Final push on Japan security bills gets underway

Sep 22, 2015 The Japanese government recently began a final push to enact a contentious defense legislation that will allow its troops to fight overseas for the first time since World War Two.

According to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, the policy will mark the biggest change in defense policy, since the creation of Japan’s post-war military in 1954.

The policy, which is well received by the United States, has also steered up massive protests from ordinary citizens and other critics, who say it violates the pacifist constitution and could ensnare Japan in U.S-led conflicts.

The Japanese Parliament’s current session runs until Sept 27 and the ruling party lawmakers are keen to have the upper house approve the bills before the end of the session.

Despite having an upper house majority, opposition parties have pledged to halt a vote by submitting a string of censure motions in the chamber and a no-confidence motion in the lower house.

Katsuya Okuda, leader of the Japanese Democratic Party, speaking after a meeting with the other opposition party, where they had decided to submit a vote of no-confidence against Abe, said:

“We have reached a very important point right now, we will do whatever we can to prevent the vote from going through,”

The bills will include legal revisions to drop a long-standing ban on collective self-defense. Although the revision will still constrain Japan in overseas military operations by legal limits, critics maintain that the changes will make a mockery of the pacifist constitution.

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