Japan’s Cabinet seeks to drop ban on collective self-defense amid protests

Source:Globaltimes.cn Published: 2014-7-2 19:37:57

              Latest News

Tokyo eases ban on use of force

A major overhaul of Japan’s defense policy on July 1 drew strong criticism from both China and Japanese citizens, after the decision opened the way for the country’s military to engage in combat overseas.

Japan's Cabinet OKs controversial resolution on collective self-defense

The Japanese cabinet on July 1 rubber-stamped a resolution that will allow the country to exercise collective self-defense right by reinterpreting the pacifist Constitution, despite strong criticism from the public and overseas.

Japan's Right to Collective Self-defense given green light

Japanese Cabinet Legislation Bureau has given the green light to lift the ban on the Right to Collective Self-defense.



●  Government

"In regards to the collective safety, I want to say, the self-defense forces will not be sent abroad for combat. Even though we are able to exercise the right to collective self-defense, it is forbidden by the Constitution to send forces abroad." said Shinzo Abe, Japanese Prime Minister.

The New Komeito Party, junior coalition partner of Abe's Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), has been opposed to reinterpreting the Constitution, fearing that greater use of force by the Self-Defense Force (SDF) would ultimately gut the pacifist clause. But under the pressure of Abe, Natsuo Yamaguchi, New Komeito's party leader on June 26 backed the government's move to reinterpret the pacifist Constitution, throwing his support for the first time behind the controversial policy.

Public protests

Click to view more photos: Thousands protest against Japan's Abe, collective defense

About ten thousand protestors rallied in front of the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's official residence at dusk on "July 1" and shouted loud by using megaphones and drummed, making them to be heard even at the Kasumigaseki, about "one" kilometer away from their gathering site.

This time, protestors shouted "do not destroy the pacifist Constitution" and "Step down, Abe," holding banners that read "Tokyo against Fascism," "Article 9 rules. Speak up. Now or Never. Be true to the Article 9" and "absolutely oppose cabinet resolution."

Man burns himself in Tokyo against collective defense
A man burned himself at the crowded Shinjuku train station in Japan's capital Tokyo on June 30 in a move allegedly to protest against the Japanese government's attempt to exercise the rights to collective self-defense, according to social media Twitter.

●  Polls

According to a latest survey conducted through June 27 to 29 by Japan's Nikkei News, 54 percent of respondents say no to reinterpretation of Japan's anti-war constitution as the prime minister is trying to change the interpretation of the Japanese pacifist supreme law to achieve the goal of collective defense. Only 29 percent of the respondents support the move.

A nationwide telephone survey, which was made by Kyodo News Agency on June 21 and 22, found that only 34.5 percent support the controversial move. In the meantime, 57.7 percent of respondents are against Abe's move to lift the ban on collective self-defense by reinterpreting the Pacifist Constitution, instead of amending it.

According to the survey by Mainichi Shimbun, among the opposition, about 83 percent said the collective defense rights will drag Japan into war. The poll also said that support rate for Abe's Cabinet fell to 45 percent, the lowest since Abe took office in December 2012.


We have noticed that lifting the ban on collective self-defense faces strong opposition in Japan. The direction of Japan's development needs to be decided by the Japanese people. We are against Japan using the “China threat theory” to promote its political agenda at home. The Japanese side should not undermine China's sovereignty and security interests, as well as regional peace and stability, said Hong Lei, a Foreign Ministry spokesman, at the press conference on July 1.

“Due to historical and realistic reasons, Japan's moves in military and security fields attract close attention from China and other Asian neighbors. We are against any move by the Japanese side that undermines regional peace, security and stability,” said Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang on June 27 when responding to the question regarding the Japanese government's submission to the ruling bloc of a final draft decision on lifting its ban on collective self-defense.


“Our view that Japan has every right to conduct them – to provide the necessary – to equip themselves, I should say – sorry, it’s a tongue twister – to equip themselves in the way they deem necessary. We encourage them to do that in a transparent manner, and we remain in touch with them about these important issues,” said US State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki on June 30 during a regular briefing .

“On the exercise of the right of collective defense, presently in Japan the legal basis for security is being discussed and with regard to the stability of Japan and regional safety and stability, and to function the alliance effectively, and to contribute to the stability of the region we are making these studies. This is what I have explained to President Obama. Concerning such studies and examinations being made in Japan, this was welcomed and this would be supported. That was the position expressed by President Obama,” said Japanese Prime Minister Abe said Japanese Prime Minister Abe during a joint press conference on April 24.


Global Times Editorial: Defense shift sets free Tokyo’s militarism
China should avoid a worse situation when it has to make strategic compromises with Japan in spite of Japan's wrongdoings.

An aggressive Japan is nothing to be afraid of. China can well manage the security risks an overweeningly ambitious Japan poses. As long as China continues to rise, the US will deploy more forces in Asia. But between Beijing and Tokyo, Beijing has strategic advantage and is able to deter Tokyo.

Xinhua: Abe's Faustian flirtation with specter of war
No matter how Abe glosses over it, he is dallying with the specter of war through a cheap scam but at the dear cost of the souls not only of his own but also of the entire Japanese nation. For with the limits on the use of force for collective self-defense vaguely defined, Japan might be thrown into undeserved wars by some hot-headed or near-sighted politicians at the top.

Yin Zhuo, a military expert
In general, Japanese have prudently opposed adopting the right to collective self-defense. In the decades since World War II, Japan transformed itself from a defeated power to an economic powerhouse. For more than ten years Japan threatened to overtake the US as the world’s largest economy. This prosperity is owed much to Japan’s pacifist constitution, which has enabled it concentrate on building its economy. As a result, Japan's politics and society have for the most part remained stable.
Japan choosing to adopt a right to collective self-defense would mean taking part in war and ending this period of peace, which has led Japanese to become increasingly concerned about their country's uncertain future.
Source: CNTV

Japan's Abe manipulating a dangerous coup against pacifist Constitution
Now, Abe is very close to his goal through such "Nazi tactics" and his move has already hollowed the Constitution's Article 9 and fundamentally overthrown the country's peaceful path in the postwar era.

Abe's anti-constitution plot poses a great challenge to the seven-decade-old postwar international order, which was based on a series of international treaties and declarations, including the Cairo Declaration and the Potsdam Proclamation.

Liu Jiangyong, vice director of the Modern International Relations Institute at Tsinghua University:
Currently, Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party, which has been advocating the constitutional shift, does not have enough seats in the cabinet to amend the constitution. So they are trying to allow 'collective self-defense' by reinterpreting the policy.

Next, Japan's Defense Minister is going to the US, and discuss with the US on how to revise the so called US-Japan defense guidelines. In fact it's seeking cooperation in military actions against China in the future, as Japan can only cooperate with the US when the ban on collective self-defense is lifted.

Philip McNeil, political commentator and Shizuoka-based author:
"When the public are scared they don't question policy. But what we're seeing in the polls is that the public is beginning to see the reality of the situation and the fact that Abe is potentially steering the nation down a very dangerous road, a road that Japan turned its back on decades ago, favoring peace and pacifism," McNeil said.


Under the current Constitution, requisites for exercise self-defense right include: there is an imminent and illegitimate act of aggression against Japan; there is no appropriate means to repel this aggression other than the use of self-defense right and the use of armed strength is confined to the minimum level. By this way, the possibility of exercising collective self-defense right is actually ruled out.

Rather than seeking to change Japan's war-renouncing Article 9 section of its Constitution, which has remained unchanged since its adoption in 1947 and forbids the use of force as a means of settling international disputes and also prohibits Japan from maintaining an army, navy or air force, Abe has bypassed this step by seeking to merely reinterpret the Constitution.

The resolution, which was rubber-stamped on June 1, is regarded as a major overhaul of Japan's postwar security policy. It sets three new conditions that would enable the exercise of the collective self-defense right, such as when there are "clear dangers" to the lives of its people and their rights due to armed attacks on Japan or "countries with close ties."

Web editor: guwei@globaltimes.com.cn
Posted in: Daily Specials