Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe

More than 700 people in Japan filed two class-action lawsuits against the Japanese government, seeking an injunction to block the deployment of the Self-Defense Forces (SDF) personnel under the new laws, as well as state compensation for emotional damages.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe

Ito, a lawyer and representative of the civil group “Legal Actions against the Security Bills”, said the people were working to scrap the security laws and voice their anger at the Abe administration.

“The security laws are definitely in violation of Japan’s constitution,” said Ito, who is also the chairman of the Japan Institute of Constitutional Law, a private non-profit organization dedicated to research and public education on the principles of the Constitution.

“Article 9 of Japan’s constitution stipulates that the Japanese people forever renounce war as a sovereign right of the nation and the threat or use of force as means of settling international disputes. It also says that Japan does not recognize the right of belligerency of the state. However, if Japan’s Self-Defense Forces fight overseas together with armies of other countries, it means that Japan is fighting a war. It’s definitely against the pacifist constitution,” said Ito.

Abe’s ruling coalition first eased restrictions on the activities of the SDF overseas by revising the constitution’s interpretation, and then forcibly enacted the security laws in an attempt to provide a legal foundation for the right to exercise collective self-defense.

“The politicians made these policies despite the strong opposition of the majority of the public. It is a sort of dictatorship and blasphemy of the law,” said Ito.

“The constitution is the law that governs the country. Any policy shall be made under the constitution instead of against it. If the government pays no regard to the constitution, how can it count on the common people to abide by the law?” said Ito.

Ito also warned the neighboring countries to be on guard against Abe’s attempts to amend the pacifist Constitution.

“I think some of the neighboring countries are not wary enough about Abe’s attempts to amend the constitution. Japan victimized Asian countries before and during WWII, which is why we have this pacifist constitution and promised never to fight wars again. Whether to amend the pacifist constitution is not just a domestic affair, but relates to the promise Japan made to its neighboring countries,” said Ito.

As for the lawsuits against Abe’s government over the security laws, Ito said it would be of great significance if they could win.

“The majority of the constitutional scholars as well as legal experts in Japan, including former head of the Supreme Court, believe that the security laws violate the constitution. The courts have the obligation to correct the wrongdoings of the government,” said Ito.

“There are, of course, concerns that the judicial circle in Japan is reluctant to rule against the government on the issue of constitutionality. But we believe there are still some judges who can make just rulings on the issue based on the law,” said Ito.

“Even if only one of the lawsuits were ruled in our favor, it would provide a huge impetus for us to push for the scraping the security laws,” said Ito.

Source: Xinhua

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