Protests In The Diet As Abe Forces Through Security Bill Vote

Scenes of protest at the Diet.

Scenes of protest at the Diet.

There were scenes of protest at the Diet today as Abe Shinzo and the coalition of ruling parties led by the LDP effectively forced a bill on the current security treaty through to a vote.

The bill is surrounded by controversy since if it becomes law it would allow Japan the right to collective self-defense and significantly alter the current military framework. Given the nature of these changes, many citizens feel uneasy over the passing of the bill, while even the PM himself admits that most people probably don’t fully understand what these changes will entail.

The opposition parties, who oppose the changes, held placards during the meeting and have vowed to walk out of the plenary session scheduled for tomorrow.

Yahoo! netizens focus heavily on the walk-out of the opposition parties, pointing out that if they truly oppose something, then abstaining from the vote is not the answer — in a democratic society they should vote against it instead.

From Mainichi Shimbun:

[Bill Relating To U.S.-Japan Security Treaty] Bill To Be Brought To Vote During Lower House Plenary Session On July 16, 5 Opposition Parties Vow To Stage Walk Out

On July 15, at a meeting of the Lower House Special Committee on Peace and Security Legislation, the ruling parties forced through a motion on the bill relating to the U.S.-Japan Security Treaty. Therefore, it was decided on authority of the chairman Hayashi Motoo (LDP) that the board of the Lower House Committee on Rules and Administration would hold a plenary session on July 16, put the bill to a vote. The opposition parties plan not to walk out of the plenary session vote; however, it is assumed that the ruling parties will once again force the motion through, and the bill will be passed and sent to the Upper House.

If the bill is enacted, then as well as opening up a path for the enactment of the right to collective self-defense that previous cabinets were unable to assert, it would also mean that logistical support for foreign military and UN Peace-Keeping Operations (PKO) would be greatly expanded. Still, some constitutional law scholars are calling the move “unconstitutional”, while several public opinion polls have been comprised of high-numbers of answers stating that the explanation of what the bill entails is “insufficient”. Therefore the position of the government/ruling party as they try to hurry the bill through will be questioned in the Upper House.

Following the successful vote, PM Abe Shinzo stated that “Deliberations on the bill will continue in the Diet. I want to go on to explain things carefully to the Japanese people, so that the bill is easy to understand. Even within the LDP, we will redouble efforts so that each member of the Diet will explain things to their constituencies”. The Prime Minister gave this response to a question during a press conference at the Prime Minister’s Residence.

In response to a previous question during the closing remarks of the meeting of the special committee, the Prime Minister demonstrated his recognition of the fact that the Japanese people did not fully understand the bill. However, he also stated that “Perhaps the 1960 revision to the U.S.-Japan Security Treaty did not go through because the people did not understand it. The Peace-Keeping Operations Co-Operation Act (1992) was the same too, but due to our accomplishments since then we have been able to gain the support and understanding of the people”. In this way, the PM showed that he was adamant that the bill would be adopted at the next meeting of the Diet.

Today’s vote took place amidst resistance from members of the opposing parties, who held placards with slogans such as “Against Forcing Through Votes” written on them as they encircled committee chairman Hamada Yasukazu.

Following the vote, the five opposition parties — Democratic Party Japan, the Japan Innovation Party, the Japan Communist Party, the Social Democrats, and the People’s Life Party — held party-leader talks in the Diet, and agreed that they would not attend the vote on the government bill to be held in the plenary session on July 16, stating that “We sit out the vote as a means of opposing it”. Okada Katsuya of the Democratic Party Japan insisted that “The fact that the opposition parties are unanimous in not attending the vote is extremely meaningful”. Matsuno Yorihisa, of the Japan Innovation Party, criticized the response of the ruling parties, saying that “This is an unthinkably reckless move. It will be difficult to forgive the fact that the ruling parties just shot down the opposition of the Innovation Party and forced the bill through to a vote”.

Through the bill, the Armed Attacked Situation Law would be reformed, such that the right to collective self-defense could be enacted during a crisis situation that threatened the existence of Japan and which would usurp the rights of the Japanese people. As for logistical support for the militia of other nations, the bill would allow for revision of the current Act Concerning the Measures for Peace and Safety of Japan in Situations in Areas Surrounding Japan and make it into the Act Concerning the Measures for Peace and Safety of Japan in Situations With Significant Effects, and would also permit the supply of support an ammunition to foreign militia other than the United States military. In a situation whereby international peace was threatened, the bill would newly establish an International Peace Support Act in which the Japanese military could be dispatched rapidly.

These activities would abolish the existing framework in which dispatch of troops is limited to “non-conflict zones”. It would also revise the law so that there would be the flexibility to dispatch troops to places where there was no fighting at the time the troops were dispatched.

Pictures from





Comments from Yahoo! Japan:


The bastards that don’t even show up don’t have a say.


Ummm, the DPJ also forced through a vote, didn’t they?


By not attending they’re just basically throwing a tantrum, huh?


If they don’t want to show up for the vote, fine, but please dock their salaries for the equivalent amount.


China and Korea are against this. Other countries in the region welcome it.
That’s basically it.
I wish they’d stop debating this by entangling it with issues from WWII.


Walk out…no-show…
They’re not even doing their jobs as Diet Members any more.
All they’re doing is running away from the things they don’t want to deal with.
Diet members need to be able to do their job even in situations like this.

Doesn’t this count as abandonment of office?


If they attend but they don’t vote against it, then that’s the same as agreeing to it. I thought that the Communists would attend the vote and oppose it or something, but this is extraordinary.


It’s wrong to walk out!


The Democrats have ended up thinking that opposing things is the right thing to do, haven’t they…


I saw on the news that Tsujimoto Kiyomi was glancing up at the camera…just what you’d expect from a criminal.


Numbers of votes forced through by Prime Ministers:
Hatoyama: in power for 266 days, 9 votes.
Kan Naoto: in power for 452 days, 8 votes.
Noda: in power for 482 days, 4 votes.
Abe: in power for 1200 days, 1 vote.
These people must be foolz w.


It’s so weird that people think that just if this bill passes it will be OK to go to war.


If they walk out, then what is getting forced through, exactly?
If they oppose something, they should vote against it.
This is a democratic country. The DPJ, the SDP and the JCP are violent revolutionary parties.
And even the Innovation Party, since Matsuno came to power, have started siding with the democrats.
I wish Hashimoto would reform the party again.
Please do your best so that you don’t get cast out by the people, like in Hana Moyu.


Isn’t it just pure populism to kick up a fuss with placards like that?


The logic is that you should hand in your notice before you walk out.


In the world of politics, if you walk out you lose.

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  • y’all don’t want war

    • fr hy

      veto veto veto

  • chucky3176

    Greatest myth is that Japan can’t defend itself because of the Article 9 standing in the way. Japan has a large and well armed self defence force, they can defend Japan, if and when someone attacks Japan, and the Article 9 does not prevent Japan from defending itself. The Article 9 was put in there by the Americans, to prevent Japan from getting arrogant and start attacking other countries in the region under false pretenses (Japan has a historic habit of aggressions) after its defeat in the WWII. So why do Japan feels it’s a must to repeal the article when there’s really no need? Could it be because Abe wants to start new wars in the Pacific and he needs the support of the Japanese public to start sending troops to challenge and fight the Chinese?

    Come to think of it, Japan never had to fight for democracy, United States forced them into it. Nor did Japan draw up their own constitution, the US forced it upon it on Japan. The US also helped and gave Japan a good environment to grow their own mercantilist protected economy. So I guess it’s fair for Japan to undo all this, since after all, it was just bunch of foreigners from the US who put in the system for Japan, and it wasn’t the Japanese who themselves had any control. So Japan should take back their own destiny now.

    But anyway, who cares. I hope they pass the new bill. We’ll just sit back and watch while Japan fight out China, to fulfill Abe’s pet project wishes. Let’s see if the Japanese can win the war with China, as they often like to brag with brimming national pride.

    Go and fight, I want to see the fight.

    • Papi

      Part of the reason for this is to help save the South Korean people when the North attacks. They will need the Japanese army to defend them as most young South Koreans are too cowardly to defend their land (I guess internet tantrums are easier than lacing up your boots.

      Maybe you should so the Japanese some gratitude.

      • terriblemovie

        Why would South Korea needy shitty Japans help against the North? If anything, Japan would be dead weight and wouldn’t contribute at all. Not that Korea(both South and North) would want Japan on the peninsula in the first place.

        • Papi

          Did you read the link? Most young Korean men plan to flee. Korea’s army is drafted and they have to have their mommys come to army camp to check in on them.

          Not to mention every year thousands of Korean “men” like you and Chucks run away to the comfort of the west to avoid your obligations, instead becoming internet patriots throwing screaming fits online at anyone who dares besmirch the good name of the country you are too cowardly to serve. That number of draft dodgers grows by the thousands year after year.

          Japan’s army is made of professional volunteers who join as a career, same as the US, UK, France and other mature countries. They can provide the assistance in helping innocent South Korean women and children get out of harms way before engaging the enemy while the South Korean ‘men’ are screaming and crying trying to get to the airport.

          As I said, shouldn’t you guys show a little gratitude to the Japanese for passing these laws? It’s going to ensure the Japanese save you (again).

          • wrle

            Well who wants war? I don’t think their counterparts in Japan would be much more enthusiastic either. Often the biggest victims of war are civilians. On the part about Japan providing “assistance”, South Korea’s standing army is several times larger than Japan’s and because they are still technically in a state of war with north Korea, they are constantly prepared for any potential conflicts (in the unlikely event of a full scale war). Japan also doesn’t really have a reserve army compared to both koreas.

            Unfortunately any premptive attack by the north to counter the US would automatically bring japan into their range. Japan sitting closely just might need the help of south korea if north korea decides to attack or fling missiles at them.

            The reason why so many Japanese people oppose this is because many still don’t clearly understand what this is frankly. Also the unwanted prospect of japan becoming actively engaged in warfare could put Japan on the radar of enemy forces. There would be a costly increase in expenditure for war, combined with a frail economy and aging population, it’s seen a serious risk to many.

          • chucky3176

            This is so funny. South Korea needing help from bunch of five foot two Otaku’s in love with their pillow girlfriends, who’s never carried a gun before in their lives screaming “banzai!”. Now that the bill is rammed through, if I were you, I’d get ready that rising sun shit flag and march straight to the recruiting office of the Nipponese army.

          • Papi

            Did you have to do your 26 months after you got kicked out of Canada? Or had you thrown your Korean passport in the garbage by then? Or was your obesity so out of control by then you were unsuitable for service? Or maybe the ROK brass had heard the reason you got kicked out of Canada and decided they didn’t want that type of behavior in the barracks? Still being an internet sentry is just as good! Your parents must be proud.

            Should you ever end up on the civilized side of the sea of Japan look me up and I’ll introduce you to some SDF service members I know from work and you can call them “five foot two okatus” to their face. It’ll be funny watching to stammer out the words while your little trotters are shaking and piss is running down your leg. Bring the junior sentry terriblemovie as well. Two little pigs are as good as one.

    • Rutim

      > Come to think of it, Japan never had to fight for democracy, United States forced them into it

      We all know that you know nothing about Japan or it’s history but to tell you the truth – people voted for their representatives long before the WWII

  • Dan

    I mean, I’m ok with them expanding their military.
    I just preferred their nice softer military image.

    This feels like how I’d feel if Canada suddenly tripled their military and starts waving war-advocating posters. Sure, it’s their right… but I currently see Canada as a much nicer country to be in (compared to USA or Japan or wherever).

    Feels like the end of something good/nice, you know?

    • chucky3176

      Good news for Japan. Now they can join the army and die fighting the Chinese. I suggest Rutim and their gang to go fight the Chinese now, while the rest of us grab a popcorn and see what happens.

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