25 May 2017

News Story: Top officer says will be 'thankful' if Constitution mentions SDF

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- The top uniformed officer of Japan's Self-Defense Forces said Tuesday he will be "very thankful" if the existence of the SDF is stipulated in the Constitution as proposed by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in the first-ever change to the postwar supreme law.

Adm. Katsutoshi Kawano, chief of the SDF's Joint Staff, emphasized at a press conference in Tokyo that he was speaking as an individual officer, and not as top brass. But his remarks may stir controversy as SDF personnel are legally prohibited from engaging in what are deemed as political activities.

"I'm not in a suitable position to speak on this issue (of revising the Constitution) because it is a highly political matter. But as an SDF officer, I would be very thankful if there was a provision on the SDF in the Constitution," Kawano said at the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan.

Abe, who doubles as head of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, proposed earlier in the month making explicit the existence of the SDF in the text of the war-renouncing Article 9 of the Constitution, which currently makes no mention of it.

Read the full story at The Mainichi