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LDP making vigorous efforts to gain public understanding for security legislation

  • 2015-11-05 15:00:00
  • , Yomiuri
  • Translation

(Yomiuri: November 4, 2015 – p. 4)

 

 The government and ruling Liberal Democratic Party are using every possible method to seek understanding from the public for the security legislation. The largest opposition Democratic Party of Japan and other parties intend to make the legislation a major campaign issue in the House of Councillors election next summer.

 

 “Deterrence is a last resort. Although Japan is now allowed to partially exercise the right to collective self-defense, I hope that this right will not be exercised for 10 to 20 years. I believe it won’t,” said LDP Vice President Masahiko Komura at a seminar held on Nov. 3 in Naha City. He emphasized the significance of the security legislation, which was criticized as “war legislation” by some opposition members.

 

 In order to provide explanations on the security bills, the LDP has held 20 seminars in 14 prefectures, including Naha City, since late August. In addition to Komura, former defense ministers such as Akinori Eto and Itsunori Onodera as well as security experts are serving as lecturers.

 

 The Prime Minister’s Office [Kantei] also is desperately carrying out a PR campaign. The Kantei explained on its website the reason for the enactment of the security legislation, and published a feature page titled “Why is the security legislation needed now?” At the beginning of the feature page, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga explains: “We have heard views from a number of people saying ‘our explanations have been insufficient.'” The Kantei has been playing up the need to respond to North Korea’s development of nuclear weapons and missiles, as well as China’s activities in the East China Sea.

 

 In an opinion poll conducted by the Yomiuri Shimbun in early October, 82% of respondents said that the explanations by the government and ruling coalition were insufficient. DPJ President Katsuya Okada has called for making the legislation a major campaign issue in the Upper House election, saying, “If the opposition wins a majority in the Upper House, Diet approval won’t be granted. If so, the security legislation will not be used.” The government and ruling camp intend to continue using various methods to provide explanations. (Slightly abridged)

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