Abe's monocratic stewarding of national ship towards conflict stirring vociferous public opposition

Updated: 2015-06-12 09:41


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TOKYO -- Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is forging ahead with his plans to pass contentious security legislation through parliament albeit at a delayed date and in spite of the fact that the vast majority of the public oppose the implications the new bills will have on the nation's future security and the fact the bills themselves have been deemed unconstitutional by a plethora of legal experts on constitutional matters.

Abe's administration has been seeking passage of the bills through parliament in the current Diet session but due to the public's staunch opposition to the bills that would, by-in-large, allow Japan's forces to conduct borderless military operations beyond geographical restrictions if it was deemed that Japan's interests, security, freedom or the safety of one of its allies was under threat.

And contrary to previous promises made by Abe vowing that Japanese troops'lives would not be put in mortal danger under the new reforms, the US saying that it expected Japan to put "boots on the ground" in conflict zones along side its ally in the Middle East, the Korean Peninsular -- should needs arise -- and in other regions where tensions are rising, including in East Asia if needs dictate, discredited such a notion.

"Abe was forced to backtrack on this one too. The prime minister, as ever, is racing ahead to fulfill what he believes is some kind of divine destiny to remilitarize Japan and restore a bygone era of Imperialism here, but is doing so regardless of public or political opinion at home and abroad,"pacific affairs research and defense analyst, Laurent Sinclair, told Xinhua.

"What Abe then tends to do is try and backtrack, by making ambiguous statements about the'security environment'in the region, in order to generate fear among the public so they don't question his antics. Simultaneously he retroactively, and, as has been the case recently, unconstitutionally, tries to force legislation through parliament knowing his party has the majority vote in both chambers,"Sinclair explained, adding that such tactics, however, were starting to"backfire horrendously."

Sinclair pointed to a recent poll taken by the popular Yomiuri newspaper this month which showed almost 60 percent of Japanese citizens"firmly oppose" the passage of the latest package of security bills, rising 11 percent from the same survey conducted a month earlier.

Further proving the Japanese public's growing disdain for the prime minister's autocratic and truculent moves to boost the legal scope of Japan's forces at home and abroad, was a recent survey by Kyodo News, which showed that over 80 percent of Japanese people feel that the government's explanations about the security bills are "not sufficient," compared to just 14.2 percent who feel they are.

Meanwhile, 68 percent of those surveyed said the security legislation would increase the risk of Japan's forces getting dragged into war, causing the approval rating for the Cabinet of Abe to fall 2.8 percentage points from April to below the key 50 percent threshold to 49.9 percent. The disapproval rating rose 3.1 percentage points to 38 percent, the survey also showed.

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