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What do Japan's new security bills imply?

Editor: Li Kun 丨CCTV.com

09-22-2015 17:22 BJT

By Zhang Yong, associate researcher of Japan Research Institution of Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, secretary-general of China-Japan Relation Research Center

Controversial new security bills were voted forcibly through the plenary session of the Upper House of the Japanese Diet (parliament) on September 19. The new security bills deviate from a pacifism spirit embedded in Japan’s long-cherished Constitution.

The 9th article of the Constitution stipulates that "Japanese citizens are sincerely striving for international peace on account of justice and order, abandon wars in the name of national sovereignty and never adopt armed forces to resolve international disputes. Don't keep land, sea and air forces and other battle forces. Don't admit belligerent rights."

The Constitution supports just a defensive defense as its basic principle.

Over the past 70 years after World War II, favoring "no war" has become the Japanese consensus. Whether the exercise of collective self-defense rights complies with the Constitution should be the focus on deliberation of the new security bills.

Yet instead of reaching a full consensus, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s administration had strongly pushed ahead its passage, which had triggered passionate protests from political opposition parties and the public-at-large.

Japan's pro-military rightists have endorsed the new security bills. Apparently, the Abe administration claims to be engaged in Japan’s "liberation" against the so-called "shackles" imposed on Tokyo after World War II.

They are attempting to build a "comprehensive normal" Japan in terms of its economy, diplomacy and military. The Right deviation appears to represent the core values of a "rejuvenated" Japan.

Although many constitution experts criticized the new security bills, it still got passed with 148 votes. The right deviation of Japanese politics can not absolve itself from blame. This completes the Japanese security strategy. In a bid to realize a goal of "comprehensive normalization", the "Abe route" is making intensive plans to implement them step by step.

Japan has passed the National Security Council Setup Law, National Security Strategy, Specific Secret Protection Law since 2013. The war bill, which challenges the pacifist Constitution, was just a start. In July 2014, Tokyo passed a cabinet resolution on lifting a ban on the collective self-defense right.

The Abe administration will seek to boost its military by breaking through barriers to promote its "powerful army projects". Tokyo is constructing preemptive combat forces, which can exceed its actual needs, while accelerating research on offensive weapons. 

The Abe administration is trying to realize "comprehensive normalization" of diplomacy and military starting with new security bills. Priority tasks are to amend existing laws and enable its self-defense forces to exercise collective self-defense rights.

Accordingly, Japan has become a country that can wage wars. When the time is mature, Tokyo may amend the Constitution, especially the 9th article to break constraints on the "post-war system."

However, Japan's domestic public opinion has been "activated", and Abe's ignorance of popular opinion would sow the seeds of discord for its future political operations. 


( The opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Panview or CCTV.com. )



Panview offers a new window of understanding the world as well as China through the views, opinions, and analysis of experts. We also welcome outside submissions, so feel free to send in your own editorials to "globalopinion@vip.cntv.cn" for consideration.

Panview offers an alternative angle on China and the rest of the world through the analyses and opinions of experts. We also welcome outside submissions, so feel free to send in your own editorials to "globalopinion@vip.cntv.cn" for consideration.

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