Opposition parties, in a last-ditch show of resistance, were delaying a vote on the bills by introducing a series of no-confidence measures against government ministers and parliamentary leaders on Friday.
Parliament in the officially pacifist nation passed the contentious security bills early Saturday, a move that could see Japanese troops engage in combat overseas for the first time since the end of World War II. A scuffle broke out Thurs.as opposition lawmakers in a special committee of the Upper Home tried to delay a vote.
An anti-Japan protester burns a Japanese military flag with a cutout picture of Imperial Japanese Ar … But above all it is China’s widening security horizons that are driving Japan’s military modernisation.
“The bills are a psychological message to the world that an era in which Japan should not be involved in conflicts because of its exclusively defence-oriented policy is over”, said Hideshi Takesada, a professor at Takushoku University in Tokyo. Nationalist Prime Minister Shinzo Abe described the changes as a normalisation of Japan’s military policy.
“Definitely, the enactment of this legislation is tantamount to a diplomatic suicide for Japanese foreign affairs and is a setback to all the efforts Japan is making to bring permanent and durable peace in the region and in the world”, he told Xinhua.
The new legislation changes the country’s post-war constitution prohibiting collective self-defense or fighting to defend a friendly country, such as the U.S. The law relaxes limits on peacekeeping operations and make it easier to respond to “gray zone” incidents that fall short of war.
The statement also emphasized South Korea’s long-held position, saying that “any issue concerning security on the Korean Peninsula and our national interests would not be condoned without our request or consent” when Japan tries to implement its right for collective self-defense.
“Due to historical reasons, Japan’s policies and moves in the military and security areas has been closely watched by its Asian neighbors and the worldwide community”, he added. The trade-off has taken on new significance now that Japan could be asked to risk the lives of its own soldiers and sailors for the United States in return.
A poll conducted by the Asahi Shimbun from September 12 to 13 found that 54 percent of the 1,994 respondents oppose the bills and 29 percent support them.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, said the laws are necessary to protect against threats from an increasingly belligerent China and unstable North Korea, but opponents fear the vague wording could see Japan dragged into far-flung foreign wars.