A set of evil bills for promoting warfare state
At a meeting held on June 7, Chief Cabinet Secretary ABE Shinzo and Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) Secretary General TAKEBE Tsutomu finalized the decision not to extend the current Diet session. As a result, the failure of a series of bills to pass the Diet has become certain, including the amendment bill for the Fundamental Law of Education as well as the bills for a national referendum procedure and introduction of conspiracy crime. These bills are designed to complete the construction of a warfare nation and to drive all-out social transformation for global capitalism, all in accord with the LDP's proposal of a new constitution. Before convening the current Diet session, the ruling parties were quite determined as indicated by remarks such as "We must have breakthroughs for the long-standing issues" and "Difficult to have them pass the Diet except under the Koizumi administration with a high approval rate." In his policy statement, Prime Minister KOIZUMI Junichiro also showed off his enthusiasm, saying, "We will work tirelessly for prompt amendment (of the Fundamental Law of Education)" and "(A referendum bill) will be prepared according to provisions of the Constitution."
During deliberations, every possible tactic conceivable was employed, including the establishment of a special committee that could be convened every day for deliberations on the Fundamental Law of Education and the acceptance of the entire proposal by the Democratic Party of Japan for amendments to the conspiracy bill, an Ultra C maneuver (resulting in failure).
Those bills with such grave "importance" are now doomed to end in failure.
Manifestation of runaway Koizumi administration's limit
The ruling parties have overwhelming two thirds of the seats in the House of Representatives. Resorting to force of numbers, those bills should have passed long time ago. Why haven't they?
The media coverage provides apparently reasonable background explanation such as the administration's priority choice placed on visits to the US and other foreign nations or the arrangement to ease Mr. Abe's activities for the LDP's presidential election. There are, however, more fundamental circumstances exist. The Koizumi cabinet's policy line for war and privatization has now reached its limit, looking more or more unlikely to be fully implemented.
The opposition to Koizumi's visits to the Yasukuni war shrine has grown so much as to encompass objections from the business world here and his allies in the US. Frustrated over possible disadvantages in the competition for the Chinese market against western businesses, Japan Association of Corporate Executives (Keizai Doyukai) has requested to reconsider the prime minister's Yasukuni visits in an open letter dated May 9 aimed for mending of the Japan-China relationship. The chairperson of the House International Relations Committee requested that Koizumi reassure Congress that he would not pay another visit to the Yasukuni war shrine.
Local oppositions to the planned transformation and realignment of the US military functions in Japan have not calmed down. The May 30 Cabinet decision failed to name a specific destination to which Futenma Air Station could be relocated. NHK (the Japanese acronym for Japan Broadcasting Corporation) conducted a mobile phone questionnaire survey associated with its June 10 program "Japan's Future - US Bases." When given a question, "What do you think is the best approach to maintain peace and security?" the number of respondents in support of "diplomatic efforts" exceeded the sum of supporters of "alliance with the US" and "self-reliant defense" options. The result clearly indicates the opposition of the public to the Japan-US military unification.
The young starting actions
Meanwhile, there is no way to conceal the stalemate of the neo-liberal reform. The deregulation of labor legislations, tax cuts for high-income earners and earnings from share assignations have definitely widened the social gap as well as the reduction of medical and pension benefits. Those arrestees, HORIE Takafumi of Livedoor and MURAKAMI Yoshiaki of Murakami Fund, are babies of the Koizumi's structural reform. Even The Yomiuri Shimbun, virtually functioning as a public relations paper for the LDP, is among those hammering out warning against the advent of a gap-widening society and calling for restriction on the trend largely driven by market principles.
The young are the most severely hit by the business practices to use more and more non-permanent workers accelerated in Koizumi's reform. Nearly a half of young employees are non-permanent workers. Students are also increasingly being impoverished. During the last one decade, the ratio of students receiving scholarship benefits has increased sharply to higher than twice of the ratio before.
French students' anger that led to the withdrawal of the CPE (Contrat Premiere Embauche) law, an initial employment contract law, is never an exceptional phenomenon peculiar to France. Young people here in Japan are also standing up in campaigns for spreading solidarity with the Iraq Freedom Congress (IFC). With confidence in the tides of the world, let us build up our clout to ensure the outgoing Koizumi cabinet to feel the might of our struggle. (June 12)