Battles over Japan’s security bills continue in parliament

Tokyo, Sep 17 (IANS) Opposition lawmakers in Japan on Thursday continued to battle in parliament to prevent the governing coalition from putting a package of national security bills to a vote.

On Thursday morning, the opposition parties submitted a no-confidence motion against the chairperson of the Upper House committee debating the legislation, NHK news agency reported.

The motion was submitted just as the chairperson used his authority to open the session after hours of delay. The move brought the committee to a halt.

The governing parties want the committee to swiftly vote down the motion and then vote on the security bills. The committee needs to vote on the bills before they go to the Upper House chamber.

But opposition parties are determined to do everything they can to stop the legislation from becoming law.

If the committee vote takes place, the opposition block is considering submitting a no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

The legislation would expand the role of Japan’s Self-Defence Forces abroad. It would allow the use of force to defend countries that are closely related to Japan.

A session on Wednesday night was abandoned after opposition lawmakers blocked entry to a room where Prime Minister Abe and other ministers were waiting to discuss the bill.

Meanwhile, thousands of protestors rallied outside parliament in Tokyo against the largely unpopular bills.

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