(Sankei: July 16, 2015 – p. 2)
The ruling parties alone passed the security bills at the House of Representatives special committee. The bills will now be passed by the plenary session of the Lower House and sent to the House of Councillors on July 16.
The opposition parties, which are against these bills, are criticizing this as an “outrageous act of railroading.” However, deliberations had been exhausted in the Lower House and the procedure of hearing the opinion of outside experts had also been taken, so voting on the bills was appropriate.
Counterproposals were submitted by the opposition at a very late date, as if for the purpose of delaying the deliberation schedule. Above all, labeling the bills “warmongering legislation” and putting forth such irrelevant claims as the “revival of conscription” did not help deepen the debate.
It is the Diet’s basic duty to vote either for or against bills that have been deliberated.
At the last interpellation before the bills were voted on, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said: “We must not evade the responsibility of taking the necessary self-defense measures. We will move forward with policies with a firm conviction.”
Japan must enhance the deterrence provided by the Japan-U.S. alliance and put in place systems to safeguard Japan’s peace and the people’s lives. The security bills, with the limited exercise of the right to collective self-defense as the centerpiece, constitute an effective way to prevent war.
We ask the Abe administration to renew its recognition of the serious responsibility of developing a new legal system for security.
The Prime Minister himself admits that the people’s understanding of the security bills is insufficient. The security environment around Japan is worsening, with China becoming more aggressive, banking on its military power. The government should explain this to the people in a straightforward manner. We ask for substantial deliberations at the Upper House as well.
The failure of the Democratic Party of Japan, the Japan Innovation Party, and the Japanese Communist Party to participate in the special committee’s vote amounts to the abandonment of their responsibility to clarify their position on the bills. They should participate in the vote in the Lower House plenary session. (Slightly abridged)