13 May 2017

News Story: Japan's ruling party ally reticent about revising pacifist constitution

TOKYO, May 12 (Xinhua) -- Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party's coalition Komeito ally on Friday expressed reticence to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's recent push to amend the nation's pacifist constitution to be ratified by 2020.

Yoshihisa Inoue, Komeito's Secretary General, told a press conference on the matter that there are no immediate security-related reasons why a key pacifist clause in the constitution should be revised.

"We're not in a situation in which we will face immediate problems in our security due to the lack of reference to the Self-Defense Forces (SDF) in Article 9 of the Constitution," Inoue said, adding that a time frame on revising the constitution should not be set.

Abe in a video message last week said he wanted to revise Japan's supreme charter to specifically mention the Self-Defense Forces in Article 9 and for this to be enforced form 2020.

The move sparked widespread controversy, with both ruling and opposition party members, civilians here and the international community voicing concern that any revision to Article 9 could lessen constraints on the SDF and see their use of force legitimized in overseas missions for the first time since World War II.

Read the full story at Xinhua


Story Quote: Any amendments or revisions to the pacifist constitution could lead Japan into war, scholars have attested, and along with the majority of the public, have called for the charter and its current pacifist clauses to be upheld and the SDF to have their activities restricted as per the war-renouncing constitution.

PacificSentinel: That's a half truth, it's about a 50/50 split for & against an amendment to their constitution, but China won't say that, it doesn't fit with their Propaganda message. The below story from April 30 on the Japan Times website has the results from a recent poll on the subject.


Japanese sharply divided over revising Article 9 amid regional security threats, poll finds

The Japanese populace remains sharply divided over whether to amend the war-renouncing Article 9 of the Constitution, with supporters of a change slightly outnumbering opponents amid concerns over North Korea and China’s military buildup, a newly released Kyodo News survey showed.

According to the mail-in survey, which was conducted ahead of Wednesday’s 70th anniversary of the postwar Constitution’s enactment, 49 percent of respondents said Article 9 must be revised while 47 percent oppose such 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.

Read the full story at Japan Times