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Spotlight: Abe's senior aide blurts inconvenient truth about ruling camp's contempt for law, constitution and democracy

来源: Xinhua 作者: Jon Day 2015-08-04 10:54:07

  Owing to a monumental gaffe by a senior advisor to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe who said recently that the legality of the contentious security bills currently being deliberated in the upper house was unimportant as was their consistency with the Constitution, local media here have taken aim at the Liberal Democratic Party-led coalition and questioned Abe's actual rational for forcing the bills and his true sentiments.

  Steamrolling the bills, deemed unconstitutional by a plethora of renowned leading scholars and constitutional experts, through the lower house of parliament alone ignited fury among Japan's public who believe the government has failed to sufficiently explain the bills and the hollowing out of the Constitution to expand the nation's military role is a huge step backwards for Japan.

  As such, public outcry to the bills has been rife as evidenced by the plummeting support rate for Abe's Cabinet to well below the 40 percent threshold in most of the latest media polls, and daily protests around the Diet building gathering in numbers denouncing Abe and his plans to remilitarize the nation by thwarting the war- renouncing Constitution and allowing innocent Japanese lives to serve in overseas combat zones, for the U.S. proxy military, as a number of defense analysts here have attested.

  But while Abe and his coterie of rightwing, hardliner nationalists, many of whom, including Abe are openly affiliated with the ultra-rightwing Nippon Kaigi group and proponents of visiting Yasukuni Shrine to honor war criminals, while rejecting factual historical issues about Japan's war time atrocities in order to paint a new, virtuous history of Japan and share this with the world, ostensibly, have maintained that the security package being deliberated on in the upper house is constitutional, one of Abe's senior aide's may well have blown the lid on the brotherhood's true sentiments on the issue.

  Yosuke Isozaki, a special policy adviser to Abe in a public speech in Oita Prefecture, while referring to the growing public criticism of Abe's war bills stated "What we have to think about is whether the measures are necessary to protect Japan. Legal stability has nothing to do with it."His consequential comments quickly incensed the public and opposition parties, raising concerns that they reflected the true feelings held by the ruling coalition, behind a facade of pseudo-lawfulness.

  Isozaki was essentially saying that if Japan's national security was under threat, it would be irrelevant whether or not the security bills were constitutional or not as Japan would defend itself regardless -- his comments underscoring a long-held view that Abe and his administration hold both the Constitution and the public's honoring of it in contempt.

  The Mainichi Shimbun in an editorial on the matter described Isozaki as now being "hammered"by opposition parties following his colossal gaffe and said that calls for him to resign were now" unrelenting" and that the bills themselves were"now in trouble." "The statement strongly suggested that he believes it not always necessary to maintain legal stability when reinterpreting the Constitution, which the security legislation will do,"the popular daily said. "That someone so close to Abe would apparently treat the legislation so lightly has triggered growing consternation within the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP),"it continued.

  Highlighting the backlash from both ruling and opposition party officials, the Mainichi quoted Natsuo Yamaguchi, leader of junior coalition partner Komeito, as telling his party's upper house caucus "People on the government side, who are supposed to handle the legislation, should not then be sabotaging these efforts."

  LDP Secretary-General Sadakazu Tanigaki, for his part, was quoted by the daily as blasting Isozaki's comments as being" absolutely thoughtless."

  Describing Isozaki's impropriety as a"verbal stumble,"the newspaper brought to the fore the main opposition Democratic Party of Japan Secretary-General Yukio Edano's views about the prime minister's incompetence. "It's because you can't arbitrarily reinterpret the Constitution that people abide by its rules. How long will the prime minister continue to employ an aide who does not understand even the very basics of the principles undergirding the rule of law?" Edano remonstrated.

  The editorial went on to quote other senior politicians such as the Japan Innovation Party (JIP) House of Councillors caucus chief Toranosuke Katayama and Social Democratic Party (SDP) leader Tadatomo Yoshida, as calling for the inept Isozaki to quit, slamming his comments as"unforgivable."

  The Asahi Shimbun also had Isozaki and the administration in its crosshairs, in a front-page editorial that outlined the fact that the new security bills are in violation of the Constitution. "Such 'unconstitutional' legislation must not be allowed to pass. I strongly hope all debate in the Upper House will focus on the incompatibility of the bills with the Constitution,"the editorial stated.

  It went on to explain that for decades the Constitution had kept the role of the military in check, but that Abe had unilaterally opted to reinterpret its meaning, for his own ends. "For decades, the government's interpretation was that the Constitution does not allow Japan to exercise the right to collective self-defense. But the Abe administration executed a 180- degree turn last summer, insisting that its own interpretation of the Constitution was logically consistent with the traditional interpretation,"the Asahi said. "And the administration continued to argue vehemently that there was no loss of 'legal stability' in the Cabinet's abrupt and arbitrary denial of the traditional interpretation that had been reaffirmed repeatedly over the years,"it continued.

  The newspaper, with a circulation of around 8 million copies, went on to argue the point that many have, for a long time, feared true -- the fact that Isozaki's blunder was in fact an example of the administration's actual feelings. "Isozaki may well have revealed the Abe administration's most honest sentiment, blowing out of the water all the excuses made by the administration so far. The government used to stress that any constitutional interpretation must have logical consistency and legal stability. But all along, the administration probably never meant any of that,"the cover story stated. "The Abe administration is guilty of an ultimate act of contempt for the Constitution,"the editorial concluded.


  Japanese former PM criticizes Abe for stirring concerns, suspicions from neighbors

  TOKYO, July 29 (Xinhua) -- Former Japanese Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama criticized Wednesday that incumbent Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's flip-flopping remarks on historical issues have stirred concerns and suspicions from neighboring countries.Full story

  News Analysis: Will "China threat" cliche help Abe ease domestic tensions on war bills?

  TOKYO, July 29 (Xinhua) -- The upper house of Japan's bicameral Diet has discussed a series of unpopular security-related bills from Monday, but unlike similar debates in the lower house, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his fellow ministers, as well as lawmakers from Abe's ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), directly pointed to and chided China as posing a threat to Japan's national security.Full story

  Japan's upper house starts debate on contentious war bills amid plunging support for Abe gov't

  TOKYO, July 27 (Xinhua) -- Japan's upper house of parliament on Monday began discussions on a package of controversial security bills that, if enacted, will allow for the nation's Self-Defense Forces to have an expanded role abroad, despite an ongoing public backlash that has seen hundreds of thousands took to the streets in protests.

Keywords:Spotlight,ruling camp,law

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