News 2015/9/16

We Oppose the Enactment of the Security-related Bills - The Seikatsu Club Consumers’ Co-operative Union and the Regional Seikatsu Clubs Express their Opinion

The Seikatsu Club Consumers’ Co-operative Union, along with the member co-operatives and related organizations have one by one expressed their opposition to the enactment of the security-related bills


The Seikatsu Club Consumers’ Co-operative Union expresses its opposition to the security-related bills in order to protect the peace that is the major premise of the people’s lives.

The Seikatsu Club Consumers’ Co-operative Union opposes the security-related bills

September 16, 2015
Seikatsu Club Consumers’ Co-operative Union

Despite the fact that all the constitutional scholars summoned as witnesses before the Lower House Constitution Review Board indicated their awareness that the security-related bills, drawn up to permit the exercise of collective self-defense, were unconstitutional, the government forced a vote on the bills, which were passed at the plenary session of the Lower House of the 189th regular Diet session on July 16, 2015.

Not only the witnesses, but the vast majority of constitutional scholars have indicated their judgment that the revised bills are unconstitutional. The number of academics and researchers, from a wide range of fields and positions, who have endorsed the appeal by the Association of Scholars Opposed to the Security-Related Bills has also expanded to exceed more than ten thousand. It is shameful that in a democratic country a forced vote is once again being attempted in the Upper House, ignoring the voices of opposition and concern of a large number of Japanese people.

The Japanese government is attempting to nullify the binding force of Article 9 of the Constitution of Japan by means of these security-related bills, drawn up to permit the exercise of collective self-defense. The nullification of the Constitution by the use of legislation, which should be enacted and implemented in accordance with the Constitution, shakes constitutionalism, the premise of democracy, to its foundations, and is totally unacceptable.

2015 is a milestone year marking 70 years since the end of World War II. There is no just cause for any war. Japan must never again walk the insane road of the mutual taking of precious lives, and we must never forget this, however much time should pass. The fact that for 70 years Japan has neither attacked nor been invaded, and not one person has died in war is because the Constitution of Japan is a viable and effective peace constitution. We believe that the role of Japan that is expected of us by the people of the world is precisely to communicate this fact to the world and spread the will to pacifism. We demand that the Japanese government exercise peace diplomacy that in no way relies upon military power.

We are a co-operative union that is implementing activities aimed at raising the ability of Japan and its regions to be self-sufficient based on the concept of “FEC Self-sufficient Zones” (F = Food, E = Energy, C = Care). Up to now, we have worked with domestic producers to raise self-sufficiency in food, and have also built up sound and equal trade relations with overseas producers. Since the nuclear accident of 2011, we have also tackled the issue of raising self-sufficiency in energy. We do this because Japan has a poor ability to be self-sufficient in food and energy and we wish to be able to provide our own food without having to procure it from all over the world, and also because we do not wish to see future generations lose their access to food and energy. We are also engaged in activities aimed at the promotion of peace through international exchanges at the grass-root level, including with co-operative unions.

We are gravely concerned that the current bills will overturn the foundation for the building of this kind of spontaneous and free civil society. As one of the independent organizations that constitute today’s Japanese society, we have a responsibility to defend to the end the right of our children and their children after them not to kill and not to be killed. Furthermore, we believe that it is indeed toward the passing on of a sustainable environment and society that our greatest wisdom and endeavor should be directed.

In our Seikatsu Club Consumers’ Co-operative Union Charter, we pledge “In order that people may attain a proactive and abundant survival and life, we aim to conserve and reform the various conditions for peace and the environment, and will contribute to the democratic and independent development of local communities that embrace co-operative ideals.” In accordance with these ideals of our co-operative union, we oppose the security-related bills in order to protect the peace that is the major premise of the lives of the people. We also express our strong apprehensions concerning moves aimed at the amendment of Article 9 of the Constitution, which we believe will arise as the political focus in the near future.

Reference material:
The 26th General Meeting of the Seikatsu Club Consumers’ Co-operative Union
Special Resolution for Creating “FEC Self-sufficient Zones” was Adopted
http://seikatsuclub.coop/about/20150623_e_news.html

Seikatsu Club Consumers’ Co-operative Union Charter (in Japanese)
http://seikatsuclub.coop/coop/principle.html