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Gist of interpellations on security bills at Upper House plenary session, July 27

  • 2015-07-28 15:00:00
  • , Mainichi
  • Translation

(Mainichi: July 28, 2015 – p. 5)




 Junzo Yamamoto (Liberal Democratic Party): The opposition dwelled on emotional arguments, such as that the [the security bills] will lead to conscription, in the House of Representatives’ interpellation and this has hindered the people’s understanding of the bills. There needs to be a correction understanding of the present security environment, including North Korea’s nuclear tests and development of missiles or China’s maritime advances.


 Toshimi Kitazawa (Democratic Party of Japan): What are the cases in which a survival-threatening situation does not overlap with the existing concept of “armed attack contingency”? Progress has been made in the Iranian nuclear issue, so minesweeping in the Strait of Hormuz cannot possibly be used as an example in legislation. Will logistic support for operations against the extremist group Islamic State (IS) be possible?


 Kiyohiro Araki (Komeito): The people’s understanding of the security bills has not deepened. We hope the Prime Minister and other officials will make every effort to explain them. Japan’s security environment is changing. The only way to respond to this is by strengthening Japan-U.S. defense cooperation.


 Jiro Ono (Japan Innovation Party [JIP]): The JIP’s proposals emphasize civilian control through the Diet by creating a specialist committee to examine the conditions for defense mobilization, for instance. What is your expectation for the discussions between the ruling and opposition parties taking place simultaneously with the Upper House deliberations?


 Tadayoshi Ichida (Japanese Communist Party): It is an established interpretation that the exercise of the right to collective self-defense is not allowed under Article 9 of the Constitution. The submission of bills overturning this interpretation amounts to a coup d’etat that will destroy the legal system. With the authorization of the exercise of this right, the Self-Defense Forces (SDF) will be at the beck and call of the U.S. forces and will use force overseas.


 Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s response


 Minesweeping in the Strait of Hormuz: We are not working on the assumption that a specific country will lay mines. Amid an increasingly harsh and uncertain security environment in the Middle East, it is important to make all necessary preparations to deal with all conceivable situations.


 Survival-threatening situations: Most survival-threatening situations are also armed attack contingencies. The laying of mines in the Strait of Hormuz is reckoned to be a survival-threatening situation but not an armed attack contingency.


 Embroilment in war: In cases that do not meet the three new conditions for the use of force, even if there is a request from the U.S. for exercising the collective defense right, Japan will, of course, refuse, in accordance with the Constitution.


 Constitutionality: Authorization of the limited exercise of the collective self-defense right is limited to “necessary self-defense measures” cited in the Supreme Court’s Sunagawa case decision and is, therefore, constitutional.


 Ruling party-opposition talks: We hope that both sides will make all possible efforts to find middle ground.


 IS: We have never considered logistic support for the alliance of the willing’s military operations against the IS. This will remain unchanged after the enactment of the security bills.


 The people’s understanding: We will listen in good faith to the people’s opinions, conduct the Upper House deliberations in a creative manner, and make efforts to provide meticulous explanations.


 Necessity of security legislation: The government has a responsibility to think of all possible situations and make seamless preparations. The peace and security bills are indispensable for this purpose.

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