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Japan's appeals at home should be heeded for a better future

(China Daily) Updated: 2015-09-07 07:39

On Thursday, Shigeru Yamaguchi, a former chief justice of Japan's Supreme Court, criticized the new security bills being pushed through the Diet by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, calling the legislation to exercise the right to rule collective self-defense "unconstitutional". He also expressed his concern about the Abe administration's reinterpretation of Japan's pacifist Constitution, which he said would "undermine constitutionalism and make it impossible to control the use of power or protect citizens from arbitrary politics." Comments:

For historical reasons, Japan has been watched closely by its Asian neighbors and the international community, whenever it seeks to alter its military defense policy. We hope that the Japanese government will listen carefully to the righteous appeals at home, heed the lessons from its infamous past, and adhere to the path of pacifist development. In particular, it should adopt a prudent military policy and make more contributions to regional peace and stability.

Hua Chunying, China's Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, Sept 1

The ever-present tensions over history-related issues will continue to haunt Japan's relations with China and South Korea. But they should not be allowed to stand in the way of improving Japan's ties with its strategically important neighbors. While Abe has cited China's military buildup as one of the reasons behind his push for security legislation that would expand the scope of Japan's Self-Defense Forces' overseas activities, China is the largest trading partner of Japan and South Korea. The leaders of Japan, China and South Korea should take the last of the war anniversary events as the cue to resume their regular dialogue and hammer out political solutions to the problems marring their ties.

Japan Times, Sept 4

Barring a truly transformational event, it is all but certain the Abe government and the ruling coalition will use their majority to pass the security legislation through the Diet in September. The administration appears resolved to do so - even if its public approval rating declines sharply. The opposition parties' failure means that Japan's ruling coalition has remained united even in the face of the escalating protests and appears entirely willing to pass the legislation without regard for public opinion.

Al Jazeera, Aug 31

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