-Defense Forces are permitted to carry out.

Among the activities that the bills would allow the SDF to conduct are logistics support on a global scale, the provision of ammunition to foreign militaries, and the protection of the U.S. military's weapons without prior approval by the Diet. Any one of these stipulations would be a significant deviation from current policy, but they were submitted to the Diet lumped together as two bills. Because of this, some aspects of the bills have barely been addressed by the Diet.

Since risk management is one of the core responsibilities of the state, it must prepare for possible dangers. However, the process of deciding how to protect the country must meet certain standards in a range of areas, including legal stability, national strength and the public's understanding and support.

The security bills backed by the Abe Cabinet meet none of these criteria. And yet, the ruling coalition is trying to rush these half-baked bills to a vote.

Politics is the process of selecting the course a country takes. Political leaders are simultaneously responsible for undertaking that process and for bringing the public together. We cannot abide the prime minister's pipe dream that time will solve everything, when he has not demonstrated any prospects for repairing the deep rifts that run through Japanese society.

Japan is at a crossroads, perhaps its biggest since the end of World War II. We face a watershed moment as significant as or more significant than the 1954 establishment of the Self-Defense Forces or the 1960 revision of the Japan-U.S. security treaty. We are greatly alarmed that taking the wrong fork in the road will inflict great injury on our country.

毎日新聞 2015年09月16日 02時30分


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« 社説:安保転換を問う 週内採決方針 議会政治壊すつもりか | トップページ | 今日のイチオシDreamNews »