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JIP heavyweight Hashimoto not opposed to all security bills

  • 2015-06-19 15:00:00
  • , Nikkei
  • Translation

(Nikkei: June 19, 2015 – p. 4)


 Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto, supreme adviser of the Japan Innovation Party (JIP), stated on June 18 that he is not opposed to all the security bills, thus leaving the option open for his party to engage in discussions with the ruling parties on revisions to the bills. Regarding the counterproposals that the JIP is currently considering, he said: “They won’t be counterproposals unless they challenge the basic thinking and ideology of the government’s bills,” indicating that the proposals are still inadequate. He indicated that the proposals will be refined through intraparty debate.


 This was in response to questions from reporters at the Osaka city government office. He raised the following point on the survival-threatening situation proposed by the government, which will authorize the exercise of the right to collective self-defense: “I basically agree with this but the legal provisions are unclear. Specific cases that will authorize the mobilization of the Self-Defense Forces (SDF) for defense duties need to be clarified.”


 On minesweeping, he said that “the laying of mines constitutes an armed attack on Japanese ships” and argued that the law should stipulate that this needs to be dealt with by the exercise of the right to individual self-defense.


 Regarding Diet involvement to serve as restriction on the SDF’s overseas deployment, he asked: “Can you let Diet members (who have not seen the actual situation) make the decision?” He suggested a procedure for the Diet to gain knowledge of the situation in the field after Diet approval by sending it members on on-site tours, for instance.


 Meanwhile, Hashimoto expressed harsh opinion on the territorial policing bill and other counterproposals the JIP is discussing. He said: “The people have no understanding of these proposals at all. They are just minor asides at the government’s proposals.”


 The JIP will hold a study meeting on security on June 20 with the participation of Hashimoto and JIP adviser Ichiro Matsui (Osaka governor), aiming at compiling counterproposals by June 22, at the earliest. While the supreme adviser, who is not a member of the executive council, does not have the power to make the final decision, these remarks of Hashimoto, who said he is “looking forward to a heated debate,” have caused a major stir.


 The JIP lawmakers from Osaka who are close to Hashimoto are moving toward a policy of cooperating with the Liberal Democratic Party and Komeito. Hashimoto’s statements have given rise to speculation that the JIP may possibly engage in discussions to revise the government’s bills. Party members opposed to such discussions are critical of Hashimoto, asserting that “he should retract his retirement from politics if he wants to talk like that.”

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