5 Japanese ex-PMs show concerns over government-backed security bills

TOKYO, Aug. 13 (Xinhua) — Five Japanese former prime ministers have expressed their concerns over the government-backed security bills and asked the incumbent leader Shinzo Abe to retract the bills, according to local reports.

The five former premiers included Morihiro Hosokawa, Tsutomu Hata, Tomiichi Murayama, Yukio Hatoyama and Naoto Kan.

A group formed by retired Japanese journalists unveiled results of their campaign of seeking suggestions from former prime ministers for Abe on Tuesday and said that five of the 12 former leaders they turned to responded and expressed concern over the security bills.

Hosokawa criticized that the Abe administration lacks respects toward constitutionalism as the Cabinet in May approved the security bills that would allow the Japanese Self-Defense Forces to exercise the right to collective self-defense through reinterpreting the country’s Constitution.

Hata said the Article 9 of the constitution makes a commitment to the world that Japan will never follow a mistaken path, while Kan urged Abe to resign since a politician violated constitutionalism is unqualified to be the prime minister of a democratic country.

Murayama said it is intolerable that Abe rammed through the bills in the Diet’s lower house and Hatoyama urged Abe to continue build Japan as a peace-loving country.

The campaign was launched in July.

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