Abe says he intends to change constitution

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  • -2

    Yubaru

    However it doesnt say how far he intends to lower the bar. And considering it is the LDP I am sure he will figure out a way to make it in their favor for now and into the future as well.

    If he revises this portion here to something overly ambigious I am quite sure there will be repercussions throughout the region. Let's hope cooler heads prevail. * “the Japanese people forever renounce war as a sovereign right of the nation and the threat or use of force as means of settling international disputes.”*

  • -3

    smithinjapan

    Can't lower the bar much more than Abe himself is a very low bar, but I guess he's trying to redefine it. Anyway, congrats, people -- you get what you vote for.

  • 11

    cubic

    No doubt there will be mass hysteria and overreacting about this - Abe will just be putting the Japanese military on an equal footing with any other country. Anyone suspecting him of plotting to invade Asia needs to get their head examined.

  • 16

    ReformedBasher

    Abe has said he would like to look into making the SDF a full-fledged military, a plan that sets alarm bells ringing in Asian countries subject to Japan’s brutal occupation in the first half of the 20th century.

    Which countries are alarmed? China and the Koreas? Okay, let me rephrase that. Which normal countries are alarmed?

  • -8

    ogtob

    Two words: slippery slope.

  • 9

    Wakarimasen

    About time

  • -7

    GIGOHOME

    Abe is in the running for the dumbest leader in the world...right behind Berlusconi and his Mussolini comments.Japan was not removed from the face of the earth only because of the unconditional surrender. Perhaps Abe should read a history book. Just not one printed in Japan. Asia will rise up and crush this silly nation.

  • 11

    Alphaape

    About time. Next thing they can do is then say maybe the US should leave some of the bases or drawdown some. I thought that is what all of the protestors wanted to get the US to leave Japan. Well, this is the first step, and I say go for it.

    Now maybe they can send more ships to the Middle East and help escort oil tankers and other vital interests of Japan.

  • 2

    Virtuoso

    I might trust a leader with wisdom and integrity to improve upon the current document. Mr. Abe has neither of these qualities.

  • 17

    rickyvee

    last time i checked, this was a sovereign issue, so who cares what other countries, and commentators, think.

    also, it has to pass a referendum by the people. If a majority of japanese people approve it, then it is the will of the people.

  • 11

    zichi

    The Komeito is opposed to any changes in the constitution.

  • 5

    In_japan

    I think this is good move because someday Japan has to stand for itself (again). US can only support Japan for may be next 50-100 yrs (untill Chinese economy will beat US). Right now Japan got money to spend, so lets do it, it will be good investment for future security issues. In past the Japanese troops were brutal but looking at present Japanese people I would say it gonna be okay.

  • 17

    crate

    This is very worrying. Read the article carefully. Everyone is discussing Article 9 of the constitution - the renunciation of war. But Abe wants to change Article 96 - the clause which specifies what is required to amend the constitution. He wants to first remove the safeguards, such that he and his party can re-write the constitution at will, as if it were a political manifesto.

    The LDP published a draft constitution last year. In it, key passages enshrining the right to free speech, the freedom of the press and fundamental human rights are altered. Everyone living here needs to raise their wider awareness of what the LDP plans, and not focus exclusively on Article 9.

  • -2

    BertieWooster

    It seems that Abe's handlers are pushing to get these changes through as fast as possible before his tummywobbles kick in again and he has to quit.

  • -2

    tmarie

    So more tax money to prop up the jeitai/military? The rest of the world is just going to "love" this. What else would Abe like to change? This, textbooks, apologies... Not one of these changes is positive for Japan in any shape or measure. He, along with the geriatric population that supports him, is seriously screwing up the future of this country.

  • 6

    mikihouse

    Time for Japan to join the world.

  • -7

    Disillusioned

    Now maybe they can send more ships to the Middle East and help escort oil tankers and other vital interests of Japan.

    There is nothing stopping them doing that now.

    I see no reason why they need to change it. Japan can defend themselves from any aggressive country. To me, the only reason they want to change the constitution is so that they can be the aggressor and start swinging their crap around Asia again. I hope I am wrong, but history could very well repeat itself if these changes go through. Abe and his cronies have openly stated they want to return Japan to its former imperialistic self and giving them back control of their military would be a huge mistake!

  • -4

    Takumi Saito

    Sino-Japan alliance would be a great deal for U.S.

  • 3

    tyvtgo1US

    It is time for Japan to once again become a normal power as a country. Actuallyit should have been done earlier and China would not be trying to push Japan around like they have been doing over the last 8 years or so. The US should be in full support of this change as well since China has been reaching out with its power towards all of its neighbors, including Vietnam and Philippines. Japan has a very sophisticated military and it should be used as an asset to Asia instead of letting China dominate everyone by force. China is just geting to be too much of a pain and aggressor!

  • -4

    Probie

    There is no need to do this.

    He will just annoy China and South Korea.

    I hope the situation turns sour fast, and he is forced to backpeddle.

  • 4

    Sentiments

    If Abes action is an internationally measured step to a normality, there is no problem. Rather it is a good thing or japan and its neighbours. If this is just one political step to gain support and and inplant a sense of normality about changing the constitution step by step, then it could be a less good thing. Increased militarization, be it in Japan, China or any other country is not a positive development. Anyway Im sure the Chinese are happy with this effect. Since this respons in Japan to the Chines aggression was perfectly simple to predict it must have been exactly what they planned from the start.

  • 9

    tyvtgo1US

    It would be sad to see Japan become a puppet nation of China, along with the rest of the smaller Asian nations. China is not a model country by any means!

  • -8

    smithinjapan

    AlphaApe: "Next thing they can do is then say maybe the US should leave some of the bases or drawdown some."

    Yeah, right! Japan is doing NOTHING but hiding behind the US more than ever since Abe took power -- there is no way they are going to ask them to step down after provoking China and pretty much every other nation around it. They're going to give the US ever single thing they ask for.

  • 2

    tyvtgo1US

    Smith in Japan, What should Japan be doing?

  • 4

    hidingout

    after provoking China and pretty much every other nation around it.

    List of the countries making up your imaginary grouping of "pretty much every other nation around" please.

  • 4

    Cortes Elijah

    Listen to you pointing fingers. You try to run a country and see what is wrong or right. I couldnt. No one is ever satisfied.

  • 3

    KnowBetter

    Hmmm, we look the other way with Germany yet Japan can not do the same?!? With today's connected world do you really think Japan would revert to its old ways and go off deep end again? Really?!? The only ones screaming no are the ones who want a gimped Japan that they can have their way with. Nothing much will change however Japan will not need to wait on its collective arses waiting for the crap to hit the fan. If China, the Koreas and Russia can spy then so should Japan and that's what can not currently happen with this so called JSDF. Even the playing field and watch China's abuse of Japan simmer down. All this move is about is stating we're not going to take it anymore and we're not going to appear to the U.S.' lapdog.

  • 0

    sojherde

    Yeah,it is about time to change the constitution! Worldwar II is over 50 years away, and the vows about "No more wars" are forgotten. Ready to start a new adventure. And of course, this is the will of the Japanese people! Too many survived the tsumanies and earthquakes, they just love to spend their lives in defending the ideas of some extremists!

  • -4

    KnowBetter

    ** we're not going to appear to be the U.S.' lapdog.

  • 10

    Guillaume Varès

    This is very worrying. Read the article carefully. Everyone is discussing Article 9 of the constitution - the renunciation of war. But Abe wants to change Article 96 - the clause which specifies what is required to amend the constitution. He wants to first remove the safeguards, such that he and his party can re-write the constitution at will, as if it were a political manifesto.

    The LDP published a draft constitution last year. In it, key passages enshrining the right to free speech, the freedom of the press and fundamental human rights are altered. Everyone living here needs to raise their wider awareness of what the LDP plans, and not focus exclusively on Article 9.

    Excellent comment.

  • 0

    kiss1969

    Cortes Elijah

    Well said!

  • -9

    Elbuda Mexicano

    Sure Abe San! Keep on dreaming of the Yamato that was supposed to be "unsinkable"!!

  • 1

    Shumatsu_Samurai

    Read the article carefully. Everyone is discussing Article 9 of the constitution - the renunciation of war. But Abe wants to change Article 96 - the clause which specifies what is required to amend the constitution. He wants to first remove the safeguards, such that he and his party can re-write the constitution at will, as if it were a political manifesto.

    Well, it very much depends what he wants to change. But I doubt he would change the rules so that he could instantly rewrite the constitution. And remember that he needs the public to agree with any changes. If they don't want article 96 amended they can simply reject it when the mandatory referendum comes along.

  • 2

    Schopenhauer

    We believed for long that our peace constitution defends us from wars. But we realized recently that there are vicious neighbors who take advantage of our peace constition and persistently intimidate us knowing that Japan cannot fight back.

  • 6

    southsakai

    Well no doubt i can understand the concerns amongst the Asian neighbours. The Japanese were brutal beyond imagination. No doubt about it. The Japanese military seemed to have been an unstoppable force back then. We're very lucky the yanks dealt with the problem and restructured the system.

    I believe times have changed, the country of Japan and it's people have changed, and they have become very open to the rest of the world unlike pre ww2. It's no longer a closed country with a closed mind of people. Japanese for the last several decades share a lot of their technology and skills with the rest of the world. They travel the world and understand other cultures and people from every corner.

    I can understand this is a very emotional issue for Asian folks who were under occupation. I would feel the same if I were in their shoes.

    But I think now it's okay for changes to be made in the constitution which Abe is attempting. Japan is a modern country with very good relations with the majority of countries in the world. I see no issues and every country should have the right to protect it's citizens with a proper military.

  • -6

    Takumi Saito

    @tyvtgo1US

    It would be sad to see Japan become a puppet nation of China, along with the rest of the smaller Asian nations. China is not a model country by any means!

    U.S definitely not a model country either. As Japanese, i fail to see how U.S is a "model country".

  • 0

    edojin

    After Abe's party wins big in the forthcoming Upper House elections, he will be able to do as he pleases. He put no time frame on his ideas, as stated above, but with his Jiminto party in nearly full power in both houses following the election the timing might be sooner than later.

  • 2

    tokyo-star

    I agree with southsakai and KnowBetter.

    China and Korea need to get their head out of the sand if they think today's Japan is going on another murderous rampage around Asia. Hell, even Manila is supporting this change, according to the article.

    As long as the rewrite states that military force cannot be used to initiate wars, then what's the difference? The name jieitai might change, that's about all...

  • -5

    tmarie

    It would be sad to see Japan become a puppet nation of China, along with the rest of the smaller Asian nations. China is not a model country by any means!

    Um, the US would have to stop being puppet master for that to happen. That isn't going to happen as long as Abe rattles his sabre.

    No, China isn't a model nation but I don't think anyone here said that or believes that. Nor is the US not Japan. And?

  • 2

    Tom DeMicke

    This is the right thing to do. Japan should be doing a little more to defend itself. I don't think Abe-san intends to go around and invading every country that pisses Japan off, but strengthening their forces is the right thing. Besides, they better hurry up because the U.S. will run out of money for its military real soon unless they mint that 2 trillion dollar coin (or is it the 1 trillion dollar coin, I forgot).

  • 3

    UzumakiNaruto

    It is about time this happened, times are changing, and with idiots in this world war is inevitable, let Japan defend itself and be free of foreign military bases, such as the one at Okinawa, it's a countries right.

  • -11

    Steric Hindrance

    It would be good for Japan to write their own constitution, and they should be able to defend themselves without needing protection form the US. But I am concerned about what changes will be made. Will they follow America's example and start taking away the people's freedoms?

  • 0

    mountainpear

    very good article about other proposed changes here - http://articles.latimes.com/2013/jan/11/opinion/la-oe-ackerman-japan-constitution-20130111

  • 7

    Yubaru

    This was on the news tonight. What Abe is looking and not reported well here at all, is the power to make changes to the constitution easier than what is required by law now.

    Currently a two-thirds or more majority vote is needed to pass the lower house and then a referendum would be held nationally and a simple majority vote is all that is needed to pass the proposed change.

    Abe's plan a simple majority in the lower house and then the same national referendum with simple majority.

    Personally speaking that's too easy particularly when one party is wielding so much power at one time. The potential for abuse is too high.

  • 0

    BertieWooster

    Yubaru,

    Personally speaking that's too easy particularly when one party is wielding so much power at one time. The potential for abuse is too high.

    Well said!

  • -11

    tmarie

    **"Backpeddle" is superb.

    Tell me, what does it mean, "sell back?"**

    Seriously? You don't know what "back-peddle" means??

  • 3

    Chamkun

    I wonder that some people said here that Japan can defend without changing the constitutions. How? Let me say one extreme example but it could happen. If some country send a military plane with bombs heading toward to Japan. A US research plane is near by to observe. JPN air defense force had scramble. When the JPN fighter jet get the area and the unknown country's plane was on the verge of attacking the US research plane. Unless the JPN jet shoot, the US plane would be shot. There is 2 possibilities. Because article 9, technically and legally, can not shoot. So the pilot obey the law. Then in front of the JPN jet fighter, the US plane is shot. It could end the US Japan treaty or for sure, Japan would be blamed. Or the JPN pilot shoots the unknown country's plane and the US research plane was saved and could have saved from bombing on Japan but when the pilot returned to the base in Japan, he will be arrested as a committing murder. If the law is enforced, it will happen. No one wants to be in this position.

    For many PKO situations that JPN Self Defense Force has gotten involved under the UN operation. They have always put them self in dangerous situation because except Japan, the solders are told what they may not do. The JPN officers are told what they may do. They are always fighting with the law. So just like a martial art fighting, a JPN only may fight with a sports Judo rule VS. non JPN with ultimate rule anything goes but not attacking eye balls. How Japan can defend the country in this realty. America has been asking to Japan to Change the constitutions for long time more than 30 years by now. Japan did not want to change it for 67 years. Abe showed his courage and responsibility.

    How people can say that Japan can defend it self with out changing the constitution? If any way? I would like to know. No one really wants to change it for sure. I do not want. But I feel we need. Unfortunately, China increased their military budget in last 25 years, 30 times! Yes, 30 times something documentary reported. Plus some hidden budget could add more. With out the balance, it will be more difficult in future to keep the order in far east. Also Japan should not put too much burden on USA from now on. It is about time.

  • -1

    Whatsnext

    This is what they want to get rid of. Looks like they plan to get the Japanese people out of the ratification process so they can do what the globalist want. The only trouble is selling it to the Japanese people that they dont need this Article.

    CHAPTER IX

    AMENDMENTS Article 96. Amendments to this Constitution shall be initiated by the Diet, through a concurring vote of two-thirds or more of all the members of each House and shall thereupon be submitted to the people for ratification, which shall require the affirmative vote of a majority of all votes cast thereon, at a special referendum or at such election as the Diet shall specify. Amendments when so ratified shall immediately be promulgated by the Emperor in the name of the people, as an integral part of this Constitution.

  • 2

    Whatsnext

    Right now it will be impossible to sell to the Japanese public but, All they need is a false flag, like a Chinese attack on the senkoku Islands, for the Japanese people to agree with the changing of this Article. Then youll start seeing an incremental loss of freedoms and the building of a police state like we see in America with the patriot act and the expansion of homeland security. I hope the Japanese people are paying attention.

  • -2

    realmind

    China will pump billions to communists in Japan to stop happening it. But it is time.

  • 0

    Yubaru

    This is what they want to get rid of. Looks like they plan to get the Japanese people out of the ratification process so they can do what the globalist want. The only trouble is selling it to the Japanese people that they dont need this Article.

    No this is not what he is aiming for at all. He just wants the 2/3'rds majority line needed in the lower house to pass any proposed amendments prior to sending to the people for a referendum, set back to 50% or over, meaning making the public vote and lower house votes a simple majority.

    Abe is not dumb, he knows the school of fish that the Japanese public are will approve any amendment that gets put to a public vote. The hard part is getting the 2/3'rds majority in the lower house as there are plenty of politicians that are wary as hell about messing with the constitution.

    That is why he is going after something that seems rather mundane first before attempting to change Article 9. If he gets Article 96 changed it opens Pandora's box to a plethora of potential changes to the constitution, even with the need to have the public vote. If anything the LDP, outside of the little over 3 years the DJP was in power, know how to get people behind them.

  • 4

    Egil Henrik Lehmann

    One factor to consider is that the US will not for ever be able to guarantee the security of Japan.

  • -4

    tmtmsnb

    Under present Japan Constitution and self defense capability, China invades and occupies Japan is not an impossibility. A united forces of China, N.Korea, and Taiwan (at present a de facto China colony) from three directions can finish the job within days.

  • 2

    Yubaru

    Under present Japan Constitution and self defense capability, China invades and occupies Japan is not an impossibility. A united forces of China, N.Korea, and Taiwan (at present a de facto China colony) from three directions can finish the job within days.

    Mind sharing what ever it is you are smoking?

  • -1

    YuriOtani

    Am very much against changing the constitution! Honest Abe and his fellows have learned NOTHING from the mistakes of our ancestors. While we are not responsible for their crimes, we should NEVER repeat them. Honest Abe leave the Constitution alone!

  • 0

    Serrano

    The Chinese should take over all the U.S. bases in Japan to promote "mutual understanding" and "security cooperation." A plus would be shutting down the American pizza and burger joints on the bases and opening gyoza and shumai shops.

  • -2

    YankeeX

    i giggled when I say this headline.

  • -2

    always123

    >

    Abe has said he would like to look into making the SDF a full-fledged military, a plan that sets alarm bells ringing in Asian countries subject to Japan’s brutal occupation in the first half of the 20th century. >

    Said in response to it

    >

    Which countries are alarmed? China and the Koreas? Okay, let me rephrase that. Which normal countries are alarmed? >

    Whatever you may think of "China and the Koreas," the fact is Japan occupied Korea from 1910-45, which is a main factor in the rise of the "Dear Leader" (copied from the emperor), and set the stage for the Korean War. Tens of thousands of Koreans died and many are still missing today.

    "Recognizing where power lies, Prime Minister Watanabe adopted US conventions in expressing Japan's regrets: he traced Japan's crimes to December 7, 1941, thus implicitly discounting hideous atrocities that killed 10 to 13 million Chinese, by conservative estimate, from 1937 through 1945, not to speak of earlier crimes." from Pulitzer Prize winning historian (Harvard Phd) Herbert Bix, Boston Globe, April 19, 1992.

    Might killing twice the size of the Holocaust have something to do with fear? Even the Russians had the fear Germany would rearm after WWII - they had been invaded twice and the country almost entirely destroyed. China was not much better off.

  • 1

    tmtmsnb

    China will help Abe get his wish. During referendum it will send not 3, but 30 war ships to sail through Okinawa to help turn the tide for Abe. A Japan Ghost is always a must for ruling China.

  • 3

    yosun

    Considering long run development, I think it's good for whole Asia for Japan to change constitution. It's not from viewpoint of tactics but overall mentality benefit for Japan. A more independent and confident Japan, who can really develop healthy friendship with neighbors, is better for China, Taiwan, Korea... and even the US. I believe everyone had the same following experience when he's young: a weak kid(who can't fight) in the class, who always rely on the strongest classmate to avoid of possible bully from others, can never become real friend with other classmates! Only after a person/country become more independent/ confident then he can really get others' respect and real friendship. That weak kid in his class can't get friendship even he often buy others some candy or snacks and he is always confused why everyone treated him that way... the answer is he has to be more independent and he can't always say: don't bully me! big-guy is siding with me... how can others respect him? I believe Abe knows this problem! I also believe a new armed japan will not do wrong things like his ancester did because of history lessen!

  • 0

    Open Minded

    As I like the simple, sober, design and inspiriting Japanese flag as I hate the war version one (sorry I do not remember its name in Japanese) on the picture and that you can see in right-wing demonstrations.

    I feel immediately aggressed when I see it in the street. Hope it will never ever become the norm again!

  • 0

    Open Minded

    I do not want to be cynic, but why China would invade Japan?

    No strategic natural resources (oil, gas uranium, iron, ...), aging population and very tight social cohesion.

    What would be the benefit of doing that? Wasting money just for the sake of oppressing an old enemy while being put on the international community ban?

  • 0

    gonemad

    Abe may change article 9 of the constitution. Whether it is acceptable or not, depends on the exact wording. A clarification is certainly welcome. What is completely unacceptable is to change article 96. There is a good reason that the constitution cannot be changed easily in cloak-and-dagger operations like it is more than often done for ordinary laws.

  • 0

    caffeinebuzz

    Whoever mentioned Germany is probably forgetting that most Germans are sincerely shocked and regretful at their actions in WII...Unlike the lip service that is paid by Japanese politicians every so often- and usually then sounding forced and merely sorry for having to apologise for that oh-so-inconvenient series of 'incidents'**. With an apathetic populace and a sense that Japan is surrounded by bullies who misunderstand it, things do not bode well.

  • 3

    ReformedBasher

    @Open Minded

    The flag in the picture is the naval ensign. It was used long before WW2. It's the same flag used when the Japanese navy defeated the Russian navy. At the time, Japan was quite respected for winning against a much larger foe.

    So you should be a little more "open minded" about it's use :-)

  • 1

    nigelboy

    The LDP published a draft constitution last year. In it, key passages enshrining the right to free speech, the freedom of the press and fundamental human rights are altered. Everyone living here needs to raise their wider awareness of what the LDP plans, and not focus exclusively on Article 9.

    I didn"t see such a thing. Perhaps you could point out the specific amendment.

    It's interesting note how many times other countries have changed their constiution after the war with Germany leading 58 times while U.S. stands at 6 and Japan at ZERO.

    The current constitutuion needs to be changed simply because there are too many gray areas with too many judicial cases involving the Superior Courts interpretation.

  • 0

    USB

    but think about how amazing it is that Japan renounced war. We will kick your butt if we have to defend ourselves but we will not waste our precious resources in another aggressive war. This is what Abe wants to change.

  • 0

    BernieK

    Don't be surprised about why the LDP is amending the Japanese constitution because Japan needs a deterrent from North Korea. Japan built a reprocessing plant in Rokkasho Village that has a stockpile of uranium and plutonium. And, Japan has a solid fuel rocket called the M5(MV) and M3 that can deliver a warhead on short notice. And, there are probably engineers willing to develop a nuclear warhead. And finally, how could you now forbid nuclear weapons on Japanese soil when radiation will be leaking in Fukushima for decades?

    I'd like to see Japan say they're building the bomb and point the missiles to North Korea and see NK's reaction.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rokkasho_Reprocessing_Plant

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M-V

  • 0

    maglev101

    Which countries are alarmed? China and the Koreas? Okay, let me rephrase that. Which normal countries are alarmed?

    china and the koreas suffered more civilian casualties during ww2 than all other asian countries + u.s. combined.

  • 0

    maglev101

    Sino-Japan alliance would be a great deal for U.S.

    sino-japan-korean alliance would be a greater deal for the u.s.

  • -3

    Takumi Saito

    ^ Indeed!

  • 1

    kchoze

    I'm not one of those who think that constitutions are sacred documents handed down by God and that they should never be changed, ever. But making it easy to change the constitution makes the constitution no better than a typical law that one party adopts, then another reverses when they get power.

    A constitution is about the "rules of the game", the principles on which a country bases its economic and political systems on. It should be allowed to change if enough people want it, because countries evolve and principles change, but such change shouldn't be easy nor trivial. So I am extremely wary of making constitutional changes easier.

    As to the article on the army, that's a decision for the Japanese, but I like the present article renouncing war and I fail to see what getting rid of it could bring of good to the world and to Japan.

  • 0

    Sentiments

    No China will not invade. The JSDF is a small but a very sharp tool and could probably stop anything less than a full scale attack. Even if China could pull together a full scale attack they know they would loose an occupation in a short period of time. Instead they would like to get political influence/control over Japan in order to exploit strategical and commercial gains. Some of you seem to think that Japan is weak in all kinds of ways. Sociologically a society like Japan can change direction and focus efforts and power to militarization very quickly. Trying to militarily occupy a country like that would be very risky if not foolhardy business. The US occupation after ww II worked but only after a long war, effective blockade strategies and very convincing campaigns by fire and a-bombs (of course it could also be called a murderous rampage by the US).

  • 0

    Saul Schimek

    Sentiments:

    Hold that thought.

  • -4

    michikokada

    Here he comes...

  • 0

    flpat1

    Every country has the right to act in its best interest. It's long over due. Bravo, Prime Minister Abe. You can't be a pacifist when surrounded by aggressors.

  • 3

    jeff198527

    Finally, after 70 years of whining from China and Korea Japan is finally growing a spine.

  • 2

    globalwatcher

    Abe did not lie. This is exactly what he was going to do after the election. What are you whinning about?

  • -1

    Yubaru

    Japan was quite respected for winning against a much larger foe.

    From whose point of view? Certainly not the Russians, who if you stop and take a moment to consider the fact that they were only beaten at sea. It would have taken Japan a whole hell of a lot more than a few ships to truly defeat Russia!

  • 5

    OssanAmerica

    WhatsnextJan. 31, 2013 - 08:37PM JST Right now it will be impossible to sell to the Japanese public but, All they need is a false flag, like a Chinese attack on >the senkoku Islands, for the Japanese people to agree with the changing of this Article

    What's so "false flag" about what China has been doing for the last few months and still continuing to do?

  • 3

    Akemi Mokoto

    I really hope Prime Minister Abe does do what he plans to do. I hope he won't do any harm to Article 21 though. I'd like to see Japan's SDF become a full military. With all this aggression from China and North Korea, it may be needed. Japan has a powerful "military" and one expert made it clear that Japan would likely win if they went to war with China with or without US aid. Not that I want such a thing but Japan needs to defend itself.

  • 5

    JoeBigs

    I for one am glad to hear that Prime Minister Abe is moving forward with this!

    Japan needs to come into the 21st century and to do this it must remove the shackles of Article 9! Japan has many enemies around it and there is only one way to deal with these states, no not by force, but by the fear of force.

    If the PRC or one of it's servant nations fears what may happen then they will think twice before they do anything. The use of force is the last resort, diplomacy must always be the first.

    But, when diplomacy has run it's course and there is nothing left but force then you must use force.

    Japan needs to do away with Article 9 and needs to do away with it now!

  • 2

    PnoyMafia7thFLT

    The Philippines Supports Japan all the way. Invest on secondary strike capabilities and base some of your vessels on secondary host allied countries.
    China is gearing up to forcefully claim the Pacific as their own maritime territorial domain.

  • 1

    sfjp330

    There is not strong public support in Japan for changing the Constitution to allow a full-fledged military, something that Abe tried and failed to do four years ago. The increases in military spending are also limited by Japan’s own economic weakening. Given its limits, Japan’s strategy appears for it to become a fuller military partner of the U.S. They are currently sharing command centers and intelligence. Japan is probably seeking to combine the two militaries together in order to keep the U.S. engaged in East Asia. Japan is also hedging against the day when U.S. capabilities might slip below U.S. commitments. China pushed Japan back toward the U.S. after the Chinese trawler incident that surprised and angered many Japanese. China has misplayed its hand in the last year, and that has forced Japan to get more realistic about regional security issues. The stronger Japan will maintain the regional security balance since there are dramatic increase in Chinese naval activity in the area.

  • 5

    JoeBigs

    YubaruFeb. 01, 2013 - 05:47AM JST From whose point of view? Certainly not the Russians, who if you stop and take a moment to consider the fact that they were only beaten at sea. It would have taken Japan a whole hell of a lot more than a few ships to truly defeat Russia!

    Actually in the war of 1905 there were more land battles than sea battles and Japan won most of them.

    I'll give you a name of one land battle of the war, Battle of Mukden.

  • -3

    Yubaru

    Every country has the right to act in its best interest. It's long over due. Bravo, Prime Minister Abe. You can't be a pacifist when surrounded by aggressors.

    True, but every country is made up of the people and not just one politician that was NOT elected by a majority of the electorate.

  • 1

    afcom44

    Its time for Japan to be a respected nation like other East Asia nation,,,,,with an Army and Navy able to protect the country ,,,,,,,,

  • 0

    afcom44

    Go up IJN ,its Time 4 Call of Duty!

  • 2

    OssanAmerica

    YubaruFeb. 01, 2013 - 07:48AM JST "Every country has the right to act in its best interest. It's long over due. Bravo, Prime Minister Abe. You can't be a pacifist when surrounded by aggressors." True, but every country is made up of the people and not just one politician that was NOT elected by a majority of the >electorate

    Really? Maybe you have heard of this enormous fascist country near yours that's run by one party that does not allow their people, a quarter of the global population, to elect their leaders or vote them out and is currently on a territorial and military expansion program and threatening all of Asia.

  • 0

    Whatsnext

    Wow this article and Abe is pretty good at fooling everyone. Just look at the comment. They want to change article 96. It's not about article 9. The LDP wants to do sweeping changes to the whole document and if they can change 96 they can easily change the whole thing and become a very differnt country. I wish there was some more honest reporting and journalism instead of manipulating the public.

  • 1

    tmtmsnb

    @"There is not strong public support in Japan for changing the Constitution to allow a full-fledged military, something that Abe tried and failed to do four years ago."@

    That's because the consensus then was that since USA is here guarding its own national interest, why spend big money building a full-fledged military of our own (sort of a free lunch). Time has changed: The threat gets more and more real, the USA thing gets hazier and hazier.

  • -6

    technosphere

    From whose point of view? Certainly not the Russians, who if you stop and take a moment to consider the fact that they were only beaten at sea. It would have taken Japan a whole hell of a lot more than a few ships to truly defeat Russia!

    In 1945, Soviet Army defeated one million men Imperial Kwantung Army in two weeks. Most heroic fighting of Americans took place in Iwo Jima where 100 000 Americans tried to defeat 20 000 garrison in 3 months.

    Really , it's a time for Japan to change a Constitution, imposed by Americans. The next logical step is to kick American occupants out of Japan. Harsh, but true.

  • 1

    crate

    I didn"t see such a thing. Perhaps you could point out the specific amendment.

    @nigelboy Thanks for responding. There are some details of the proposed amendments at the English language wikipedia entry regarding the Constitution of Japan. Link and a few quotes are below.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constitution_of_Japan

    Human Rights: The LDP draft revises many of the human right provisions currently adopted in the Constitution. "Human rights should have ground on the State's history, culture and tradition" and "Several of the current constitutional provisions are based on the Western-European theory of natural human rights; such provisions therefore require to be changed."

    Freedom of assembly, association, speech and all other forms of expression: The LDP draft adds a new paragraph on Article 21, which enables the State to prohibit the people from performing expressions "for the purpose of interfering public interest and public order".

    Freedom from torture and cruel punishments: Under the current Constitution, torture and cruel punishments are "absolutely forbidden", but the LDP draft deletes the word "absolutely" (Article 36)

  • -4

    hkitagawa

    If China agrees to sign a deal and keep peace forever, then there is no necessity for Japan to change the Pacifist constitution. The disputed islands doesn't worth as much as the economic cooperation between the two countries.

  • 2

    GaijinNKyoto

    (Page 1)

    With the recent Algerian hostage crisis of which 10 Japanese were among the victims. This should give Japan an idea of what could become a common occurrence. Much of the reason why the US is the #1 terrorist target in the world. In addition to it's huge national debut. Is because of our involvement in conflicts in the various theaters throughout the world. While the US intentions I think are good, well mostly. Not everyone appreciates our involvement as is seen as a domestic matter. Then when we provide arms and in some cases training to this groups. It only adds fuel to the fire and generates more anti-western sediment. Japan does not need this now or ever. By changing the constitution it is putting Japanese lives at risk. Not to mention adding a huge financial risk to what Japan has mostly been able to avoid. Japan has managed to stay relatively safe & terrorist free for one main reason. It's lack of involvement in world conflicts which would make it a target otherwise.

    Furthermore this is one thing I hear from people about the Japanese the world over which people respect the most about Japan. It's an example for others to follow. The only thing this is going to do is open Pandora's box and put us on a crash coarse toward WWIII! With Japan's already negative view of any and all things foreign. Added to it's extreme xenophobia and tendency towards dangerous nationalism. This is all the more reason not to mess with something which has kept the peace for nearly 70 years now. It's not hard to imagine how this could quickly spiral out of control. There are also questions in Japan about what exactly the United States would do in the event of a deeply provocative action by China with respect to the Senkakus. Can one realistically expect US will have any involvement in a future conflict over the islands?

    I do not think it's healthy to think so. We can try to solve this, or at least manage this problem, well-short of that. Both Secretary of State Clinton and Defense Secretary Panetta have made clear that Article 5 of the US-Japan Security Treaty covers the Senkaku islands because they are part of the territory returned to Japan in 1972. But they have also made clear that each side should manage the problem in a way that ensures it never reaches that point. While i have much respect for the Japanese people. I also have reservations about giving that kind of power to a country which still hasn't come to grips with it's own wartime past. It's not necessary and will only further destabilize the region. Not to mention that this isn't a good situation for the US to be in.

  • 2

    GaijinNKyoto

    Page 2

    Japan US relations have always been somewhat difficult to gage. It's a love hate relationship for sure which hasn't always been on equal footing. Which is why I don't believe that any change in the constitution will be beneficial for either party. The success of the Democratic Party of Japan was never assured but it was the very first time that the Japanese electorate put full faith and confidence in a genuine, rather than fake, transfer of power from one political party to another. Japan's democracy has largely been artificial until the DPJ's August 2009 victory. Hatoyama's fall was in part because of his own failings but also because the US fought him so hard and so publicly over Futenma that his administration collapsed. Many Japanese think that the US knocked off their prime minister.

    Too bad the US didn't try some of the same boldness with Israel's Benjamin Netanyahu. Many Japanese also believe that US will not come to Japan's defense. This is not the kind of exchange we need to address a common threat in China. Japan has to think through its relations with both China and Korea. It does Japan no good to have things harken back to the 1930s. Japan today is so much different. But occasionally there are politicians like honest Abe which take actions that instead of looking to the future look to the past. The entire Democracy 2.0 effort in Japan has largely collapsed both because of US pressure and the resulting collapse of confidence in DPJ leadership.

    This is a dangerous brew of which we are now seeing in Japan current, hopefully short lived leadership. Thus seeing a counter-reaction in which the legitimacy of a future, strong Japanese leader will be a combination of pugnacious nationalism, a dark version of Japanese soul-searching, that not only wants to scrimmage with its neighbors but defies controls set forth which put an end to WWII. In which in all reality has kept Japan from returning to it's imperialistic past. Which Shinzo Abe is in full support of resurrecting. America can give Japan much more breathing room in the relationship and revitalize the strategic partnership between both countries by doing so. Otherwise I fear we may just see a repeat of history of which Japan will have to suffer for all over again.

  • -2

    nigelboy

    *@nigelboy Thanks for responding. There are some details of the proposed amendments at the English language wikipedia entry regarding the Constitution of Japan. Link and a few quotes are below.

    I guess the operative word there is "English language wikepedia".

    The proposed revision comparison in it's original language are linked below.

    http://www.dan.co.jp/~dankogai/blog/constitution-jimin.html

  • 0

    crate

    @nigelboy Your link may be in Japanese but it doesn't make your point. At all. It is discussing the 2005 changes, not the 2012 changes.

  • 0

    Todd Topolski

    I think after all of these decades, Japan has proven itself to have grown beyond the desires of conquest and invasion. Most of the old work from Britain to Japan are full of countries that were of the same political agenda, conquer and take over anyone you feel you can win against and take everything from them. In fact a large portion of the old world still has this mentality and would happily invade, conquer, genocide and enslave if they could everyone else. It is because these other countries are still driven to use war and conquest as a means to an end AND japan being a wealthy nation is certainly a potential target, Japan should have a fully operational military. As I said, decades later Japan has proven there is no longer a desire to conquer and take over anyone.

    Japan and the US should always maintain military ties and treaties, both countries today have much to gain from partnerships of every kind and there is really nothing preventing this continuing. A fully operational and capable japanese military is another ally to help defend the world against the violent nations that still exist in other parts of the planet.

  • 0

    tomoki

    Todd TopolskiFeb. 04, 2013 - 10:03AM JST It's very good to hear such a sensible comment about the sate of Japan as a nation and the positive outlook about the future partnership between Japan and the US. I can't think of anyone including the "rightest wing" conservative politicians or their supporters, who are talking about the military invasion into any other nations. Their concerns are self-protection to defend itself from other countries, their invasion into Japan in many forms. At this point however the majority of Japanese, I think, have not yet paid attention to such realities.

  • 0

    JTDanMan

    Hmmm. It seems many here recognize the need to reassess Art 9, but question the wisdom of changing Art. 96. I think Abe's thinking may be something along the following lines:

    It is time to dump Art. 9. To do so, we need to amend the Constitution. We don't have the votes to do so. So, to dump Art 9, we need to change the Amendment process.

    OK, fair enough, I suppose. Only the thing I don't get it to Amend Art. 96, Abe would need the 2/3 vote he thinks he can't get to dump Art 9 in the first place.

    Either I'm missing something, or Abe is cleverly playing the change Art. 96 charade to get the compromise votes he wants on Art 9.

    We'll see.

  • -3

    ka_chan

    So with whom does Abe want to go to war? I think I know of any country that Japan can defeat. Oh, wait, they knew they couldn't win against the US but went to war anyway.

  • -1

    hidingout

    I feel immediately aggressed when I see it in the street. Hope it will never ever become the norm again!

    I think I know what you mean! You must be talking about the way the civilized world feels when we see rage filled communist protesters carrying high the portrait of Mao.

  • -2

    JoeBigs

    ka_chanFeb. 05, 2013 - 01:09PM JST So with whom does Abe want to go to war? I think I know of any country that Japan can defeat. Oh, wait, they knew they couldn't win against the US but went to war anyway.

    Makes you scared doesn't, Japan with no chains to hold it back from using force against your force.

  • -1

    sfjp330

    Lets see if Abe last one year first. With unstable revolving door politics in Japan, Abe can have dreams, but he still have to follow the command of U.S. Former PM Hatoyama had dreams too, but what happened? Today, U.S. strategic communication with Japan remains underdeveloped for plans to realign U.S. and Japan forces due to unstable political tensions in Japan. U.S. and Japan should look ahead to consider how to leverage their capabilities. The alliance should have a long-term basing strategy that consolidates U.S. and Japanese facilities.

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