Monday, June 6, 2016

LDP Mobilizing to Revise Constitution, Opposition Mobilizing to Oust LDP


Japan's democratic opposition parties are mobilizing to upset the LDP hold on government in the Upper House election at a time when the LDP is close to changing Japan's post-World War II pacifist Constitution:

Pre-election rallies across Japan blast Abe, security laws THE ASAHI SHIMBUN June 6, 2016 at 18:40 http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201606060064.html
Tens of thousands of anti-Abe government protesters held simultaneous demonstrations across Japan on June 5, demanding the abolishment of national security legislation and urging voters to support opposition parties in the Upper House election.

The Civil Alliance for Peace and Constitutionalism, founded by members of five citizens groups, including the Students Emergency Action for Liberal Democracy-s (SEALDs), and a pro-Constitution organization jointly arranged the rallies at more than 50 locations around the nation.
Here is my summary of Japan's proposed constitutional revisions, which appear to be driven by US - Japan military-industrial interests: https://www.dropbox.com/s/97xnd5cujv0qu0r/Japan's%20Constitutional%20Revisionism%20Final%20April%202016.pdf?dl=0

Constitutional revisionism in not popular in Japan, according to poll results published in the Asahi Shimbun:

ASAHI POLL: Majority of voters feel no need to revise Constitution. The Asahi Shimbun, May 3, 2016, http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201605030043.html

Despite lack of strong support for these revisions, the LDP is pushing them forward in a context of heightened press censorship and government secrecy, as illustrated here:
Communications minister draws outrage over ‘threat’ to broadcasters, The Asahi Shimbun, February 09, 2016, http://ajw.asahi.com/article/behind_news/politics/AJ201602090074

Amid complaints that she’s threatening freedom of speech, communications minister Sanae Takaichi repeated her assertion that the government can legally shut down broadcasters that continue to air “biased political reports.”

The controversy started at the Lower House Budget Committee on Feb. 8, when Takaichi, a close associate of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, was asked if a broadcaster could be ordered to suspend its operations simply for showing a report critical of the administration.

“We cannot promise not to take any response when a broadcaster shows no improvement and repeatedly airs (politically unfair news reports) despite (the ministry’s) administrative instructions,” she said.
Yesterday I reported allegations by US whistle blower Edward Snowden that Japan's oppressive new state secrets law was designed by the US (here).
 
I find it both saddening and sickening that my government would encourage greater militancy, secrecy, and oppression of free speech overseas. I find it alarming that these outcomes are being pursued in allies, as well as in "enemies."

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Fukushima Update

Emissions at Fukushima Daiichi remain highly elevated. I suspect that the ice wall has been a bigger failure than reported: