Japanese opposition pursues efforts to block military reform


Japan’s opposition on Friday introduced a censure motion against the premier to block military reform bills, a day after the proposal sparked disorder and disruption in the upper house.

The Democratic Party of Japan is opposed to the bills that would for the first time since World War II allow the use of military force in support of allies attacked overseas.

The ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) has been trying to vote on the bills since Wednesday, but the procedure has been stalled by opposition lawmakers, who at one point blocked a corridor in the Diet building.

More than 10,000 people took to the streets this week against the legislation, which cleared the lower house in July.

Polls suggest that more than 60 per cent of the public opposes the bills, but the LDP coalition’s majority in the upper house means it would likely pass if the vote is held.

The new law would permit Japan’s military to act in “collective self-defence” if its interests were threatened at home or abroad, an action that critics say violate the pacifist constitution established after Japan’s defeat in World War II.