JCP chair called for electoral verdict to be given on LDP-DPJ 'grand coalition' aimed at wrecking Constitution

Japanese Communist Party Chair Shii Kazuo on October 23 said that the Liberal Democratic Party and the Democratic Party of Japan have in essence formed a "grand coalition aimed at wrecking the Constitution" and stressed the need to frustrate them in their ambitions in the upcoming general election.

In order to defend its own interest by insisting on the earliest possible snap House of Representatives general election, the DPJ has in effect cooperated with the LDP in swiftly enacting the bill to extend the Maritime Self-Defense Force deployment to the Indian Ocean under the pretext of assisting in the war on terrorism.

"The LDP and the DPJ share the same strategy to gut the war-renouncing Article 9 of the Constitution by either changing constitutional interpretation or revising the text," Shii said.

The government's stated interpretation has been that Article 9 of the Constitution, and its second paragraph in particular prohibits Japan from sending troops abroad for military action, participating in U.N. missions that exercise the use of force, and exercising the right of collective self-defense.

However, at a Lower House special committee meeting on terrorism on October 20, DPJ Policy Research Committee Chair Naoshima Masayuki stated that Japan's Self-Defense Forces can use force in overseas missions authorized by a U.N. resolution and that the DPJ will start working on changing the current interpretation of the Constitution and take necessary legislative action if the party takes power.

Shii said, "The DPJ in the Diet made it clear that it is set to change the official interpretation of the Constitution. This is tantamount to publicly promising to turn Japan into a 'country capable of resorting to military force abroad if it becomes a ruling party."

He also criticized the ruling Liberal Democratic and Komei parties for trying to extend the Special Measures Law on Terrorism to stick to Japan's logistic support to US retaliatory wars in defiance of the Constitution, and expressed his determination to foil the attempt.

- Akahata, October 24, 2008

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