Japan’s Ishin and DPFP Parties Endorse Defense Buildup

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
The main gate of the Defense Ministry is seen in Shinjuku Ward, Tokyo.

Nippon Ishin (Japan Innovation Party) and the Democratic Party for the People have expressed their basic support for strengthening Japan’s defense capabilities, at a plenary session of the House of Representatives.

In contrast, the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan was notably critical of Prime Minister Fumio Kishida at the Tuesday session. The CDP does not agree with the government’s possession of “counterattack capabilities” as stated in the National Security Strategy,

Kee Miki of Ishin said the three key security documents need to “go two or three steps further,” and called for further strengthening of defense capabilities. He also sought the inclusion of the Self-Defense Forces in Article 9 of the Constitution.

The DPFP’s Seiji Maehara said: “The argument that having the ability to fight back is a violation of the Constitution is a fallacy. Are we to rely on the United States instead of our own country?”

Both parties have advocated a “realistic course” in their security policies. They are thought to be aiming to attract votes from conservative voters in the upcoming House of Representatives by-election for Chiba No. 5, which is expected to be crowded with candidates from opposition parties.

In contrast, Go Shinohara of the CDP argued, “The possession of counterattack capabilities would risk making Japan’s exclusively defense-oriented policy a de facto formality.”

Some within the CDP have said that if Japan neglects its security policy, it will lose the support of voters.