(Photographer: Shinta Yabe)
Update: Sept. 17 - The opposition parties submitted a no-confidence motion to the committee chair Yoshitada Konoike. Then Masahide ("Moustache") Sato took over the chairman's seat, after which opposition members made very long speeches to defend the motion. However, following the script, the committee voted against the motion.
Then as Konoike returned to his chairman's seat, dozens of opposition members rushed towards Konoike, appearing as if they were trying to stop the voting on the bills. The "scuffle" made worldwide newspaper headlines.
Some analysts are asking why the opposition parties stopped blocking the entrance, and allowed the September 17 committee meeting to take place, knowing their no-confidence motion was going to, of course, be defeated.
In the meantime, over 200 lawyers in Japan have issued a statement calling the "voting" among the wild scuffling at the special committee illegal and invalid.
Many are asking why opposition party members allowed this final assembly to happen after they said they would do everything to stop the bills.
The not-so-young politicians inside the building must be exhausted.
Update 2:05 a.m. - The Upper House Special Committee on the Abe war bills has not started yet as of 2 AM in Japan. LDP/Komeito is planning to get the committee to vote for the war bills tonight.
If it begins, it will be livestreamed here: http://www.webtv.sangiin.go.jp/webtv/index.php.
The protest outside of the Parliament is being livestreamed now at Iwakami Yasumi journal:
Along with the majority of the Japanese mainstream citizenry, cultural figures such as Nobel Laureate Kenzaburo Oe and filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki, former prime ministers, the majority of Japanese lawyers, including former Supreme Court justices are protesting the bill as unconstitutional.
Former Japanese Supreme Court Justice Kunio Hamada on Abe War Bills called the bills "unconstitutional and "illegitimate." Hamada warned that it is “extremely optimistic” for the Abe government to think that Supreme Court will not rule against the legislation if its constitutionality is challenged in court.