Last week, the parliament of Japan was shaken due to an argument of a historically controversial issue.
The House of Councillors approved the amendment of the legislation related to Self Defense Force. The main purpose of the amendment is to let Self-Defense Force to participate in the battle abroad when Japan or its allies are seriously threatened.
The Atlantic: Japan Curtails Its Pacifist Stance
All Japanese know that Japanese constitution prohibits Japan from possessing military force. Therefore, Self Defense Force has been interpreted as not an army. Albeit it sounds ridiculous, but it is an official commitment.
My past entry: Self Defense Force and Constitution
My past entry: The only reason I am afraid that Japan can hardly improve (1)
The current situation of international relationship is quite complicated. Most nations are forced to choose their allies instead of keeping neutral such as Switzerland. Collective self-defense is based on the concept that nations have a difficulty in protecting themselves alone. In contrast, citizens of Switzerland accept mandatory serving in the military to defend the nation by themselves, though only a few Japanese know the fact.
The content of amended bills is not so extraordinary. The BBC describes the figure of the new legislation with an exact sense. This change is even historic, but not so astonishing or irrational.
BBC: Japan to allow military role overseas in historic move
Opposing Democratic Party of Japan performed several tactics to prevent the establishment of the bills. They made a barricade composed of female politicians to shut the law makers out from the vote hall. And they blamed the behavior of the politicians pushing the women out as a "Sexual harassment." Furthermore, when female guards were summoned to deal with the human barricade, they shouted that ruling politicians would make use of women inappropriately. I think their claim is entirely meaningless and shameful.
On the other hand, Abe administration has made a crucial mistake. Not a few Japanese opposed the bills related to this amendment. Actually, the majority of Japanese does not accept the explanation of the government. I disagree with some emotional opinions agitating the risk that Japan would be involved in of the war. But I guess many people feel uncomfortable with this situation, which means that Self Defense Force, being not identified as an army, is going to the battlefield.
Abe administration should have amended the Constitution first. Since legalizing the dispatch of Self-Defense Force to the battlefield without amending the constitution, Abe lost a great opportunity to call for national discussion about the necessity of the amendment of the constitution.
Japan is still on the long distant way to amend the constitution. I think this amendment itself will not have a great influence on Japanese daily life. However, I am afraid that the contradiction created by the government and opposing polemicists will hurt Japan later.