Japan Moves to Allow Military Combat for First Time in 70 Years

Discussion in 'Indo Pacific & East Asia' started by SANITY, Jul 18, 2015.

  1. SANITY

    SANITY Regular Member

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    By JONATHAN SOBLE
    JULY 16, 2015



    TOKYO — Defying broad public opposition and large demonstrations, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe won a crucial vote in Parliament on Thursday for legislation that would give Japan’s military limited powers to fight in foreign conflicts for the first time since World War II.

    Mr. Abe’s party and its allies in the lower house of Parliament approved the package of 11 security-related bills after opposition lawmakers walked out in protest and as demonstrators chanted noisily outside, despite a gathering typhoon. The upper chamber, which Mr. Abe’s coalition also controls, is all but certain to endorse the legislation as well.

    The vote was the culmination of months of contentious debate in a society that has long embraced pacifism to atone for wartime aggression. It was a significant victory for Mr. Abe, a conservative politician who has devoted his career to moving Japan beyond guilt over its militarist past and toward his vision of a “normal country” with a larger role in global affairs.

    Mr. Abe has pressed this agenda, though, against the wishes of much of the Japanese public, and his moves have generated unease across Asia, especially in countries Japan once occupied and where its troops committed atrocities. Final passage of the bills would represent a break from the strictly defensive stance maintained by the Japanese military in the decades since the war.

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    Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Parliament on Thursday. He has championed legislation that would giving the Japanese military limited powers to fight overseas.
    FRANCK ROBICHON / EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY


    Critics, including a majority of Japanese constitutional specialists, say the legislation violates the country’s postwar charter, which renounces war. But the legislation is supported by the United States, Japan’s wartime foe turned ally and protector, which has welcomed a larger role for Tokyo in regional security as a counterweight to a more assertive China.

    Mr. Abe has spent considerable political capital pushing the bills through. Voters oppose them by a ratio of roughly two to one, according to numerous surveys, and the government’s support ratings, which were once high, fell to around 40 percent in several polls taken this month. Mr. Abe has presented the package as an unavoidable response to new threats facing Japan, in particular the growing military power of China. He seized on the murder of two Japanese hostages by the Islamic State militant group in January as an example of why Japan needs to loosen restrictions on its military, suggesting that the military might have rescued them if it had been free to act. “These laws are absolutely necessary because the security situation surrounding Japan is growing more severe,” he said after Thursday’s vote. China condemned passage of the bills, describing them as a potential threat to peace in Asia and invoking Japan’s wartime aggression. “We solemnly urge the Japanese side to draw hard lessons from history, stick to the path of peaceful development, respect the major security concerns of its Asian neighbors, and refrain from jeopardizing China’s sovereignty and security interests or crippling regional peace and stability,” Hua Chunying, a Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, said in a statement. With opposition lawmakers boycotting the vote, the bills passed with the support of the Liberal Democratic Party, led by Mr. Abe, and its smaller coalition partner, Komeito, which control a majority of seats in the legislature’s lower house, the House of Representatives. To become law, they must still be approved by the upper chamber, but in the unlikely event that the package is rejected, the lower house can override that decision. The upper house is scheduled to debate the legislation for 60 days, keeping the issue in the public eye and potentially fueling more protests. “There is plenty of time for this newfound appetite for opposition to the Abe government to grow,” Sheila A. Smith, senior fellow for Japan studies at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington, said online. In an address to a joint meeting of the United States Congress in April, Mr. Abe pledged that he would enact the legislation to strengthen Japan’s already close ties to the United States. But “a deeply divided Japanese public over alliance cooperation is not the outcome U.S. policy makers hoped for,” Ms. Smith wrote. The legislation would allow the Japanese military, known as the Self-Defense Forces, to cooperate more closely with United States forces by providing logistical support and, in certain circumstances, armed backup in international conflicts. It complements guidelines in a bilateral agreement governing how Japanese and United States forces work together, which was signed by the two nations this year. Mr. Abe has failed to dispel concerns of the Japanese public that looser restrictions on the military could embroil Japan in damaging and unnecessary wars. The United States-led war in Iraq is often cited by critics as a cautionary example, although Mr. Abe and his supporters say the many caveats contained in the bills would prevent Japan from fighting in such a conflict. Under the legislation, Japan could fight to defend allies, but only when not doing so would threaten “the lives and survival of the Japanese nation.” Mr. Abe’s opponents counter that the criteria are vague. If it clears the remaining procedural hurdles, the legislation is likely to face challenges in the courts, but to what effect is uncertain. The Constitution, written by Japan’s American occupiers after the war, states that “the Japanese people forever renounce war as a sovereign right of the nation and the threat or use of force as means of settling international disputes.” In multiple surveys of constitutional scholars, more than 90 percent have said the legislation violates the charter. Japanese judges, however, have in the past been mostly unwilling to overrule the government on matters of security. “It is a huge mistake to set aside a constitutional interpretation built up by governments for 70 years without sufficient public understanding and debate,” Katsuya Okada, head of the largest opposition party, said before the opposition walkout.

    Mr. Abe has long argued that the Constitution should be amended to remove its restrictive antiwar provisions, but changing the charter would require a national referendum that he would probably lose. For now, at least, a contested reinterpretation of the Constitution appears to be the most he can hope for. On Wednesday night, large crowds gathered outside Parliament after the bills were approved by a committee in an emotional and chaotic session. Opposition lawmakers held up signs saying “No to Abe politics” and tore notes from the committee chairman’s hand as he closed the debate. The crowd on Wednesday was estimated by protest organizers at around 100,000, which would make it the largest antigovernment demonstration in Japan since protests in 2012 against the proposed restart of nuclear power plants, a year after the nuclear accident in Fukushima. The police had no official estimate. A small number of protesters remained on Thursday under intermittent downpours. They shouted “Shame on the Abe government” and “Don’t send young people to war.” Hisako Ueno contributed reporting from Tokyo, and Andrew Jacobs from Beijing.

    http://mobile.nytimes.com/2015/07/1...ills-giving-military-freer-hand-to-fight.html
     
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  3. blueblood

    blueblood Senior Member Senior Member

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    About time!!

    Japanese people, welcome to the real world where you have to fight for what's yours. Especially when your neighbour is a "laaton ka bhoot."
     
  4. Rowdy

    Rowdy Co ja kurwa czytam! Senior Member

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    Good Job Abe San!!!!!!!
    We still remember the Japanese victory in the Japanese-Soviet war in 1905 when , for the first time we "realized" that europeans can be defeated.
    The first time in recorded history an Asian power won against a European one, setting off rebellion throughout Asia.
     
    prateikf and Sakal Gharelu Ustad like this.
  5. sorcerer

    sorcerer Senior Member Senior Member

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    Reefer Madness: Why Is China on a Building Spree i

    :rofl::rofl: This is how Chinese Jokes are!!

    World Kerry to confront China over island-building in South .

     
  6. Sakal Gharelu Ustad

    Sakal Gharelu Ustad Detests Jholawalas Moderator

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    Why is China so scared of herbivore Japanese men!!

    Btw, Japan's population has already started to go down and they would need massive growth to maintain their welfare state. Japan might be militarized but it would be engulfed by a lot of domestic problems in the coming decades.
     
  7. Rowdy

    Rowdy Co ja kurwa czytam! Senior Member

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    They are investing in India ... since india is on a multi decadel growth path...
     
  8. Akim

    Akim Defence Professionals Defence Professionals

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    ??????????????????
    All the Soviet-Japanese war were bad for Japan.The socialist revolution in Russia was in 1917. Japanese intervention in the far East of Russia in 1918-20. Northern Sakhalin until 1925.
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2015
  9. Rowdy

    Rowdy Co ja kurwa czytam! Senior Member

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    I'm talking about the naval battle here
    [​IMG]
     
  10. Akim

    Akim Defence Professionals Defence Professionals

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    Where is the Soviet Union? Call right historical events.
     
  11. Rowdy

    Rowdy Co ja kurwa czytam! Senior Member

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    OOps........................................... ...........................
     
  12. tsunami

    tsunami Regular Member

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    With in a decade all Japaneses, Chinese and western countries will start doing MC,BC
     
  13. charlie

    charlie Regular Member

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    Well if you ask a chinese do you hate America? The answer will be no, but the only country they hate is Japan same goes for south korea. Emotions run high on Gwangbokjoel (victory day) aganist the atrocities committed by japanses during war.


    Well this was bound to happen some day, but it will take a decade to get things into place.
     

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