The Japanese government is about to pass a new security bill which will allow the Japanese military to actively fight in other countries, outside of the UN peace keeping missions they could already take part in.
Effectively, this means a renunciation of the Japanese constitution, in particular article 9 where it says that “...the Japanese people forever renounce war as a sovereign right of the nation and the threat or use of force as a mean of settling international disputes.” With the increase of military spending in recent years, this article has already been seriously weakened, but the new laws would completely put it to rest.
Obviously this is causing a great stir in the National Diet, where a former Supreme Court justice asked all members of the house regardless of party affiliation to “…respect intelligence, decorum and reason, or at least pretend“; and a young student of one of the many parties of the opposition called for the politicians to act as an individuals and “…please be your own person.” Yesterday it went so far that people started an actual fight, and today there was a motion of no-confidence against Shinzo Abe, the current prime minister.
And even the otherwise rather placid Japanese people have been in uproar. As a vast majority of them are against the new legislation, there have been numerous demonstrations all over Japan and around the National Diet itself. There was even a demonstration in Kyoto, and a friend of mine, who only went to the speeches in the beginning, said she was surprised at the length of the subsequent march through town.
I guess that the bill will pass after all, regardless of all the voices of reason from in- and outside the Diet. Already eager business men are rubbing their hands in anticipation of great weapons exports from Japan. It seems today everything is for sale, if just the price is right…
Oh, if you are interested in the exact words of the Japanese Constitution as it was written in 1946, you can download it for free from project Gutenberg!