Let us raise our voices and launch movements against ‘war bills’ from all workplaces and communities to scrap unconstitutional war bills and defend the Constitution’s Article 9
Special Resolution adopted at the 52nd General Council Meeting
National Confederation of Trade Unions (Zenroren)
July 31, 2015
“We would be ones that are forced to go to war. Don’t decide our fate arbitrarily”?Young people are raising their voices against the “security legislation” (war bills). Their movement is spreading throughout the country. Young mothers have begun marching through the streets with firm determination not to allow their kids to be killed. The Diet is surrounded by participants in sit-in and other actions taking place at the call of the All-Out Action Committee. The number of these participants is growing. Local rallies and demonstrations are attracting the highest ever number of people. Calls for the defense of Article 9 in opposition to war are arising everywhere, driving the Abe administration into a corner.
Most constitutional scholars and lawyers say the present security bills are unconstitutional. Allowing a wider use of arms and logistics, which the Japanese government calls “rear support,” amounts to using force, an act prohibited by the Constitution’s Article 9. If Japan participates in peace-keeping operations like activities carried out carried out by the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) to maintain the security, it could pave the way for our country to use force outside the country. It is clearly a violation of the Constitution if Japan to exercises the right to collective self-defense to fight for the defense of another country even though Japan has not been attacked. The public knows it. The war bills are the worst of unconstitutional bills. There is no choice other than to scrap such bills.
The Abe administration railroaded the war bills through the House of Representatives despite the fact that80 percent of the public says the government’s explanation is far from being sufficient. This is an historic outrage running counter to democracy and constitutionalism. It is arousing people’s anger and concerns, and the support rate for the Abe administration is falling. Bills should not be automatically enacted. If we further mobilize public opinion and increase the movement, it is possible to thwart a vote on the bills and scrap them. The movement we have been developing so far has generated the possibility. We should be convinced of the strength of our movement and fight till we foil the war legislation.
We observe the 70th anniversary of the end of Japan’s last war. It is also 70 years since the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. At issue is what direction Japan should take. We must not allow militarism, which suppressed freedom and democracy and took many lives, to be called back. Many unions, reaffirming where our country stood at the beginning of the postwar era, are taking actions to make it clear that workers refuse to work for war and that workers refuse to be engaged in war cooperation. We can work with pride only in a peaceful world. Japanese workers never accept the Abe administration’s policy of turning Japan into a country that wages war abroad.
Zenroren will do all it can to get the war bills scrapped.
We call on all Zenroren member unions and workers to join forces to bring success to the August 30 action with 100,000 people at the Diet and 1,000,000 people nationwide. We are planning to hold a concerted nationwide action on September 2 and 9 to demand the scrapping of the war bills. Let us hold workplace meetings and publicity campaigns, and make representations to lawmakers elected from each constituency, organize local rallies and demonstrations with all union members participating. Let us bring together the various demands and movements to stop the adverse labor law reform, achieve zero nuclear power, oppose the construction of a new U.S. military base in the Henoko district of Nago City, Okinawa, defend the social security programs, oppose the TPP deal, and protect education so that we can force the Abe administration out of power. Through these efforts we will have discussions as many friends as possible to strengthen Zenroren, which plays a key role in the movement to defend the Constitution and let it guide.
Let us bury the war bills by doing everything we can in the workplace as well as in the community. Let us wage an historic struggle with all union members and defend Article 9 of the Constitution.