Japan opposition files bills to scrap security laws

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Tokyo, Feb 19 (IANS) At least five Japanese opposition parties on Friday filed two bills to the National Diet’s lower house demanding the retraction of a series of controversial security laws — enacted last year — due to their unconstitutionality.

The new security legislation which gives a green light for the first time since the end of World War II to Japan’s Self-Defence Forces (SDF) to engage armed conflicts overseas will take effect on March 29 and the latest counter-measure by the opposition camp aimed at making it a debating issue in the upcoming upper house election, Xinhua reported.

Over 90 percent of Japanese constitution experts opine that the security laws violate Japan’s Constitution which bans the SDF from exercising rights to collective self-defence.

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The new security legislation marked the overturning of Japan’s “exclusively defensive defence strategy” in the postwar era.

The ruling coalition, led by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), rammed the security bills through the National Diet last year prompting constant nationwide protests against the ruling camp and the security bills before their enactment.

“The five parties will cooperate so we can force the ruling parties into a minority,” Katsuya Okada, president of Japan’s largest opposition party, Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ), said after holding talks with four other opposition parties.

The four others were the Japanese Communist Party, the Japan Innovation Party (JIP), the Social Democratic Party and the People’s Life Party.

The LDP and its small ruling partner of the Komeito Party eye to secure the majority of the upper house in the summer’s election so as to launch a motion to review the country’s pacifist constitution, while the five opposition parties are mulling to reach a campaign together to scrap the security laws and eventually toppling Abe’s administration.

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LDP Secretary General Sadakazu Tanigaki on Friday criticised the opposition parties’ move, saying that they failed to voice their position on Japan’s security at the National Diet’s debate.

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