Zenroren, Japan: “We express indignation against ramming through War Bills”

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The unconstitutional security-related bills (War Bills) were enacted at about 2:00 am today (September 19) after being rammed through in the House of Councilors. Although that took place in the dead of night, a large number of people converged on the Diet building to express opposition to the vote. The growing voices against the bills were ignored. The National Confederation of Trade Unions (Zenroren) expresses indignation against the outrageous parliamentary action.

The parliamentary debates on the bill only debunked the bills’ true aims. They are the worst laws that turn Japan from a pacifist nation into a bellicose nation that takes part in US-started war anywhere in the world. In explaining how the use of the right to collective self-defense is justified, Prime Minister ABE Shinzo cited Japan’s possible participation in minesweeping operations in the Strait of Hormuz Strait. But he was obliged to withdraw it as it proved to be a groundless argument. Despite the collapse of all arguments for the War Bills, they were rammed through in the Diet.

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In the final stage of the deliberations and the vote, people were angered by extreme irregularities in steering of the Diet that even involved a violent situation and an unjustifiable restriction on time to speak. This is tantamount to a suicidal act of the Diet. The Abe administration and the ruling coalition parties rushed to the enactment of the bills even by using these outrageous methods apparently because they were scared at the sight of the weekend mass protests that arose amid growing public opinion and action against the War Bills and because they were no longer willing to talk to the people.

The fact is that people’s calls and movements have almost driven the government into a corner and that, at the same time, the War Bills’ enactment represents a government act of destroying constitutionalism by arbitrarily changing constitutional interpretation that has been accepted for many years. The government took this action in complete disregard of people’s majority opinion, an outrageous act of destroying democracy.

It would be dead wrong for the Abe administration to think it managed to carry through its agenda. Public opinion that has roots deep in the Constitution has spread rapidly throughout the country. People’s anger continues to rage. A large number of people, including many young people and women, who had not been interested in politics, began to raise their voice against the War Bills and take part in the protests on their own will.

Zenroren is determined to set to work to help in the cooperation among broad sections of people in order to (1) oppose invoking the War Laws and making war preparations, including the strengthening of military bases; and (2) force the Abe Cabinet to step down as early as possible so that we can advance toward abolishing the War Laws.

At stake is what this country should be like. We will do our utmost for a bright future of Japanese society.