It has been said that the Komeito didn’t want the elections to overlap. However, it seems most likely that the government party judged it best to break through opposition to the Cabinet decision on collective self-defense, and the stagnation of “Abenomics”, by rushing to election now while opposition parties are still unprepared. In that sense, one might say that the Abe government has made use of their typical strong-arm tactics.
Recently, the Abe administration’s popularity seemed to be on the wane. Even the pre-election media predictions had the government party losing Diet seats. But then on December 4th the morning papers announced in a poll prediction: “LDP could reach 300 seats. Opposition parties weak”. What is up with our country? People of this country! You can’t help but sigh. Oh no, oh dear oh dear…
If the governing party should win a landslide in this election, legislation for recognizing the exercise of collective self-defense would presumably proceed right away, and the movement to change the Constitution would undoubtably pick up speed. The amendment to worsen the Worker Dispatch Law, abandoned temporarily due to the sudden dissolution, would proceed, and Japan would become what Abe calls “the world’s easiest country to do business in” (meaning the country that makes it easiest to use workers however you want). So this is the situation. But in this world it doesn’t do to despair, and please don’t keep on abstaining from voting.
Whatever happens, as the New Year begins we will have all kinds of tasks piling on us at once. Be it the collective self-defense issue already mentioned, the move toward changing the Constitution, or the Dispatch Law, we will be at a now-or-never juncture. On restarting the nuclear power plants and on the problem of U.S. bases, there are likely to be direct confrontations on-site. Then in early spring, textbook authorization starts.
We at Osaka Zenrokyo are only a small minority. But as the proverb has it, “a small grain of pepper has a mighty sting”. Let’s put this spirit into action as we steadily and surely fight the good fight.
Osaka Zenrokyo News 2014 December edition