Japan’s new security laws amend its pacifist constitution.
By DEE AYROSO
MANILA – A Filipina legislator lamented the enactment of new laws in Japan that amend the country’s pacifist Constitution, toward the possible return of its “offensive military powers.”
Gabriela Women’s Partylist Rep. Emmi De Jesus said that Japan risks being embroiled in the US’ wars of aggression, after the Japanese Diet enacted security laws last week, effectively amending Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution. Article 9 bans collective self-defense, which means coming to the defense of an ally even if the country is not under attack.
One of the new security laws allows Japan to send its self-defense troops abroad. For 70 years, Japan has renounced war, learning of the suffering it has both incurred and inflicted on other nations during World War II.
“As a woman Filipino lawmaker, I worry about the looming risk of a massive regional, even global conflict now that Japan plans to build an offensive military,” said De Jesus.
“The ruling Japanese politicians still feel no remorse about its brutal occupation of Asia and refuse to apologize for the rape of thousands of comfort women when they invaded the Philippines,” she said.
De Jesus joined protests in 2014 against the amendment of Article 9, which was widely opposed by the Japanese public.
“I think the Japanese public and the opposition are correct when they say that the 11 new laws pushed by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe still violate Japan’s constitution and puts the country at risk of becoming embroiled in U.S.-led wars. The post-war constitution still bans the country from using force to settle international disputes,” De Jesus said.
De Jesus said that Japanese diplomats may now be “emboldened” to negotiate another Visiting Forces Agreement with the Philippines to allow Japanese military bases, similar to the “agreed locations” for US troops under the Enhanced Defense Cooperative Agreement (Edca), which is being questioned in the Supreme Court.
She said Japanese lawmakers should consider withdrawing the law, and instead “help reduce tensions in the Western Pacific through people-to-people diplomacy and resisting the interventionist meddling of the United States in Asia.”