Despite opposition from a majority of the Japanese people, the government is forcing this through, without a doubt, the work of a dictatorship.
But, this sight before me right now really fills me with hope.
Whether this country will permit a dictatorship or protect our democracy until the bitter end rests on our voices now.
The other day, Prime Minister Abe gave this analogy while he was speaking on an Internet program:
“If my friend Mr. Aso, who is good at fighting and always backs me up, were to be suddenly punched by a thug, it would be reasonable for me to fight back with him.”
This made me shudder.
If we continue to use this analogy, this would be the rest of the story:
Supposing our friend is punched, and we fought back against the thug, then that thug would probably bring more of his friends and they would attack us.
Then we would have a cycle of violence, which would unnecessarily involve others, and even people that were never involved would end up losing their lives.
If we use this analogy, perhaps this would be the best option.
To find out the context of the situation, like why they had to become thugs, and why they hit our friend Mr. Aso to begin with.
It should be Japan’s role to change the structure of society that creates thugs to avoid this cycle of violence.
To the people who support this bill, what you are saying is correct; it is true that the threat of terrorism is on the rise.
Terrorists continue to deprive children of the right to receive an education, women of the freedom to live in dignity, and countless others of their very lives.
Yet, they were not born as terrorists.
The cause and responsibility of why they became terrorists to begin with lies with international society.
Following the attacks of 9/11, where 3000 people lost their lives, the US, under the cause of justice, took another 1.3 million lives.
Terrorists don’t have a monopoly on brutality.
He can try to trick the Japanese people with this nonsense analogy, deceiving us of the truth; but, we will not be fooled. We will think clearly before we act.
Mr. Abe also said that Japan must not just rely on others to defend her, but that she must also have the courage to fight.
But, I can’t possibly bring myself to approve the killing of people in other countries.
My heart couldn’t endure expending the precious lives of our Self-Defense Force members on something that isn’t even for the self-defense of Japan.
I also don’t have the power to rebuild cities that have been destroyed by bombs.
Even if children are harmed by weapons made by Japanese companies,
I can’t bear the responsibility for the future of those children.
I can’t even heal the sadness of losing one’s family.
Prime Minister Abe can use these influential words, like ‘take responsibility’, or ‘absolutely’ or ‘definitely’, but he can’t trick me into thinking I can take responsibility for something I know I cannot.
Japan’s constitution, in which a promise was made never to go to war again, does not recognize your dictatorship.
If you can’t uphold the sovereignty of the Japanese people, respect for basic human rights, and our principle of pacifism, then you aren’t the prime minister of this country.
As long as democracy remains in this country, we have the right to remove you from power.
We have the power.
You will be out of a job this summer, and Japan will reach our 71st year since WWII without incident.
You might be proud of yourself, thinking you did something great today, Prime Minister Abe.
But, your brief happiness this evening will be blown away by the voices of the people here.
I saw on the news yesterday that the Hibiya Open-Air Concert Hall in Tokyo was full of people who opposed this war legislation.
I saw fragile-looking elderly men and women come all the way out in this heat, chanting in their frail voices as they thrust their fists in the air to show their opposition to war.
Japan hasn’t been involved in a war for these past 70 years because of these people, because these people have fought against it the entire time.
They’ve known the horrors of war, and they have resisted it this entire time for the sake of us all.
We can’t let that end here.
We will continue this post-War era of peace.
History has shown that the force of arms has never preserved peace, and we will continue on with the wisest and newest form of security, that which is provided to us with Article 9 of the Constitution.
I believe that Japan can continue to show the world a new state model-one which preserves peace without using force.
Politics built on lies doesn’t last long.
It’s time to end it.
And start a new era.
It’s July 15, 2015 and I oppose the forced adoption of war legislation.
By Tomoka Terada, translation Adam Goodwin
Copyright (C) 2015 Tomoka Terada, Adam Goodwin All Rights Reserved.