On July 1, 2014, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s cabinet reinterpreted the constitution’s Article 9 “peace clause” contrary to it’s original intent and empowered Japan’s military to take belligerent action against other countries, increasing Japan’s risk of bloody conflict in the future.
The government’s decision to embrace violence has already begotten violence: in protest to the Article 9 re-interpretation, a man set himself on fire in front of one of Tokyo’s busiest stations – the first of what may be many more painful deaths in the frightening prospect of war. It is estimated that in World War II as many as three million Japanese, soldiers and civilians, or 4 percent of the population, died.
Polls show the majority of Japanese oppose the cabinet’s resolution which had bypassed Parliament and the requirement for a referendum on changes to the Constitution, constituting a self-coup on the government and raising to question Abe’s legal legitimacy.
Before this moment Japan had been leading the world with it’s progressive constitutional commitment to non-violence expressed in Article 9 as:
“RENUNCIATION OF WAR:
Aspiring sincerely to an international peace based on justice and order, 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 order to accomplish the aim of the preceding paragraph, land, sea, and air forces, as well as other war potential, will never be maintained. The right of belligerency of the state will not be recognised.”
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and the Liberal Democratic Party he leads is taking Japan backwards and increasing danger for the people of Japan, the region and the world.
The Asia-Pacific Greens Federation stands firmly for non-violence and calls on the people and governments of the world to prevent the Japanese government from putting our collective peace and well-being at risk.
English: Greens Japan Statement
07/28/2014 – 20:06