World / Asia-Pacific

Japan's news security bills show Tokyo's consistent departure from peaceful constitution

(Xinhua) Updated: 2015-07-21 10:15

MOSCOW -- The controversial security bills that Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe bulldozed through the lower house of parliament shows the government's consistent deviation from the country's peaceful constitution, a Russian scholar said.

Japan's government coalition led by Abe's ruling party rammed the controversial bills through the parliament's lower chamber. These bills allow the scope of self-defense forces to widely expand in the biggest security shift in the country's post-war history.

"The set of bills would allow the use of Japanese self-defense forces in a wider context than it is envisaged in the constitution," Dmitry Streltsov, director of Oriental Studies of the Moscow State International Affairs Institute, told Xinhua in an exclusive interview.

First and foremost, Japanese armed forces will be permitted to act outside Japan without any looming threats to its sovereignty or a direct attack on its territory, he added.

Even in Japan, polls showed that more than half of the Japanese opposed the removal of the peaceful clauses in their constitution, the scholar said.

The Japanese public fears that now Japan could be pulled into an armed conflict against its will, because Japanese political leaders might receive a certain freedom to make decisions with no public consultations, Streltsov noted.

He did not believe that the adoption of the bills would further poison Tokyo's relations with its neighbors, as this decision is just another step towards the goal that the Japanese defense policy has been approaching in the last 25 years.

"Those steps may worry Russian elites and the public," Streltsov said. "They manifest what has already happened de facto as a part of the long-term trend."

That trend, he added, represents Japan's gradual deviation from the pacifist restrictions enforced by its constitution.

For instance, he noted, the Japanese government has dispatched military units abroad, founded an overseas military base, and increased military cooperation with Australia, India, the United States, and countries in Southeast Asia.

The adoption of the hawkish bills has shown Japan's refusal of its pacifist status and a step towards transformation into a "normal" state that has no restrictions in military buildup, Streltsov concluded.

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