Mr Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister
Mr Tadamori Oshima, Speaker of the House of Representatives
Mr Yasukazu Hamada, Member of the House of Representatives, Chair of the Special Committee on Peace Safety Legislation for Our Country and the International Community
Statement by the Advocacy Group of Professors at Seinan Gakuin University opposed to the Security-Related Bills and in protest against their forced passage through the Lower House
Today, the allied ruling parties steamrolled the “Peace Safety Legislation Maintenance Bill” and the new law “International Peace Support Bill” (referred to below as the Security-related Bills) through the House of Representatives. The advocacy group of professors at Seinan Gakuin University oppose the Security-related Bills that are obviously unconstitutional and lead Japan to being a “country that wage wars.” We strongly protest the forced passage of these Bills and request that they be abandoned immediately.
During World War II, Seinan Gakuin found itself unable to adhere to the creed: “Be faithful to Christ” -- the spiritual legacy our school founders established. We are ashamed to confess that, without making any protest against fanatic militarism, nor accusing the imperial government of its war policies, we forced our students to go to the battlefield, requiring them to “fight bravely for the emperor as His Majesty’s faithful children”,(Seinan Gakuin Shimbun, No.62, November 25, 1943) and as a result, exacted great sacrifices from the lives of our youth. At the same time, we caused neighboring Asian and other peoples indescribable damage and calamities and committed frightful atrocities. The death of our students and the victims of this war should not have happened, and they should not be allowed to happen in the future. Based on our reflection of, and deep remorse for, what we did and a firm resolution not to wage wars in the future, the Japanese Constitution positively declares pacifism in its preamble and Article 9 emphatically calls for the elimination of war.
The Security-related Bills allow the government to exercise the right of collective self-defense, which has been judged as unconstitutional by a large majority of experts in constitutional law. It is also fraught with the risk of enabling the government to make unlimited use of armed forces through the Japan Self-Defense Force. The Abe Adminstration’s high-handedness shown in passing the bills in a short time is a blatant challenge against constitutionalism. What actually happened is that the government substantially hollowed out the essence of the constitution. The arrogance of the alliance of two ruling parties has thoroughly ruined the constitutionalism and democratic consensual politics upon which postwar Japan has been based. We condemn the Abe government’s political schemes that have outrageously diverged from public opinion and are contrary to the principles of postwar Japan.
As citizens with a quiet conscience and expert knowledge in special fields of study, we firmly protest against this to fulfill our mission conferred by society and history.
“All they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.”
[Bible, Matthew 26:52]
16th July, 2015
Advocacy Group of Professors, Seinan Gakuin University