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Japan's lower house approves change to self-defence law

#LDP's partner is the Komei  party supported by SGI, and both parties are the ruling parties in Japan.#


http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-33546465
BBC news 3 hours ago
The lower house of Japan's parliament has approved two controversial bills that change the country's security laws, despite protests in Tokyo.
The changes would allow Japanese troops to fight overseas for the first time since World War Two.
The bills still need approval from the upper house, but many expect them to eventually be passed into law.
The changes are unpopular and thousands demonstrated outside parliament on Wednesday.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has pushed for the two bills, arguing it is necessary to expand the role of the military in a doctrine called collective self-defence.
But polls show more than half of Japanese citizens oppose them.
Reacting to the passing of the bills, China's foreign affairs ministry spokesman Hua Chunying questioned if Japan was "abandoning its pacifist policies", and urged Japan to "stick to the path of peaceful development" and avoid harming the region's stability.
South Korea has similarly in the past urged Japan to "contribute to regional peace and security" and called for transparency in Japan's defence policy discussions.

What is collective self-defence?
Japan's post-World War Two constitution bars it from using force to resolve conflicts except in cases of self-defence.

Mr Abe's government has pushed for a change that would revise the laws such that Japan's military would be able to mobilise overseas when these three conditions are met:
◾when Japan is attacked, or when a close ally is attacked, and the result threatens Japan's survival and poses a clear danger to people
◾when there is no other appropriate means available to repel the attack and ensure Japan's survival and protect its people
◾use of force is restricted to a necessary minimum
Most of the opposition lawmakers walked out of the lower house chamber in protest before the vote took place on Thursday, with only members of the small Japan Restoration Party voting against the bills.

Mr Abe's Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and its coalition partners hold a two-thirds majority in the lower house, which is needed to approve bills.
The upper house, where the LDP and partners also hold a majority, now has 60 days to rule on the bills. Even if it rejects them, the bills would be sent back to the lower house which can then pass them into law.
But the BBC's Rupert Wingfield-Hayes says that the opposition is expected to launch legal challenges to rule the bills as unconstitutional.

Our correspondent says those in Japan who oppose the bills believe they break Japan's explicitly pacifist constitution and also distrust Mr Abe, who is known for his right-wing nationalist views.

Organisers of a large protest which took place outside parliament on Wednesday night said about 100,000 people showed up.

"I'm angry at both the new security bill and Prime Minister Abe. The bill is against Japan's constitution... Abe does not understand it," student Jinshiro Motoyama told the BBC.

Mr Abe first put the changes in motion last year when he sought to reinterpret Japan's pacifist constitution to allow the bills.

Protests as Japan paves way for self-defence law change
15 July 2015  From the section Asia BBC
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-33532557
A parliamentary committee in Japan has approved two major bills for debate, paving the way for an expanded role for the military.
The move sparked protests from opposition lawmakers in parliament and activists outside the building.
If the bills are passed, Japan would be able to fight overseas in a doctrine called collective self-defence.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe says it is necessary for the country's protection, but polls show many Japanese oppose it.
On Wednesday, a special committee set up in Japan's lower house to decide on the two security bills gave its approval.
The bills, will now be presented before Japan's full lower house on Thursday for another round of debate and approval. They still have to clear the upper house as well before they can be passed.
Many expect the bills to be passed as both the lower and upper houses of Japan's parliament, known as the Diet, are dominated by Mr Abe's Liberal Democratic Party (LDP).
Tensions ran high inside the Diet building on Tuesday when the special committee, which is also dominated by the LDP, moved to halt a long-running debate on the bills.
Opposition lawmakers shouted their disapproval and mobbed committee chairman, Yasukazu Hamada, as he began the voting process. AP news agency reported that some began slapping and grabbing him.
Hundreds of activists opposing the bills also gathered outside the Diet to protest the move.
Several recent polls showed that more than half of Japanese voters were opposed to passing the bills, reported The Asahi Shimbun.
Mr Abe addressed the committee on Wednesday, saying: "Unfortunately, the Japanese people still don't have a substantial understanding... I will work harder so public understanding would deepen further."
The change was put in motion more than a year ago when Mr Abe sought to reinterpret Japan's pacifist constitution - put in place following WW2- to allow the change.
Neighbours such as China and South Korea have decried the move and accuse Japan of re-militarisation.

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