TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Japanese people remain divided over whether to amend the war-renouncing Article 9 of the Constitution, but supporters of a change slightly outnumbered opponents amid concerns over North Korea and China's military buildup, a Kyodo News survey showed Saturday.
According to the mail-in survey conducted ahead of the 70th anniversary of the enforcement of the post-World War II Constitution next Wednesday, 49 percent of respondents said Article 9 needs to be revised against 47 percent opposing a change.
While Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has been eager to rewrite the supreme law, including Article 9, 51 percent were against any constitutional amendments under the Abe administration, compared with 45 percent in favor.
Many people recognized the role Article 9 has played in Japan's pacifism, with 75 percent of respondents saying the clause has enabled Japan to stay away from using force overseas since the end of World War II in 1945.
The survey randomly selected 3,000 people aged 18 and older nationwide, and questionnaires were sent to them by mail on March 8. Of those, 2,055 sent back their answers by April 14, with valid responses obtained from 1,944 of them.
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