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Japan to allow military role overseas in historic move

#The ruling parties are LDP and Komei Party supported by SGI.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-34287362
BBC 8 hours ago  From the section Asia

Japan's parliament has voted to allow the military to fight overseas for the first time since the end of World War Two 70 years ago.
A vote on the new law was delayed for several hours as the opposition tried to stop the measure coming into force.
Outside, demonstrators rallied in a last-ditch show of protest.
Many Japanese are attached to the pacifist provisions in the constitution which banned fighting overseas.
The bills have already passed through the government-dominated lower house.
The government says that the changes in defence policy are vital to meet new military challenges such as those posed from a rising China.
It wanted to hold the vote before a five-day holiday begins on Saturday. The governing coalition has a majority in both chambers of the Diet, meaning that ultimately the opposition camp was powerless to stop the measure becoming law.
Masaaki Yamazaki, the president of the upper house, said the bills were passed with 148 lawmakers voting in support and 90 against.
More than 200 hours have been spent deliberating the legislation, the Japan Times reported, and its approval by parliament fulfils one of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's long-held ambitions.
On Thursday, opposition politicians tried to physically delay proceedings ahead of a committee vote on the bills.
What is collective self-defence?
Japan's post-World War Two constitution bars it from using force to resolve international conflicts except in cases of self-defence.
Mr Abe's government has pushed for security legislation that would allow Japan's military 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

What's behind Japan's military shift?
The bills prompted large public protests for months.
The changes re-interpret rather than formally change the constitution. But critics say this will violate the pacifist constitution and could lead Japan into unnecessary US-led wars abroad.
Speaking in parliament on Friday, Akira Gunji, of the opposition Democratic party, said: "We should not allow such a dangerous government to continue like this.

"Prime Minister Abe's security bill is a threat to our legal framework."

Supporters of the measures, which are backed by Washington, insist they are essential for the defence of Japan and its regional allies, and will permit greater involvement in peacekeeping activities around the world.


What kinds of military actions would the laws allow?
◾Japan would be able to provide logistical support to South Korea if the North invaded, though Mr Abe has said it would still be against the constitution to send Japanese troops to fight on Korean soil.
◾It would be legal for Japan to shoot down a North Korean missile headed for the US. Currently, they have to threaten Japan to justify shooting them down. North Korea is thought to be several years from being able to hit mainland US targets though.
◾Military action to keep shipping lanes secure, such as minesweeping, even if in an active conflict zone, might be allowed if the restriction on shipping was severe enough to constitute a threat to Japan's survival. But there have been different answers on how severe that restriction would have to be - especially relevant for resource-poor Japan. The deputy leader of the Mr Abe's Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), Masahiko Komura, has said that relatively minor problems like an oil price increase would not be enough - there would have to be a clear danger to people in Japan.
◾Armed involvement in hostage rescues would also become possible. In January 2013, 10 Japanese hostages were killed at the Amenas gas plant in Algeria.
◾Regional limits on Japanese military support for US and other foreign armed forces would also be eliminated.

Critics have focused on what they say is ambiguity in how the principles of the legislation will be interpreted, and the possibility that future governments will interpret them more broadly.


AFP-MAIL : Japan-politics-defence-military,WRAP
http://www.c4defence.com/afp-mail-japan-politics-defence-militarywrap-5/
Japan-politics-defence-military,WRAP
Japan set to pass security bills despite widespread anger
By Shingo ITO

Tokyo, Sept 18, 2015 (AFP) – Japan is expected to pass security bills
Friday that would allow troops to fight on foreign soil for the first time
since World War II, despite fierce criticism it will reshape the proudly
pacifist nation.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s ruling coalition wants to vote the
controversial bills into law after days of heated debate that at times
descended into scuffles, tears and tantrums.
Hundreds gathered in front of parliament in Tokyo Friday in a last-ditch
rally against the laws, which could see the biggest shift in Japan’s defence
policy for half a century.
Tens of thousands of people, young and old, have taken to the streets for
weeks in almost daily rallies, in a show of public anger on a scale rarely
seen in Japan.
“The bills are against the constitution. It’s a legislation that doesn’t
respect people’s lives,” said 70-year-old Hozumi Wada, who said he was
protesting for the first time since he was a student.
“I wanted to do everything I can,” he said, holding up a placard that read:
“No war.”
Nationalist Abe wants what he calls a normalisation of Japan’s military
posture, which has been restricted to narrowly defined self-defence and aid
missions by a pacifist constitution imposed by the US after World War II.
He and his backers say the changes are necessary because of threats from an
increasingly belligerent China and unstable North Korea.
Opponents argue the new laws — which would allow the tightly restricted
military to fight in defence of allies — go against the national psyche and
could see the country dragged into American wars in far-flung parts of the
globe.
Tempers flared in Japan’s parliament on Thursday, where chaos broke out as
opposition politicians physically tried to block a committee approving the bills.
In scenes closer to a rugby match than the usually sedate parliament,
lawmakers at one point jumped on each other in a huge scrum to prevent the vote.

– ‘No hope’ –

Although they failed, opposition members continued their delaying tactics
on Friday in a bid to push approval of the bills back until after a long weekend.
One lawmaker dressed in black and carried Buddhist beads in a mock funeral
procession as he cast a vote in support of an upper house censure motion against Abe.
The bill is still expected to pass on Friday as the ruling coalition holds
a majority in both houses of parliament.
Abe has faced fierce criticism for both the laws themselves and the way he
has driven them though, despite public opposition.
There are growing signs this is taking a political toll — opinion polls
show the vast majority of Japanese are against the changes, and Abe’s once
sky-high approval rating is dropping.
Unable to muster support to amend clauses enshrining pacifism, Abe opted
instead to re-interpret the document for the purpose of his bills, ignoring
warnings from scholars and lawyers that they are unconstitutional.
Opponents, including a Nobel-Prize winner, popular musicians and other
prominent figures, say the changes could fundamentally alter Japan.
But Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said the wrangling should end,
blaming the opposition for wrongly labelling the legislation “war bills”.
“We have spent enough time and had enough debate,” he told reporters on Friday.
Washington has backed the changes, but regional rivals China and South
Korea have expressed concern at any expansion of Japanese military might.
Security experts say the bills will force a reevaluation of Japan’s place on the world stage.
“The bills are a psychological message to the world that an era in which
Japan should not be involved in conflicts because of its exclusively
defence-oriented policy is over,” said Hideshi Takesada, a professor at
Takushoku University in Tokyo.

World | Fri Sep 18, 2015 1:54pm EDT Related: World, Japan
Japan enacts bills easing pacifist constitution's limits on military
TOKYO | By Linda Sieg Reuters
http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/09/18/us-japan-security-idUSKCN0RI03120150918

Japan's parliament voted into law on Saturday a defence policy shift that could let troops fight overseas for the first time since 1945, a milestone in Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's push to loosen the limits of the pacifist constitution on the military.

Abe says the shift, the biggest change in Japan's defence policy since the creation of its post-war military in 1954, is vital to meet new challenges such as from a rising China.

But the legislation has triggered massive protests from ordinary citizens and others who say it violates the pacifist constitution and could ensnare Japan in U.S.-led conflicts after 70 years of post-war peace. Abe's ratings have also taken a hit.

The legislation "is necessary to protect the people's lives and peaceful way of living and is for the purpose of preventing wars," Abe told reporters after the bills were approved by the upper house. "I want to keep explaining the laws tenaciously and courteously."

Japan's ally the United States has welcomed the changes but China, where bitter memories of Japan's wartime aggression run deep, has repeatedly expressed concern about the legislation.

"Recently we have noticed that voices in Japan opposing the bill have become louder by the day," Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei told a regular news briefing on Friday.

"We demand that Japan earnestly listen to these just voices domestically and internationally, learn the lessons of history, uphold the path of peaceful development, speak and act cautiously in security and military matters and take actual steps to maintain regional peace and stability," Hong added.

The bills, already approved by parliament's lower house, were voted into law by the upper chamber in the early hours of Saturday despite opposition parties' efforts to block a vote by submitting censure motions and a no-confidence motion against Abe's cabinet in the lower house. All were defeated.

A key feature of the laws is an end to a long-standing ban on exercising the right of collective self-defense, or defending the United States or another friendly country that comes under attack, in cases where Japan faces a "threat to its survival".

Thousands of demonstrators have rallied near parliament every day this week, chanting "Scrap the war bills" and "Abe resign". Large crowds were still protesting into the early hours of Saturday.

The protests have called to mind those that forced Abe's grandfather, Nobusuke Kishi, to resign 55 years ago after forcing a U.S.-Japan security treaty through parliament.

The revisions also expand the scope for logistics support for the militaries of the United States and other countries, and for participation in peace keeping.

The changes still leave Japan constrained in overseas military operations by legal limits and a deeply rooted public anti-war mindset.
"Even if the constitution is revised, among the Japanese people no-one is thinking of going to foreign lands for the purpose of exercising force," former defence minister Itsunori Onodera told Reuters in an interview earlier this week. "I think Japan will maintain that stance from now on as well."
Critics, however, say the changes make a mockery of the pacifist constitution and deplore what they see as Abe's authoritarian mode of pushing for enactment of the bills.
Opposition to the legislation brought together both liberals keen to preserve Japan's pacifist principles and conservative critics of what they consider Abe's authoritarian tactics.
"The content, process and doctrine of the security bills ... risk reversing
the path we have walked for the past 70 years as a country of peace and democracy," Yukio Edano, secretary-general of the opposition Democratic Party, told parliament's lower house ahead of the no-confidence vote against Abe.
Abe won a second three-year term as ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) chief earlier this month and faces no immediate danger of being unseated, but voter distaste for the new laws could hurt the ruling bloc in an election next year.
"The people’s revolt will continue toward the next election one way or another," said Keio University professor Yoshihide Soeya.
(Additional reporting by Ben Blanchard in Beijing and Kiyoshi Takenaka in Tokyo.; Editing by Paul Tait and Simon Cameron-Moore)


Asia Pacific
Japan passes controversial security bills into law
Japan's parliament passed contentious security bills into law in the early hours of Saturday (Sep 19), in a move that could see Japanese troops fight abroad for the first time in 70 years.
POSTED: 19 Sep 2015 02:16 UPDATED: 19 Sep 2015 03:03
http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/asiapacific/japan-passes/2136860.html
TOKYO: Japan's parliament passed contentious security bills into law early Saturday (Sep 19), in a move that could see Japanese troops fight abroad for the first time in 70 years.

Lawmakers approved the bills to ease restrictions on the country's tightly controlled military, while outside thousands rallied in a last-ditch show of opposition to laws they fear could fundamentally reshape the proudly pacifist nation. The changes, which would allow Japanese troops to fight in defence of allies, have drawn tens of thousands of people from across society onto the streets in almost daily protests, in a show of public anger rarely seen on such a scale.

Outside parliament protesters, estimated at over 10,000, raised their voices louder as news of the decision spread through the crowd, chanting: "Protect the constitution." One sign read: "Spread peace not war."

"I'm ready to stay here all night. The government cannot ignore such a demonstration," said 60-year-old farmer Yukiko Ogawa. "It is vital that we make our opinion known, that we are here."
Seiji Kawabe, 49, vowed the movement would live on, adding: "We have enough natural disasters, typhoons, earthquakes... we don't need any man-made disasters."

Organisers said more than 40,000 had gathered for Friday night's rally, while police estimated the size of the crowd at some 11,000.

Nationalist Prime Minister Shinzo Abe says the changes were a normalisation of Japan's military policy, which has been restricted to self-defence and aid missions by a pacifist constitution imposed by the US after World War II. He and his backers say the laws are necessary because of threats from an increasingly belligerent China and unstable North Korea.

Opponents argue they go against both the constitution and the national psyche, and could see Japan dragged into far-flung American wars.

Speaking after the vote, Abe said the changes were "necessary in order to protect people's lives and peaceful way of life".

"This is designed to prevent wars," he told journalists.
WE DO NOT FORGIVE’

The decision came after days of emotional debate and delaying tactics by the opposition, which in Thursday erupted into scuffles as politicians physically tried to block a committee approving the bills.

President of the upper house Masaaki Yamazaki said the bills passed with 148 lawmakers voting in favour, compared to 90 against. However, the changes will not see Japanese troops dispatched to warzones any time soon and the laws will now face a ruling by the supreme court that could potentially see them overturned.

Unable to muster support to amend clauses enshrining pacifism, Abe opted instead to re-interpret the document for the purpose of his bills, ignoring warnings from scholars and lawyers that they are unconstitutional. He has faced fierce criticism for both the laws themselves and the way he has driven them through in the face of public opposition.

There are growing signs this is taking a political toll -- opinion polls show the vast majority of Japanese are against the changes, and Abe's once sky-high approval rating is dropping.


In protests outside parliament earlier in the day, Yoko Fujiwara stood among the crowds with her six-year-old daughter, who carried a hand-written sign saying: "We do not forgive. Children are angry, too."

"I came to the protest together with my daughter to show what real democracy is like," said the 40-year-old graduate law student.

Opponents of the laws, including a Nobel-Prize winner, popular musicians and other prominent figures, say the changes could fundamentally alter Japan.

Washington has backed the changes, but regional rivals China and South Korea have expressed concern at any expansion of Japanese military scope. China's foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei on Friday called on Japan to "listen carefully to voices inside and outside the country calling for justice" and called on lawmakers to "take real actions to protect regional peace and stability".
Security experts say the laws will force a re-evaluation of Japan's place on the world stage.
"The bills are a psychological message to the world that an era in which Japan should not be involved in conflicts because of its exclusively defence-oriented policy is over," said Hideshi Takesada, a professor at Takushoku University in Tokyo.

- AFP/fl
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上記広告は1ヶ月以上更新のないブログに表示されています。新しい記事を書くことで広告を消せます。