(Mainichi: June 30, 2015 – p.5)
In a meeting with three parties, the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), Komeito Party, and the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ), held on June 29 in the Diet, the Japan Innovation Party (JIP) conveyed its intention to begin consultations by presenting a counterproposal on the security legislation as early as July 3. As the three parties agreed to listen to the JIP’s explanation, a meeting for negotiating changes to the security legislation seems to begin this week. However, as the JIP is still discussing the counterproposal within the party, whether the meeting for negotiating changes to the legislation will proceed or not remains to be seen.
“The deliberation on the security legislation is proceeding in the committee. I want JIP to submit a counterproposal to the Diet as soon as possible,” said LDP Diet Affairs Committee Chairman Tsutomu Sato, urging JIP Secretary-General Mito Kakizawa to hastily put together a counterproposal. This is because the JIP went no further than to verbally explain, “We want to put the brakes (on the security legislation),” without presenting any documentation on its counterproposal.
The preparation for the counterproposal within the JIP is facing difficulties on account of instructions from Osaka City Mayor Toru Hashimoto, the JIP supreme advisor, and coordination with constitutional scholars on “constitutionality.” Under the circumstances, the preparation is way behind the original schedule for making the counterproposal by the middle of this month. The JIP leadership intends to officially conclude the process shortly.
Amid the Diet session taking longer hours on account of the constitutional scholars’ testimony that criticized the security legislation as “unconstitutional” and the recent issue of young LDP lawmakers’ study meeting, the ruling parties are expecting to have the JIP’s cooperation. However, the ruling parties strongly fear that if they take time to negotiate with the JIP for changes to the security legislation, the bills may not be put to vote in mid-July in the House of Representatives as expected by the ruling coalition.
LDP Secretary-General Sadakazu Tanigaki said in a press conference, “We want to sincerely respond to JIP, but it depends on when they (JIP) will come up with their counterproposal,” expressing his negative view on a further delay of Diet deliberation for the negotiations with the JIP.
The JIP’s counterproposal is comprised of three bills. JIP lawmakers differ have different opinions on whether the party should agree with the ruling parties on partial changes or the party should call for the ruling parties to accept all of them.
Difference is becoming manifest between the JIP’s Osaka group, which wants to expedite negotiations with the ruling coalition, and its non-Osaka group, which calls for more strictness in the bills. A lawmaker of the JIP’s Osaka group grumbles, “My LDP counterpart often calls me, saying ‘we can’t wait any longer’.” In the meantime, the non-Osaka group is becoming more active for making the bills stricter. Former JIP Representative Kenji Eda emailed Hashimoto, calling for more strictness in the bills by saying “JIP should not allow the right of collective self-defense.” The JIP’s calling for more strictness in the bills will make the negotiations with the ruling parties more difficult, and the party is adrift.