Sunday, June 14, 2015

Self Defense Force and Constitution

Japan Diet is wandering in the argument of the relationship between Constitution and Self Defense Force. Law scholars summoned to Diet said that the new security-related bills, enabling Self Defense Force to be involved in foreign combats cooperating with foreign armies, would be violating the Constitution.

The Mainichi: Lower house panel discusses experts' constitutional views of security bills

The government is willing to establish the bills so soon, following the interpretation that Japan has right of collective self-defense. The defense minister suggested further change in interpretation of Constitution.

The Mainichi: Defense minister suggests possibility of more changes in interpretation of Constitution

My past entry: Japan has right of collective self-defense

On the other hand, Shinzo Abe, the Prime Minister of Japan has a strong desire to amend Constitution. It is possible that the discussion of this issue will be accelerated.

My past entry: Constitution Memorial Day

Japanese Constitution has never been changed since it was enacted, as I wrote. People opposing the change of Constitution claims that it has prevented Japan from being involved in the war. There is even a movement to submit Constitution as a candidate for Nobel Prize. As same as the last year, the allegation to recommend it was sent to the committee by a civil association.

My past entry: Article 9 of the constitution as a candidate of Nobel Prize

But I cannot agree with their claim. Indeed, Constitution which is inhibiting Japan from possessing the national army has contributed, to some extent, to the continuous peace. However, there are lots of reasons why Japan has been free from international conflicts other than its legislation. Japan owe much to the US army in keeping the peace. The scarce natural resources is another reason why foreign countries did not aim at Japan as a target of invasion. Also, it is quite fortunate that there are little racial or religious conflict in Japan.

To be honest, I think it is not important whether the security bills are violating Constitution. The Japanese government repeatedly changed the interpretation of Constitution, as the minister admitted. In this time, a similar procedure will be done to pass the bills rapidly.

Nonetheless, considering the change of Constitution itself is a significant issue. I think the broad discussion is needed for the both sides. Japanese are not accustomed to amend the legislation explicitly, nor to adhere to amended rule. It is terribly disadvantageous for Japan. We need the experience of altering the rule based on democratic and concrete methods.

My past entry: The only reason I am afraid that Japan can hardly improve (1)

By the way, it is afraid that the officer of Self Defense Force will be endangered if the new bills are applied. I think it is true. The government should not underestimate this possibility. The mission of the military is the protection of the nation, not themselves. I truly respect the officers. And they should be adequately rewarded and be given the honor in consistency with their responsibility.


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