With growing security concerns, the approval of Japan’s parliament finally relaxes post-World War II constraints involving military. This is indeed incredible. In the past, this issue has led to many street protests questioning the authorities about their stance on the issue.
There was a lot of time wasted by the opposition parties who, in the last hours of this bill’s release, voted no-confidence and had ongoing debates on Friday; they failed.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has spoken about how Japan’s military forces will now work closely with the United States if Japan were to face threats from North Korea, China or even the terrorist activities of the Middle East. Similarly, if the United Nations were under threat, the Japanese military would come to their defense and aid.
All such activities would be conducted under certain conditions, namely ‘imminent critical threat’ to Japan. The opposition parties have made accusations that these conditions are vague and open to interpretation.
As seen in media polls and protests, the people of Japan, however, oppose the approval of the Japanese legislature. This is unusual for Japan. They feel this move could possibly disrupt the peace and prosperity brought about by the pacifist stance of the last 70 years or so. Moreover, they fear that Japan could now be targeted by anti-U.S. militants, causing more unnecessary conflict. The younger generation is wary of being drafted into the military.
On a more positive note, this approval has opened doors for Japan to be more active in UN peace-keeping undertakings such as military support for others and safeguarding civilian workers.