Zenroren Executive Committee denounces passage of war bills and demands they be scrapped
Statement from the National Confederation of Trade Unions (Zenroren) 8th Executive Committee meeting
July 16, 2015
The Japanese government led by Prime Minister ABE Shinzo and the ruling parties put war bills (security legislation) to a vote today (July 16, 2015) in the House of Representatives in disregard of people’s strong opposition. Their action is completely unjustifiable and totally unacceptable.
While condemning this latest act of tyranny, the National Confederation of Trade Unions (Zenroren) is determined to further increase the movement by exerting the full power of organization and strengthen common action with other unions and organizations so that we can get the worst unconstitutional war bills scrapped.
The Abe administration and the ruling parties are arguing that the bills have been discussed fully in the Diet on the grounds that more than 100 hours were spent on committee discussions. But the fact is that Prime Minister Abe as well as the defense and foreign ministers repeatedly changed explanation they were making in answer to questions. They were even unable to give concrete explanations concerning their proposals. The deliberation was often disrupted and their rationale has totally collapsed.
Various opinion surveys show that people’s concern or opposition has been growing with the lapse of time for discussion. Prime Minister Abe has also admitted that the bills have not gained the public’s understanding at a House of Representatives ad hoc committee meeting on July 15.
A majority of the Japanese people is sharing the understanding that the government is proposing the worst kind of unconstitutional bills to turn Japan into a country that wages war along with other countries, particularly the United States.
Zenroren is taking part in the campaign carried out by the Joint Center in Defense of the Constitution or the All-Out Action Committee to demand that the war bills be scrapped. The joint initiative is drawing more and more people into action. The Diet building is surrounded almost every day by grassroots protesters. Rallies and various activities are growing into a chain reaction across the country.
SEALDs (Students Emergency Action for Liberal Democracy) and other voluntary initiatives by young people are spreading throughout the country, moving many people with their vigorous appeals. More than 10,000 researchers have expressed in a short period their support for an appeal launched by academics in opposition to the security bills. Many scholars and researchers are participating in protests in front of the Diet building and in demonstrations in various places. Major developments are taking place on the largest scale since the 1960 struggle against the revision of the Japan-U.S. security treaty.
The railroading the bills under these circumstances is nothing but a futile effort of the Abe administration to get the bills enacted by the end of the current session of the Diet by clinging to the so-called 60-day rule hoping to get the bills approved again in the House of Representatives after the House of Councilors failed to complete its deliberation. We are called upon to further expand our action to arouse an overwhelming public opinion that would stop the Abe administration and the ruling parties.
At issue is what kind of country we want to live in, and what kind of future we want for Japanese society. The Zenroren Executive Committee calls on all union members, their families and all Japanese people to rise in action to get the war bills scrapped, which is the duty we have to fulfill as people who live in the present so that we will not regret later in life.
Let us take to the streets to express anger at the bills’ railroading so that streets will resonate with “No War” shouts, everywhere throughout the Japanese peninsula.
Let us add more and more people to the action organized every day near the Diet building by the All-Out Action Committee and isolate the Abe administration with chants of anger.
Let us concentrate our efforts to carry out the “Great 7.24 Action to Say No to the Abe Administration!” and the “7.26 Encirclement of the Diet” organized by the All-Out Action Committee as the immediate major task. We will encircle the Diet and the Prime Minister’s Office on a larger scale than ever in order to bring the Abe administration to standstill.
Let us plan concrete action together by rousing discussion in the places of work about what we should do to get the war bills scrapped.