Monday, July 7, 2014
Japan vs. The World: The Collective Self-Defense-III/The Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands-XXXIX
Second, Abe’s unabashed attempt to circumvent the Japanese constitution violates fundamental principles of democracy, constitutionalism, and rule of law. In a democracy such as Japan the Constitutions constitutes the highest law of the land; all including the highest positions, such as prime minister in the office must follow. Abe’s unprecedented “so-called reinterpretation is not only illegitimate, but poses significant danger to Japan’s democracy (Tokyo Shimbun July 2, 2014).” The new interpretation occurred with no Diet debate or vote, and no public approval, other than support by Abe’s “advisory panel,” which held discussions over one month period. Indeed, even the Nikkei, Japanese business newspaper, found that over 50% of voters opposed overturning the ban on collective self-defense a day before Abe’s announcement (Nihon Keizai Shimbun June 30, 2014). The majority of Japanese voters still oppose the new collective self-defense reinterpretation. As Murakami Seichirō, one of the few LDP lawmakers, opposing the revision claims, “Fundamentally, this country will no longer be one that is governed by the rule of law (McClatchy-Tribune Business News July 1, 2014).
Source: Asahi Shimbun (accessing July 3, 2014).
While Abe’s remarks and justifications might look “nice” on the surface, in reality, Japan is preparing to dispatch Japanese military forces to foreign soil and bears a semblance to Japan’s aggressive stance. The term “all about protecting the people” simply sounds better and garners more political support than words such as “killing,” or “invasion,” or “rape,” behaviors from Japan’s not so distant past which should not be forgotten or overlooked. Absent a government that follows and respects rule of law, there will be little the world can do to stop Japan from dispatching SDF overseas to fight as there are no longer restrictions or restraints on Japan from doing so.