Statement Protesting the Enactment of the Bills to Revise Japan's National Security Policies
Today, on September 19, 2015, a bill regarding enhancement of the legislation surrounding peace and safety and a bill regarding support for international peace (hereinafter, collectively, the “Bills”) were enacted at a plenary session of the House of Councilors.
To date, the JFBA has been continuously and repeatedly pointing out that (i) the decision made at the cabinet meeting on July 1, 2014, where the government changed its interpretation of Article 9 of the Constitution of Japan, and (ii) the Bills, which approve the exercising of the right to collective self-defense, both go against the basic principles of constitutionalism with regard to the Constitution of Japan, as well as going against the basic principles of permanent pacifism and the sovereignty of the people. Further, the JFBA has also continuously asserted out that the Bills constitute a violation of the Constitution of Japan with respect to the point that they approve of the enhancement of providing logistical support and the use of armed forces by the Self-Defense Forces (SDF), which would inevitably lead to an increased risk of the use of force by the SDF overseas.
Since the deliberations regarding the Bills began at the Diet, specialists, such as a number of constitutional scholars including three academics summoned to a session on constitutional affairs of the House of Representatives, former directors general of the Cabinet Legislation Bureau, and former justices of the Supreme Court of Japan (including a former chief justice of such Court), have pointed out the unconstitutionality of the Bills.
In this respect, since explanations given by the government during the Diet session were highly insufficient, the public understanding toward the Bill did not deepen, and various public opinion surveys showed that a majority of the public was opposed to the enactment of the Bills during the current Diet session. In spite of such backdrop, passage of the Bills was bulldozed through both a special committee and a plenary session of the House of Councilors, without sufficient deliberation being given to such public opinions, which were essentially disregarded. The JFBA strongly protests such voting and enactment of the Bills as it is a shameful event that has left a large blemish on the history of Japan as a constitutional democratic state.
A large movement against the Bills has spread around the nation, as is evidenced by the extraordinarily large groups of people participating in demonstrations and gatherings protesting the Bills. Moreover, the protestors come from all walks of life, and include people from students to mothers with children. It can clearly be stated that such widespread movement demonstrates and provides solid proof of the soundness of our democracy. In order to firmly maintain the status of our country as a nation of peace, a situation which has been continuing for 70 years since the end of World War II, the JFBA, together with the Japanese public, is determined to continue its strident opposition to the application and operation of each of the Bills, and will further strive to achieve the abolition and revision of such laws.
September 19, 2015
Japan Federation of Bar Associations