(Nikkei: June 24, 2015 – p. 2)
The current Diet session has been extended until Sept. 27. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said that this was a decision based on the need to secure sufficient time to engage in proper deliberations. Japanese citizens can hardly be said to have an adequate understanding of the security bills. The extended Diet session should be a session for deepening deliberations.
Prime Minister Abe has expressed his determination to pass the security bills in the current session. Therefore, the battle between the ruling and opposition parties is expected to intensify.
We are concerned that the two sides may become fixated with their own arguments and plunge into the mode of supporting the bills for the sake of supporting or opposing for the sake of opposition. It will not do for security policy to make an about-face each time there is a change of administration. The ruling parties and the opposition need to share a common basic policy direction.
All parties do not differ much on the need to be prepared for the heightening political and military tension in East Asia. Valid opinions from the opposition should be incorporated positively in order to enact the bills with the broadest possible support.
The Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) is demanding the blanket withdrawal of all the security bills. The fact that it is negating even those elements it used to promote when it was in power is an indication that this party has a long away to go before it can recapture political power.
The Diet session had to be extended substantially because the opposition halted deliberations repeatedly. We do not think that it is acceptable to build a wall between the people and the security bills by insisting that these are “inscrutable laws.” If they are opposed to the bills, they should speak up and tackle the Diet debate head-on.
The ruling parties are considering the possibility of a second vote on the bills if the House of Councillors does not make a decision within 60 days after the bills are sent to the chamber, which is considered a de facto rejection of the bills. Enacting the bills during a boycott will undermine the prestige of the legislature. Every effort should be made to avoid such a situation. (Slightly abridged)