Reactions As Abe’s Security Bill Is Passed In Lower House Vote

Abe Shinzo's security bill, which will allow Japan to send troops to war for the first time since WWII, passes in the Lower House.

As expected, Abe’s bill passed in the Lower House today as politicians from the opposing parties staged a walk-out.

The bill will now go for deliberation in the Upper House, where it is expected to pass due to the LDP majority. The bill marks a great change in Japan’s political trajectory since the end of WWII because it could allow Japan to begin sending troops to fight in international conflicts.

Meanwhile, throughout Japan there have been protests opposing the bill, standing in contrast to those who support the Prime Minister and the LDP.

Netizens have not quite made up their minds, with some in favor of the decision while others think it sets a dangerous precedent.

From Yahoo! Japan:

Security Bill Passed In Lower House; On Way To Adoption In Current Diet Session, Forced Through By Ruling Party

The security bill which has been the key focus of the current Diet session went to a vote during a Lower House plenary session on the afternoon of July 16, and was passed with a ruling party majority. It has now been sent for debate in the Upper House.

Based on this, the adoption of the bill during this session of the Diet, which runs through September 27, becomes a certainty. Now that the way has been paved for the adoption of the security treaty, which will make it possible for Japan to exercise its right to collective self-defense based on a change in the interpretation of the current constitution, this marks a major transition for postwar Japanese security policy.

Four parties — the DPJ, the JIP, the JCP and the SDP — who are requesting a continuation of deliberations in the Lower House, walked out prior to the vote in order to display their opposition to the ruling party forcing the vote through. The People’s Life Party did not attend the vote from the outset. The Party For Future Generations agreed with the bill.

At an LDP party meeting prior to the plenary session at the Lower House, Abe Shinzo addressed the representatives, saying: “We have a grave responsibility to protect Japan’s land, Japan’s seas, and Japan’s skies. Let’s fulfill this responsibility in the Lower House”. But Okuda Katsuya of the opposing DPJ criticized this harshly in a debate before the vote at the plenary session, saying that allowing the enactment of the right to collective self-defense was “nothing short of unconstitutional”. He demanded that the bill be withdrawn, saying “voices of opposition to the bill are growing louder than ever before”.

If the Upper House does not reach a decision on the bill 60 days from September 14, then it is assumed that it has been rejected, in which case there is the possibility that the constitution’s “60 day rule” could be applied, which would mean the bill can be passed again in the Lower House. In this instance, the enactment of the bill during the current session of the Diet would reach an impasse.

The security bill consists of the “Act Outlining Provisions For Peace And Safety” in which there are ten clauses for reform including the Self-Defense Forces Law, and two further clauses relating to a new law, the “Support For International Peace Act”, which would make it possible for Japan to deploy troops overseas at any given time. The revisions to Armed Attacked Situation Law, from which the Provisions Act is composed, prescribes anew cases which would be recognized as a clear danger that Japan’s existence is threatened and/or which would usurp the rights of the Japanese people as “crisis situations that threaten Japan’s existence”.

Throughout the course of the Lower House deliberations many constitutional scholars and those who have served on the administration of the Cabinet Legislation Bureau have indicated that the security bill is “unconstitutional”, alongside the opposition parties. Even the Prime Minister himself acknowledged at a meeting of the Lower House Special Committee on Peace and Security Legislation that “The people’s understanding of the bill has not progressed at all”, but he would not back down on over the bill’s passing on July 16.

Comments from Yahoo! Japan:


In either case, first of all I wish young people would use this as an opportunity to get interested in politics, even if it’s only a little! And they should participate in elections! If you disagree with the way politics is going right now, then you have to start with that!


It’s just like a chess problem.
We knew that this would happen at the point the LDP got the overwhelming majority in the election last year, didn’t we?
Those who are opposing the bill should have made their feelings known before the checkmate.


I’ve always wondered about this since I was in high school, but why do they walk out…?
Why can’t they see things through to the end?
Is it because they think they don’t need to be there just because they disagree?
If so, then what do those people who actually voted for the parties that walked out think?
I think that politicians should have a stronger sense of their responsibility, and that every Diet member should do their job.


Those peace-crazy fools won’t go unchallenged any more.


I’m not sure about forcing the vote through, but it’s hardly a good battle tactic to walk out or not even show up at the time of the vote.
Even if they knew they would lose, I think it’s cowardly to just run away from it.


The Japan Innovation Party is just a complete mess.


I was really disappointed in the Japan Innovation Party -_-b


That is some trolling to say that the vote was forced through, but even when the DPJ was in power, they forced through votes and stuff several times.


If this is unconstitutional, then the usual think to do would be to change the constitution, but I’m not sure where we are now.

There’s no meaning in having a constitution at all. And anyway, the Diet that we have now is a gathering of Diet members who were elected in an unconstitutional situation in the first place.


If they don’t like it, then the opposition parties will just have to win an election. But as they are right now, they’re never going to win, are they?

Comments from Twitter:


I’m glad there is the prospect that this bill will be enacted.
I’m pretty sure that the people of Ishigaki City in Okinawa [which includes the disputed Senkaku Islands] will be somewhat relieved.


Recently, Abe Shinzo has started to seem like Wilhelm II…ah, may be never become him.


If it comes to a war, then let’s send the sons of the LDP and the Komeito to fight for us on the front under their guidance and supervision!


Hmmm…are things gonna be OK for Japan from now on? Because I never had any doubts that I was living in a time of peace. Worrying.


From the perspective of national defense, then some kind of strategy is necessary. Still, not sure about forcing a vote through by ignoring the constitution, especially when the people of Japan don’t really understand what’s going on. Well, I don’t suppose that the Self-Defense Forces will be sent anywhere dangerous before next year’s election is over.


I still don’t get it, but how do those who oppose this think we should deal with the very apparent threat of China? Do they think that “If Japan devotes itself to unarmed pacifism, then China will open its’ heart!”?!


Don’t skip votes you money-guzzling bastards!


PM Abe is getting a bit too strong. It’s dangerous.

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  • fr hy

    If it comes to a war, then let’s send the sons of the LDP and the
    Komeito to fight for us on the front under their guidance and

    thumbs upx1000

    • Dan

      Agreed, that sounds about right. They shouldn’t advocate something they wouldn’t personally participate or contribute to, right?

  • Dan

    I already said this previously, but I guess it’s their right to improve and upgrade their military. WW2 was so long ago, I have zero doubt that Japan won’t do anything stupid. My faith in their good-nature is fairly strong.

    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?

    • NondescriptRG

      Unfortunately, there is no such thing as “good nature” in politics. And some trigger-happy Japanese are clearly oblivious to the fact that their beloved motherland is prepared to be used as a gauntlet on the American fist. And, therefore, to be subjected to severe sufferings.

      • Dan

        I really hope Japan doesn’t become an extension of American politics, military policy, etc.

    • chucky3176

      I wouldn’t be so sure about that. Japanese defence minister yesterday said Japan will soon start sweeping defence patrols in South China sea, to counter the increasing territorial threats from Chinese navy which are currently staking huge expanses of international waters as their own and making man-made islands in the middle of the seas then claim EEZ’s around them. This bill will make it possible for Japanese navy to engage the Chinese navy, beyond what Japan claims as their territory – making the clashes with the Chinese, in international waters more and more likely.

      • Dan

        welllllllllllll…. China does make some crazy claims. I mean, last i checked a lot of Chinese territorial claims extend REALLY far out from their mainland, into OTHER nations’ areas.

        If the Japanese need to defend area near them, then I don’t see why not.

        If the Japanese use their newfound navy power to expand imperialistically, that’s an obvious red-flag.

        At this point, we can’t really assume what they will do with that kind of military expansion yet. If other countries gear up in anticipation, that’s their right too. I’d prefer if people just left well enough alone though.

    • A Gawd Dang Mongolian

      No, not at all.
      Remember back in May? “Right now the reality is that countries in South East Asia are facing Chinese oppression and they require a Japanese military presence.”

      The Canada argument doesn’t work because there is no reason for such a huge military increase because they have very little presence abroad. A sudden increase when they have a neighbor who is a lot more well armed is going to look suspicious. Same with Japan. Doesn’t look like a good thing. More like a prelude to something bloody.

      • Dan

        Well, I agree it doesn’t look good, but my point is that it’s their basic right to upgrade their military when they have proven to be… well, mostly benevolent.

        You have America slapping the Middle East around, Russia making aggressive moves, etc etc.

        But when was the last time you heard of Japan doing something on that scale? It’s been more than half a century ago since then, so I figure that’s enough time to prove they can be good about things. Hopefully.

        No doubt, it does make me kind of uncomfortable, which I’ve said originally.

        • A Gawd Dang Mongolian

          We haven’t heard of Japan doing something like that because they weren’t allowed to do something like that. What doesn’t bode well is that before this, was the revisions to school curriculum that omit the more unsavory elements of their history, like Nanking. And the party that pushed for this omission is the one that wants a new military. That doesn’t look too benevolent.

          Unlike say Germany that has shown they admit what they did was wrong and have since become a pillar of the EU, doing everything in their power to distance themselves from Nazism, Japan has repeatedly denied doing anything wrong, or said they apologized already and refused to acknowledge it anymore, and relations with their neighbors are only getting worse. So, rather than trying to put out the fire, they want to put gasoline on it and watch it explode. Or in less metaphorical terms, instead of building a better relation with trade and economic dependence on each other, they are just building an army for war.

          • Dan

            hmmm. I see. So their behavior shows a pattern that seems troubling indeed.

            They would need some action from people within to fix this then. Man, that apology thing really bites them in the ass, every time, huh?

          • Butsu

            Germany’s stance against nazism have nothing to do with them becoming a “pillar of the EU”. In fact, in a lot of places they’re made fun of because of their asinie approach to self-censorship. While they might popular with all the cycophants and lobbyists within the European Union, they get a lot of flack for being “too powerful”. Epithets such as “Merkelreich” is not unheard of. It’s such a tired argument that Germany did this or that, Europe would’ve let them into the fold either way.

            For clarity’s sake, can you provide a source for:
            “was the revisions to school curriculum that omit the more unsavory elements of their history” ?
            Or is this just the same old shit about that one history book that is used in like 13 schools in the entire country? (It generally lands on the teacher though, in my experience. You’ll have teachers going out of their way in explaining the war crimes, teachers who’ll brush it over, or the ones that don’t cover it at all due to embarrasment or political leanings. It’s like sex-ed, if you get a good teacher amazing class, if you get a bad, you might’ve just stayed home. It also pales in comparison to what they teach in China.)

            Also with the exception of China and maybe South Korea, their relations with neighbouring countries ain’t that bad. In fact, couldn’t this be very welcomed move by, let’s say, Vietnam for example? More and more Japanese goods are being produced in Vietnam, Japanese investment is high and there’s a steady increase of Vietnamese students going to Japan. They also have the “common foe” of China.

            To add my own opinion on all of this, I don’t support Abe either, and I think he’s one slimey fuck.

          • Honest Abe

            You sound exactly like a Japanese right wing.

          • Butsu

            Too bad I’m not Japanese, nor do I support the Japanese right wing. I would rather see Japan continue with Article 9 intact.

          • Honest Abe

            Yet you give excuses to excuse this. Why?

          • Papi

            Pretty standard here, no argument, no counter facts just a tantrum. Typical from the draft dodgers.

          • Papi

            Don’t give them facts, they don’t like facts.

        • chucky3176

          “But when was the last time you heard of Japan doing something on that scale?”

          Dan, you’re missing the most important fact here. Japan wasn’t aggressive for the last 70 years, precisely because of the Article 9 in their constitution that was forced upon them by the Americans. Now that last remaining safety valve is gone, it paves the way for Japan to become a totally different country, different from the version of Japan you used to think.

    • Dan are you drunk

      • Dan

        Why, was I totally off on something? 🙁

        Canada’s not that nice? Neither is Japan? What am I missing?

    • bujiebuke

      I’ve scanned this thread and one aspect that wasn’t touched upon was the way that you ascribe Japan and Canada as being “good/nice”.

      Most people in Japan are probably “good or nice” but those individuals don’t run that country. Japan is operated by the LDP, members who have a legacy of taking hawkish stances against their neighbors. Their approach to international policy is often drawn on racial lines and their belief in the “superiority” of the Yamato race. Their idealized goal would be to bring back a form of Imperial Japan that subjugates their “inferior” neighbors.

      Most Japanese are not like this, and are perfectly content in going about their everyday lives. The problem is, as one commentator stated, is that young Japanese do not vote or care about what their politicians do. Japan is operated by people that are neither “good” or “nice”.

  • New Gundam series unveiled. Abe’s bill passes the Lower House, and now expected to pass the Upper House as well.

    Coincidence? I think not.

  • zachary T

    So PM Abe is the head of the LDP, the political party which has strived to change the constitution since 1955 ( ie the second the US occupation was over). I’m not Japanese, but I think the LDP could have chosen a better way to do this, unless they have some underlying plan in place for after this vote, not to mean something insidious, just longer range than the opposition or media can see.

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