Japan’s Catholic bishops have asked Prime Minister Fumio Kishida to withdraw three key documents which seek rearmament and a major overhaul of the nation’s defense strategies.
The Justice and Peace Commission of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Japan has termed the government’s plan to boost the nation’s defense budget “unconstitutional and dangerous.”
“The decision to create the ‘three security documents’ effectively abandons the conventional basic policy of an exclusively defense-oriented policy under Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution and marks a complete shift to make Japan a military superpower,” the commission said in a statement on Dec. 21.
“Moreover, the fact that such a serious decision was made by a cabinet decision without careful deliberation by the Diet [national parliament] and the sovereign people is an outrageous act that ignores democracy and should not be tolerated,” the statement read.
“The government’s decision is undemocratic”
According to a strategic plan document, which Prime Minister Fumio Kishida unveiled this month, Japan will set aside more than US$320 billion (2% of its GDP) to build up its military in the next five years.
The cabinet, led by the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), also approved two other documents — the National Security Strategy and the National Defense Strategy — on Dc. 16 that would enable Japan to launch counterstrikes, under specific circumstances.
The bishops’ commission urged the Kishida government to withdraw the three documents.
Their statement came amid fears that Japan was moving away from its pacifist constitution, which prevents it from acquiring counterstrike capability.Japanese bishops slam ‘dangerous weaponizing’ – UCA News