(Sankei: June 19, 2015 – p. 5)
It is now very likely that the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) may not submit counterproposals to the security bills. The party’s leader Katsuya Okada declared at the party leaders’ debate on June 17 that “there is no need for the right to collective self-defense,” which moved one step beyond the party’s position on possible exercise of this right in the future. Unlike the Japan Innovation Party (JIP), which is preparing counterproposals, the DPJ is now becoming an “absolute opposition party” that opposes for the sake of opposing.
At his news conference on June 18, deputy leader Akira Nagatsuma said that no counterproposal had been formulated so far, hinting at the possibility of not submitting proposals at all. With the government rushing to pass the security bills in the House of Representatives at an early date, the DPJ has not taken any action to come up with counterproposals.
Nagatsuma criticized the government at the news conference, asserting that, “The biggest problem is the government bills are questionable in terms of constitutionality. They need to be resubmitted.” In reaction to this, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga stated at his news conference: “This is a very important issue, so the DPJ should also come up with its counterproposals.” He also indicated interest in engaging in discussions with the JIP for possible revisions to the bill, remarking that “the government will deal with all parties in good faith.”
The DPJ had originally planned to jointly submit with the JIP a territorial policing bill on dealing with gray zone situations short of an actual armed attack. However, the JIP has now decided to submit the bill alone, partly because of conflict between the two parties over labor laws. Abandoned by the JIP, the DPJ’s response is now up in the air. (Slightly abridged)