No Deal For Abe On Friday?

None of the main stream media has so far noted that PM Abe may have lost a major battle on Friday, as he tried to enact the hugely controversial war bills that could allow Japan to engage in battle abroad. Opposed to this, a large coalition of people who want to maintain the current Article 9 of Japan's post-war Constitution. Over the past days and weeks, massive demonstrations outside the Diet, the Japanese Parliament, and in many other cities as well. It is going on tonight as I type this.

So, yesterday, Abe and his right-wing Liberal Democratic Party and Komeito (the political arm of the lay sect of 1950s style born-again Buddhist connected to Sokai Gakkai) seem to have failed to use their majority to enact this? Very confusing as main stream media has no updates late Friday. Confusing. Stay tuned for more.

Update: Video from outside the Diet late Friday night:

Update: As of midnight, NHK World has no news on the failure of "Japan's governing parties" to enact the bills on Friday...

NHK World: Japan's security bills may be enacted on Friday

Japan's governing parties seek to have a set of security bills enacted on Friday. But the largest opposition Democratic Party remains keen to block the plenary session of the Upper House from passing the legislation.

The legislation would allow the country to exercise its right to collective self-defense. It would also expand the role of Japan's Self-Defense Forces abroad.

Update 2: And of course, as everyone already knows, the bills were passed "early on Saturday morning" since this is what democracy is like in Japan: If you are a LDP lawmaker, you vote as LDP wants you to vote, or else. While this formally also applies to Komeito, apparently, this party has already begun to crumble as its major support base, the Buddhist Soka Gakkai members, are not happy with the party's support for Abe, especially regarding this issue.

More analysis here and here. Key quote:

Unable to muster support to formally amend Article 9 of the Constitution, which enshrines its pacifist sentiment, Abe opted instead to reinterpret the document for the purpose of his bills, ignoring warnings from scholars and lawyers that they are unconstitutional. The changes reinterpret the Constitution to allow Japan’s military to fight to protect its allies, which Abe argues is necessary because of threats from an increasingly belligerent China and unstable North Korea.


Pandabonium said…
Digging my bomb shelter now....

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