Japan Catholic Council for Justice and Peace Hon. Shinzo Abe Prime Minister of Japan Hon. Masaaki Yamazaki Cha […]
Japan Catholic Council for Justice and Peace
Hon. Shinzo Abe
Prime Minister of Japan
Hon. Masaaki Yamazaki
Chairman of the House of Councilors
Statement of Protest
We, the Japan Catholic Council for Justice and Peace, strongly protest the steamrolling of security bills through the plenary session of the House of Councilors on September 19, 2015, and demand a withdrawal of the bills.
The points of the following statement are similar to the statement announced on July 15 against the steamrolling of the same bills through the Special Committee on Legislation for Peace and Security of Japan and the International Community of the House of Representatives.
If the exercise of a right to collective self-defense is permitted, the tension among nations and risk of terrorism will rise, the arms race will be promoted and military forces can be used overseas following the government’s arbitrary decision. We will never agree with the idea that a strong deterrent is a way to peace.
As a majority of constitutional scholars in Japan and the Japan Federation of Bar Associations acknowledge, it is against the Constitution to permit the exercise of a right to collective self-defense. An unconstitutional bill is invalid. This nation’s legal framework, constitutionalism, will be destroyed by enacting these bills which neglects the Constitution and puts in place the exercise of a right to collective self defense.
Moreover, these bills provoke hostility by heightening tension among nations, impel people to wage wars and open the way to dictatorship.
In addition, we are truly distressed with repeated outrageous steamrolling. Since May 15, 2015 when the government proposed security bills based on the cabinet decision of July 1, 2014 that permits the exercise of a right to collective self-defense, many influential individuals have pointed out that it is unconstitutional and will increase the risk of terrorism. However, the government has only repeated obscure explanations about the bills. The steamrolling of these bills became clear, as no lively debate has been held on this issue. In these circumstances, the government has passed the bills by repeating its outrageous strong-arming through the Special Committee on Legislation for the Peace and Security of Japan and the International Community of the House of Representatives on July 15, 2015, the plenary session of the House of Representative on the next day July 16, the Special Committee on Legislation for the Peace and Security of Japan and the International Community of the House of Councilors on September 17, and the plenary session of the House of Councilors today. The points of this statement repeat those of the last one because the debates have not been advanced at all, and the government has never responded to our doubts or anxiety.
Democracy is not simply a matter of following numbers. If it were, the Diet as the place for debates will be meaningless. Japanese citizen have not been convinced by this passage of bills. That is the reason the voices of citizen have been extraordinarily mounted in the surroundings of the Diet and in various parts of Japan, involving a wider range of people of various ages than ever before.
The current administration, which has forcibly passed unconstitutional bills and trampled down the parliamentary system and sovereignty of the people, is clearly in violation of Article 99 of the Constitution which stipulates the obligation to respect and uphold the Constitution. Therefore the administration is not worthy of being called the government.
Finally, we demand that peace be realized without using force, as stated in the Bible: “Put your sword back into its sheath, for all who take the sword will perish by the sword” (Mt 26:52). We strongly protest the steamrolling of the security bills through the plenary session of the Upper House today, September 19, and demand that the bills be withdrawn and abandoned as soon as possible.