Abe says it is time to revise pacifist constitution

TOKYO —

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Wednesday reaffirmed his resolve to change the nation’s pacifist constitution imposed by the U.S. after Japan’s defeat in World War II.

In a New Year message to the nation, Abe said: “As it has been 68 years since its enactment now, national debate should be further deepened toward a revision of the constitution to grasp the changing times. Now is the time for Japan to take a big step forward toward a new nation-building effort.”

Abe said the constitution, which limits Japan’s military to self-defense could be amended by 2020, “will have been revised” by 2020 when Tokyo hosts the Summer Olympics.

His comments come days after he enraged Asian neighbors and disappointed Washington by visiting a Tokyo shrine honoring the country’s war dead, including World War II leaders, and been seen abroad as a symbol of Japan’s militaristic past.

“By 2020, I think Japan will have completely restored its status and been making great contributions to peace and stability in the region and the world,” he said.

He added that Japan’s elevated status could possibly help Asia become a “balanced and stable region”.

Abe took power a year ago in an election landslide as Japan faced China’s increasingly assertive military posture amid a fierce territorial dispute with Beijing over Tokyo-controlled islands.

He initially focused on improving the economy with stimulus packages, mixing big-spending and easy money policies.

In recent months, he has turned to his more conservative agenda, passing a state secrecy law which critics say is a threat to democracy in Japan.
On his security policy, Abe said, “We will resolutely protect to the end Japan’s territorial land, sea and air.”

Abe has long agitated for the amendment of a key article in the constitution that limits its military to self-defense and bans the use of force in settling international disputes.

The country’s well-funded and well-equipped military is referred to as the Self-Defense Forces (SDF).

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 occupation in the first half of the 20th century.

In his first policy as prime minister last year, Abe said he would look to change a provision which requires a two-thirds majority in the Diet to amend the basic law.

In his New Year message, Abe said the launch of a U.S.-style National Security Council in December would help promote his “proactive pacifism” as a “‘signboard of the 21st century’ which should be borne by our country.”

(c) 2014 AFP

  • -14

    NeoJamal

    What's wrong with our existing constitution that analogously only allows us to raise our shields to protect us from a hail of enemy arrows and wait until the Americans counterattack at their own convenience while many of us die?

  • 19

    zootmoney

    Here we go with stage 2 of the Abe plan. Stage 1 of course was to bait the Chinese and Korean governments into a tirade of anti-Japanese speeches and actions. The Yasukuni visit was the trump card to play, the clincher.

  • 11

    LiveInTokyo

    I'm no expert but I think he's making a mistake. The constitution Japan has now should never have been made, but it was. Now, they want a constitution that allows Japan with no Article 9? I think this is going to make Japan the laughing stock of the world. Yes, we were pacifists, but due to our mistakes over the last 50 years we need to rethink that ... sorry world.

    Japan is not Germany. Germany, as we all know, caused a lot of suffering to other countries during WW2. Now it can send troops to other countries where they are welcomed due to their efforts to repair their reputation since the end of the war. I truly doubt the same can be said of Japan.

  • 16

    Cricky

    That didn't take long, we all knew it was coming...it's a car crash we can all watch.

  • -6

    NeoJamal

    Here we go with stage 2 of the Abe plan. Stage 1 of course was to bait the Chinese and Korean governments into a tirade of anti-Japanese speeches and actions. The Yasukuni visit was the trump card to play, the clincher

    But this the classic FDR manoeuvre that pushed the US into the edge of war and ultimately saved the US economy. Who says Japan doesn't take lessons from WWII huh?

  • 1

    Seirei Tobimatsu

    Protect also from pollution contamination ecological unsustainability

  • -8

    DudeDeuce

    What's wrong with our existing constitution that analogously only allows us to raise our shields to protect us from a hail of enemy arrows and wait until the Americans counterattack at their own convenience while many of us die?

    If there was no constitution, you would have never been here.

  • 2

    Mike45

    All biz as usual, but what is to become of the US bases in Japan if Japan builds its own military?

  • 19

    Tohka

    With the people of Tohoku in not really much better shape than immediately post 3/11, I wonder why this is taking more of Abe's time than actually doing something to improve their quality of life. They are Japanese citizens as well, if I do recall.

  • 23

    BertieWooster

    Message to Abe:

    Japanese people don't want any more war!

    Please stop trying to be a leader and do what your job description states:

    REPRESENT YOUR PEOPLE.

  • 15

    Strangerland

    Happy New Year.

  • 17

    nostromo

    He added that Japan’s elevated status could possibly help Asia become a “balanced and stable region”.

    With a shrinking population, national debt twice it's GDP and no interest in immigration, it is difficult to see japan becoming anything more than irrelevant over the next 20 years .... I also doubt that other Asian countries see any thing to be gained by an 'elevated' Japan....

  • 13

    funny car

    Why should any nation need to do any more than defend itself?

    What is up his sleeve? What is his plan to do with a military? Start a war?

    This guy needs to be removed from power and put under house arrest quick. If he does not wind up striking a first blow against China, China will strike and call it pre-emptive, as his mouth keeps making it seem more and more justified.

  • -13

    ben4short

    Well, it's so refreshing to see a Japanese leader who not only has cajones, but also has a realistic view of Asia and the world. Enough of this vague, naive, sentimental over-dependence on the US. He's damn right. It really is a different world today, and it's about time Japan revise its constitution, close all US bases and send every last GI home, and develop its own nuclear weapons. The false assumption most people make is that a "mature," independent, militarized Japan equals an imperialistic Japan, and this is just plain silly.

  • 19

    zootmoney

    The false assumption most people make is that a "mature," independent, militarized Japan equals an imperialistic Japan, and this is just plain silly.

    No, the assumption that most people make is that Japan will have to spend a huge amount of taxpayers' money on essentially creating a real cold war with Korea and China; and that assumption is definitely not just plain silly.

  • 8

    cracaphat

    If Abe were smart,he'd make sure his Abenomics worked for the average person instead of just companies.When people feel the benefit of an economic revival in their spending power, THEN he could push through his agenda much more smoothly because people are happily distracted.Now he's just causing unnecessary aggravation.

  • 7

    NeonFraction

    I wouldn't care about them shoring up their military, if Abe hadn't already shown willingness to pick petty fights and disregard any sense of regret for Japan's past mistakes. He's acting like a war monger. There's no possible way Japan could be combat ready for many many years, and attempting to be will only drain Japan of money and increase debt.

  • -1

    tokyo-star

    Sounding more like a dictatorship everyday. Put it to a compulsory vote - if the people don't want change, then be off with you Abe. How does this guy sleep at night?

  • 0

    Richard bHard

    So are we going to have a potential war in the future?Because I am sure Abe would not mind a war with china or north korea.

  • 2

    davidake

    This is the sign of going down the road of self-destroy. The day that Japan changes its Constitution is the day that Japan begins on the road of self-destroy.

  • -2

    banz10

    Why the shock and horror? Abe and his neocon cronies have a mandate to implement their nationalist policies and been champing at the bit to do it. I do agree that because Article 9 prevents Japan from making any pre-emptive strikes against any imminent missile threat that an amendment is necessary. I just think it's more than a little scary that this government seeks to do it.

  • -2

    Jeffrey Rolek

    George Orwell's "1984" if it was 30 years later.

  • 4

    daito_hak

    Here we go, typical of people seeking dictatorship. They fail for bringing real solutions to economical and social challenges that are hard problems and instead go to the nationalistic route when it's so easy to limit freedom of people and go after a military rhetoric. Miserable in front of the hard problems, dishonest and liers for the protection of the well being of the population.

    Now japanese are responsible for that, they put them in charge. They should just blame themselves. Us foreigners here, we can just leave the country as we won't accept the dictatorship.

  • 5

    obladi

    First of all, I don't think this is surprising. Abe is an outspoken nationalist. This is what they do. If you want to know why, well, that's another, more philosophical, question.

    However, I disagree with those of you implying that he wants to start a war. That's an exaggeration. He probably will follow his plan of removing restraints placed on Japan after the war. I also think these changes are not necessary, but no one asked me.

    And he will succeed, baring a major scandal, as long as the economy improves. DPJ had the ball. They didn't score a touchdown. Now the other team has the ball. Since I live and work, but don't vote, here, all I can do is hope for the best.

    Happy New Year everyone!

  • 0

    Kazuaki Shimazaki

    I say go right ahead. And really, if he's determined, it isn't that hard to change only Article 9 if he goes for broke. So far, the government has been soft-soaping brutal realities of Article 9 and SDF Law. It allows them the absolute minimum to act without getting into a Decisive Battle over Article 9.

    China and Korea take advantage of every little de facto revision (reinterpretation) to squawk, but what they try to ignore Article 9 in its truest form would probably have alienated most modern Japanese.

    All Abe has to do is brush off the bureaucrats, go open and tell Japan, "You know all that stuff Tomogami et cetera have been telling you on TV about Japan not being able to defend its own airspace and all that? You know what? I am sorry we've been hushing it up for so long, but IT IS ALL TRUE. Now, fortunately, I have this solution here in my new constitution, and associated new National Military law, which we will present to the Diet like this week."

    Guess what, it would pass. Because at least IMHO most modern Japanese realize they can't do without some form of defense. So far, the bureaucrats have been carefully concealing some interpretations from all but the very interested, thus reducing the pressure for immediate change. But tell the Japanese they really are naked and they'll change.

  • 0

    warnerbro

    Good one, Abe. Try to build your army on Japan's increasing legions of decrepit elderly. At least he wants to teach the dwindling numbers of youth better English, so some of them perhaps might escape abroad before his inferiority complex is soothed by somebody's blood.

  • 2

    Strangerland

    A per-emptive strike is simply a euphemism for starting a war. Kind of like Bush's pre-emptive strike on Iraq.

  • -3

    tinawatanabe

    Japanese have loved this pacifist constitution so much that we have kept it for 68 years. It's sad that we have to change it. Only if we hadn't been buried by China\SKorea so long. So sad.

  • 6

    hatsoff

    “By 2020, I think Japan will have completely restored its status and been making great contributions to peace and stability in the region and the world,” he said.

    Take this statement at face value for a moment. The one thing China does NOT want is for Japan to revise its pacifist status, but despite its constant referrals to the Second World War and Japan's imperialist history, it's actually NOT because of Japan's military past at all - even China doesn't really believe Japan is about to fix bayonets, don puttees and invade other countries again (though many JT readers apparently do).

    The reason, I suggest, China is so against this is because if there has to be opposition to China in this region, it is better to have an overstretched United States as the sole opposing power. China knows it has a chance to weaken the USA's grip in the region over time.

    However, the USA will benefit significantly from having a stronger Japan in the region, one that can work in partnership to help temper China's territorial ambitions in the region. Other asian countries - some already victims of this expansion - will benefit too. THIS is why China harps on and on about the past, all the while ignoring the atrocities it has visited upon its people, and more recently than any Japanese aggression.

  • 1

    banz10

    @Strangerland, I share your sentiment but with the nut jobs in Pyongyang potentially able to deliver an amateurish version of an ICBM in under half an hour it'd be nice to know Japan wouldn't be prevented from defending themselves when they see them fueling up on the launch pad. I doubt that's Abe's primary motivation for wanting to change the constitution though.

  • 5

    daito_hak

    @Kazuaki Shimazaki

    Japan has more than enough capacities to defend itself all together with the US capacities. There is no need on Earth to change the pacifist constitution to guaranty Japan's defense. And stop with this ridiculous paranoia about South Korea and China. If you think that any of them will go after Japan, you are out of your mind. The real problem could come from North Korea, and South Korea, China and Japan should cooperate instead of facing each other.

    Japan has no need to revise a constitution that has been the core for the country stability since the WW2. If Abe starts to pursue for changing the constitution with brute force, he will move on to basically change any article that his nationalistic character doesn't agree with. His government has already drafted changes that for example remove the principle of universal human rights from the constitution for the obscure reason that they are not compatible with Japan culture and view (understand who can). Are you happy with that? I thinks people like you try desperately to deviate the problem that Abe represents for Japan by focusing on obscure statements against Japan neighbors. In fact the problem involves Japan as a free country and threaten the Japanese nation and you should worry more about that.

    Japan constitution was the best thing that happened for Japan after WW2 because it brought in to the country principle of human brights, equality and justice that protect the population. Trying to change it moreover by nationalists is a dangerous game that you shouldn't let them play with as a Japanese citizen.

  • 6

    tyvtgo1US

    Sorry to say but many posts are pointing fingers at Japan here. China has caused all problems in East Asia and Southeast Asia. China has been aggressive in both arenas in the last few years. This is not just about Japan, this is about China against almost every single neighbor it has. Every action creates a reaction and China has been taking many actions against many around it. Should any country stay idle when threatened by another? NO! Japan has every right to build and arm itself. Even with a self defense force, Japan will have to fight to protect itself if attacked, so there is no difference in what Japan calls its military, it is there to protect its people and its territory. All countries have that right and with the growing assertive CHina, all in Asia is seeing the need to build its defenses in the wake of China's aggressive actions against them. China has already taken the aggression as far as using it against the US war ship last week. I do not see the US going to try and do anything to change the mind of Abe and his actions of trying to take article 9 out of the constitution all together. US has been pushing Japan to become more active militarily and more responsible as for its own security. It is only China and Korea that seems to be seeing any threat by Japan as to changing its constitution, as we have seen many Asian neighbors looking to form a tighter alliance with japan. I wonder why these countries are not trying to build a tighter alliance with China??? lol Point made!!!

  • -1

    daito_hak

    @tyvtgo1US

    Everyone agrees that China is not playing nice in the region and they have their issues. Everyone agrees that Japan needs and in fact has a defense force. However you fail to convince us that Japan needs to change its constitution in order to improve its defense capabilities.

    Which means that you should really not call people fools at this point.

  • 1

    windandsea

    Oh this is sure to go well for everyone.

  • 0

    Qamar

    Let's wait and see what happens, but I'm bracing myself..

  • -1

    Mitsuo Matsuyama

    Based on reasons rather than emotions, I would say that there is nothing wrong with that. By the way, Japan has been a pacifist nation for over 50 years, however, she should not accept bulling from China and her childish behavior or do you guys want thousands of Japanese to die? Every nation need to have their own army to defense themselves. US have her army, England has her own army, and so on.

    Only Commies and anti-Japanese guys don't want Japan to have her own army. Changing the article 9 does not mean that Japan want to have war, but yeah to defend herself against troublemaker countries.

  • -8

    gaijinfo

    Pipe dream and lip service.

    Japan's going to be broke and living off home grown rice in 2020.

    But then again, so will China. Hopefully they've still got some samurai swords laying around.

  • 0

    Qamar

    For whoever thumbed me down..I'm bracing myself because I sense a storm brewing, and I know it is not Japan that started it. I just see this is a chain of events, and I am merely a spectator. I'm no judging Japan. I had always thought that Japan had an army (before I joined JT), so I'm in no way against it!

  • 0

    Paul Cranch

    I see this act not so much as an aggressive one but one that strives for independence. I think that the media has taken this out of context and until we see the details of the proposal I think there is really no need for worry.

  • 2

    kwatt

    Abe has wanted to revise the Japanese constitution for many years and the Diet might pass the bill with 2/3rd of all lawmakers polls, but most of Japanese would not let it pass because most people don't want to change it ever. So Abe's such bill would be failed finally. If voters' ages were from 20, it would be no way, but from age of 18, slightly the bill might pass. So Abe wants to change the ages of voters before the national election of Japanese constitution revision.

  • 0

    Knox Harrington

    Damn, abe-kun is wasting no time, is he? I have a hard time to believe that this is in the interest, or wish, of any normal Japanese people. Most of them seem content with the ever present status quo and I don't think many reasonable people applaud this crazy idea.

    What I fear more than the removal of section 9 is the other changes the hawks want to make to the constitution. The wish for individual freedoms to play second violin to "societal order" is what's really scary and why I think abe should be shown the door, ASAP. While many countries of the world try to get over their differences, Japan (again) wants to be the master race of Asia. Unless the Japanese public wakes up soon, this might just turn bad. Some poster said something above about Japan kicking the Yanks out. I don't think this is possible. I firmly believe they are here as much to monitor Japan's militaristic tendencies from the inside as they are interested in having strategic bases in Asia.

    I wish Japan would lose this notion that to be "leaders" they need to be feared. I would respect this country so much more if they actively promoted good international relations instead of the sable rattling they are doing now.

  • -2

    Mitsuo Matsuyama

    daito-hak

    There is no need to explain about that. Japan never thought about changing the article 9 until now because Japan was not being threatened. With the advance of China and her threatens towards Japan, The Philippines and Vietnam; Japan had to think more strict about this point. Nothing is by no reasons, but it is a consequence of PRC behavior and actions. Japan like any other nation should build a strong army so that she can defend herself. Changing the article 9 doesn't necessary mean that she is changing her pacifist constitution. If nobody threat, Japan will not attack anyone; however, if the same is attacked, she has no choice unless to defend herself.

    I am against war, and I know how it is terrible. Nobody want to kill, but the attacked country had no choice unless kill those who invade his or her country. But, anyway, I dont believe that war will occur in Asia; however, just in case some country invade, Japan must be prepared to it.

  • 7

    horrified

    "The cause of war is preparation for war." - WEB Du Bois

  • 4

    YuriOtani

    I am against Article #9, it is important Japan NEVER threaten another country! While I think we should be able to defend ourselves, having a threatening military is a bad ideal. Keep your hands off of Article #9!

  • -3

    daito_hak

    @Mitsuo Matsuyama

    Again you fail to give reasonable arguments for why Japan needs to change it's constitution in order to have a defense army since the constitution completely guaranties this right to Japan. Indeed Japan has already strong military capabilities with one of the most sophisticated and performant naval fleet on Earth. You and others are trying to spread unbiased fear that Japan has somehow no defense capabilities, it actually has a lot today, already well enough to intimidate China.

    You keep speaking that Japan should be able to defend itself upon an attack but it can already do it with today constitution which again guaranties that right to do that. And you are wrong to say that changing Article 9 is not changing the pacifist constitution because Abe wants in fact to give Japan the possibility of attack which of course violates the pacifist constitution. The pacifist constitution precisely means that Japan will never start an army conflict but Abe's thinking is that it should give Japan the possibility of preventive military actions against a threat which again violates the pacifist constitution. And it goes against what you area saying because you defend a unique principle of defense that is not the aim of Abe.

  • -3

    heynong

    Abe has long agitated for the amendment of a key article in the constitution that limits its military to self-defense and bans the use of force in settling international disputes.

    In theory, it is for self defense. Reality is it will promote the Arm Race, cold war mentality and suspicion .

    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 occupation in the first half of the 20th century.

    Former Singapore PM Lee Kuan Yew said that allowing Japan to send peacekeeping troops abroad would be "like giving chocolate liqueur to an alcoholic.

    By 2020, I think Japan will have completely restored its status and been making great contributions to peace and stability in the region and the world,” he said.

    It is doubtful that Japan contributions to peace and stability in the region will be warmly welcomed by flowers. Japan is not Germany. Japanese contributing Arm Force may be welcomed by eggs and tomatoes in the region.

  • -5

    tokyo-star

    While Abe and his croonies may be beating war drums, who is going to be doing the fighting in a potential battle? Yeh the JSDF has a bunch of muscly dudes and there are gym junkies everywhere, but it's nothing like Korea. Are you really telling me that lanky-but-for-some-reason-a-hit-with-the-ladies-Takashi-with-the-hot-hair-and-pointed-shoes in Kabukicho will pick up an assault rifle and start mowing people down?

  • -7

    homleand

    We just popped the champagne here at my house! This is truly great news to start the year. Japan is welcome back into the world, 68 years after the war, and now on the side of the good guys. Welcome to the right side of history, Japan. Now let's make some Money!

  • -1

    jj1067

    With China showing their intention to invade Japanese territory and US not showing their intention to push it back, Japan has no other options than getting prepared.

  • 0

    tokyo-star

    Former Singapore PM Lee Kuan Yew said that allowing Japan to send peacekeeping troops abroad would be "like giving chocolate liqueur to an alcoholic.

    It is doubtful that Japan contributions to peace and stability in the region will be warmly welcomed by flowers. Japan is not Germany. Japanese contributing Arm Force may be welcomed by eggs and tomatoes in the region.

    I don't recall any stories of Japanese peacekeepers running around looting, raping and bayoneting civilians while abroad on missions. I may have missed some news events, but documentaries (= propaganda?) on the JSDF indicates that it is one of the most highly disciplined arms of society in the country.

  • -1

    Mike45

    "Former Singapore PM Lee Kuan Yew said that allowing Japan to send peacekeeping troops abroad would be "like giving chocolate liqueur to an alcoholic"

    Yeah I agree. A strong military used for self defense purposes for a pacifist country sounds reasonable, but a military build up for posturing Japans interest around the globe, sorry I dont buy it. I could only imagine the headaches of having a joint anything with Japanese, look no further than the business world to see the nightmarish entanglements that creates. A uniquely Japan vision for the world, ummm, Id rather not know about it. I prefer the current status quo with the U.S. calling the shots, as imperfect as it is, than anything Japan or joint Japan. Mr Yew is a wise man, and amazingly he implemented everything British for his new country. Japan should stick to what it exports best, cars and AKB48.

  • -1

    gonemad

    While I'm not really in favor of revising article 9, this is by far not the worst thing. Remember that while Abe always talks about article 9, he first plans to revise many more articles in the constitution, which will take away fundamental civil rights and possibly make Japan a totalitarian state again. You can find the proposed changes in the net.

    Abe is now stirring up tensions with Japan's neighbors so that people blindly follow his proposals because they are made to think that Japan needs a stronger military to cope with the threats. And then the trap snaps shut...

  • 0

    Mike45

    "Are you really telling me that lanky-but-for-some-reason-a-hit-with-the-ladies-Takashi-with-the-hot-hair-and-pointed-shoes in Kabukicho will pick up an assault rifle and start mowing people down?"

    Well pointy shoes is exactly why Abe and team want to rid Japan of. Ishihara and cohorts blame the U.S. for pointy shoes and other weird weakness about Japan. Its interesting that Japan has some obsession with taking the "best" from the rest of the world and making its own, but it usually turns out to be something worse than the original. Its why I cant see japan taking the lead on anything, whatever they touch it turns to comedy.

  • 5

    Argus Tuft

    Abe said he would look to change a provision which requires a two-thirds majority in the Diet to amend the basic law.

    I don't know about you guys but THIS is what scares the bejeezus out of me.

  • 0

    trinklets2

    Like the other posters, am no constitution nor political expert, yet I very much welcome his recent moves, i.e. his Yasukuni visit and Constitution change. A world economic power(Do I hear Japan taking back the number 2 slot ?) with no real military power is unbelievable. Though , Uncle Joe is a willing and able friend, one has to stand up on its own and not at the mercy of some other nations. It seems some countries are harking up on the past war for which they think, Japan has to make amends. Every time there's a new PM, if the PM or any minister visit Yasukuni, the past war comes up. It simply never ends. Needless to say because of many Chinese and Korean descents are in good position right here in Japan, they might have the intention of annexing Japan as their own. Very absurd!

  • -5

    chucky3176

    Great news. Next move by Abe is the military draft because they'll need mass amount of manpower for their mighty Asia Co-prosperity Empire military. All those Japanese nationalist Otakus at with their AKAB48 dolls who are hanging out on internet forums fantasizing on Japanese superiority, will be forced to march with rifles. Finally they'll be forced to act like real men. lol..

  • -3

    Mike45

    I agree with the other posters, it was invetiable that this was going to happen. I still think, however, that there is a misunderstanding when it comes to Japan culture. It has its roots in tribes and factions, warring peoples. This is perhaps true of China and Korea as well, sorry never lived there, but their tv dramas seem to glorify the same ideas. I think the lattest release by Exile "tribe" says allot about Japan culture. A bunch of united tribes ready to battle and dancing in unison in battle dress :)

  • -1

    David Franklin Delano Norton

    The Americans won't allow Abe to change the Constitution.

  • 0

    Mike45

    Sorry David, but your wrong. They wont have a say in it if 2/3rds vote for it as allowed by the constitution, and Abe is working overtime to manipulate the 2/3 rule anyhow. Basically, the 2/3 rule was written by the victors, thus it should be overturned and replaced with something more Japanese.

  • 0

    David Franklin Delano Norton

    The Americans have more power than the Diet in military and economic matters. The USA will not allow it at all. That is the simple reality.

  • 0

    Mike45

    I think the U.S. will let it ride out, then Japan might start making more ridiculous demands. Tarrifs, U.S. protectionism and regional unstability will ruin Ishiharas dream and put Japan back in line to contain China. The best thing to do is what Kissinger, Nixon and Carter did, that is open a dialouge with China and help steer it towards eventual democracy. I dont think using Japan as rouge cowboy to contain China will work, just make things much worse.

  • -3

    hkitagawa

    Conspiracy theory: US want the revision of pacifism.

  • 0

    jj1067

    @David So you are saying America is an imperialist country. If you are an American, you are doing terrible thing to your own country now by saying that!

    OK Let`s be serious. This is more like DOD vs State battle in US taking place in Asia. DOD has been supporting and asking Japan to seek for possibility of updating the constitution. State Dept is against DOD on just about everything and right now they are seeking panda hugger alignment. But what DOD and State share is the understanding that US cannot lose S.Korea as DPRK nuke observation post. They think Japan is pushing Korea to China side. That may be true. Difficult situation for the Americans.

  • 1

    Mike45

    He is not saying that the U.S. is an imperialist country, he is implying that the U.S. was the victor of WW2 because Japan attacked it and its allies, and has controlled Japan for its purposes in the region and will continue to do so. This is one of the benefits of being a victor.

  • 6

    Open Minded

    Article 9 should be in every countries' constitutions!

  • 2

    jj1067

    Mike45, the idea that America can allow or not to allow Japan to do anything with Japan's constitution is imperialism.

    Put it aside, you may have seen China becoming nicer and nicer to S.Korea these days. As the result, you can see how DPRK beginning to stand against China recently. Now, the worst nightmare scenario for US is to lose both S.Korea and Japan from US side or having both US-S.K. and US-JPN relationship dramatically weaker in front of China. Japan is making things very difficult for Americans, that I can't deny. US govt needs to spend a lot more time with both Japanese and S.Korean government.

  • -1

    overchan

    Only thing that Japan lacks in its pacifist constitution is the creation of cruise missiles.

  • -2

    Mike45

    @jj,

    No, what the U.S. needs is a responsible and accountable Japan to help stablize the region, not destablize it with rearmament and imperialistic rehtoric. Japan is alienating Tawain and S. Korea while drawing China towards war. I dont know what you mean by loose Japan; if Japan decided to go rouge, the U.S. has many tools available to draw her in. Its a possible scenerio, but I think several scoldings will take place first. When you say the U.S. needs to spend time with Japan gov, what was Biden just doing in Japan, then once he left, Abe headed straight for Yasukuni?

  • 1

    David Franklin Delano Norton

    America has had a very major influence on the world since the end of WWII. America wrote Japan's Constitution and has 50,000 troops and unimaginable military assets in and around Japan to protect Japan and keep stability in the region... same goes for Germany. The Americans made Japan and Germany allies and supported them for a reason. That reason is a stable world order and prevention of another world war. If you had Americans vote right now on whether we should pull troops out of Japan and Korea and Germany they would all vote yes, yes and yes. Shortly thereafter we would have WWIII.
    It isn't so much that the Japanese Constitution can't be changed with a vote but the set up that was put in place just after WWII is designed to not allow Japan or Germany to become a military power and also create stability etc. Japan would do well to create an Asian economic zone like the Europeans and tie their fate together instead of hating Korea and China...

  • -2

    Mike45

    "Put it aside, you may have seen China becoming nicer and nicer to S.Korea these days. As the result, you can see how DPRK beginning to stand against China recently. Now, the worst nightmare scenario for US is to lose both S.Korea and Japan from US side or having both US-S.K. and US-JPN relationship dramatically weaker in front of China. Japan is making things very difficult for Americans, that I can't deny. US govt needs to spend a lot more time with both Japanese and S.Korean government."

    @jj

    Im sorry I didnt read your 2nd paragraph closely. You stated many truths, and the S Korean/China alliance is something that has been written allot about recently. I think its an interesting topic that should be watched. If South Korea and China align over common ground (an aggressive Japan), then yes, thats a situation the U.S. doesnt need.

  • -3

    kringis

    Changed by 2020, so they can round up all the Chinese and Korean athletes and execute them? Signaling the start of WW3? Don't bet against it.

  • -3

    Nenad Jovanović

    Majority of people commenting here are those who work for VANK Korea or China , or you just hate Japan, when you purposely get over fact that CHINA expanded their air zone over islands that are under Japan jurisdictions . 80 % of people coming here are people with negative trouts against Japan , no matter what, China and Korea hated Japan even before Abe coming, and Abe came at this position because of that hatred .

  • 0

    JTDanMan

    Abe is right.

  • -3

    jj1067

    @Mike45 I really don't know what Biden was doing in Japan. What was he doing?

    You need to understand that Japan is a democratic country where people could have serious anti-US sentiment. US has been very very careful about that. Once spread, anti US sentiment becomes very dangerous. They knew that so they were working very hard to avoid it to happen. Even today you know how much effort US military stationed in Japan paying to be "good diplomats". David happened to show the attitude like US can force Japan to or not to change Japan's constitution that's not a big deal but we are seeing the same attitude in US government recently. This is a dangerous thing. Most of the Japanese who are complaining about current US position are exactly the people who have been strongly pushing Japanese government to keep strong relationship with the US for decades and turned down leftist pro China Japanese Democratic Party cabinet in recent elections.

  • 3

    JTDanMan

    Nonsense,

    Japan is a status quo power. Whatever dislike the idiot right wing in Japan has for all things foreign, most hate China more than the US, recognize where their bread is buttered and support a tighter US Japan alliance.

  • 2

    livinginnagoya1983

    I think its a great idea. Japan HAS CHANGED a lot since WW2. Abe is 100% correct.

  • -2

    David Franklin Delano Norton

    jj, America wrote Japan's Constitution. This is a fact. Japan will be unable to change the Constitution...

  • -7

    Mike45

    @jj,

    You make some very good points, and several good books are written on the subject. I dont think Japan is a democracy, there is allot of cronyism (same PM is elected/relected over and over) and the average Japanese wont vote and is apathetic towards any change in Japan. Their attitude is 'why bother?" I think, from what I have observed/gathered, that there was a window during the postwar period for Japan to become democratic but it was squashed in order to curb the growing communist threat in the region. As Japanese have never really known democracy, I think they are incapable of democracy as it happens in other countries.

    As for what Biden was doing, I guess he was trying to cool things down and making a report for Obama on whats going on here.

  • 2

    wipeout

    That didn't take long, we all knew it was coming.

    It took a whole year. In the lifespan of the average Japanese PM, that's an eternity.

  • 2

    jj1067

    @JTDanMan Remember Japan's PM Hatoyama who tried to remove US Marines from Okinawa a few years ago? He loved China and hated US. Many of us stood against him. As the result, we have a major step forward regarding the U.S. military transformation by giving a go to the plan of moving Marines in Futemna to Henoko within Okinawa. which is good, But we should not forget that Hatoyama was once supported and elected by the majority. scary history.

  • -1

    mikihouse

    the mighty US have been pushing Japan to militarize as to free itself from the burden of keeping peace in the EAST ASIA region for so long. Even McArthur was surprised that the Japanese did not change their constitution outright when the US army left Japan. And because USA wrote the constitution and crippled the Japanese in defending their country, they were forced to protect it at the expense of American taxpayers...

    I think the majority of Japanese are so tired of apologizing that they want to rearm themselves. Let it be. China and South Korea are nasty neighbors.

  • 0

    David Franklin Delano Norton

    The current Constitution has never been amended and you need not only 2/3 of Diet but also a referendum to voters. If Japan were to try and amend the Constitution the Americans would threaten a pull out and Kim Jung Un would threaten a Nuke and China would take some islands etc. It isn't so much that the Americans are controlling Japan like a puppet but Japan and US fates are tied and the forces that tied them together were based in the unimaginable horrors of WWII. There isn't a force that can undo the post WWII set up at all.

  • 0

    zootmoney

    I sense a 2020 Tokyo Olympic boycott being put into the pipeline by certain countries in the area. By the way, those non-Japanese living in Japan who support Abe's actions should know that whipping up nationalistic feelings is bound to lead to some sporadic incidents involving xenophobic agitation (and not just against the usual targets); you may even experience a not-so-friendly welcome in certain areas and establishments.

  • -3

    Mike45

    @ David,

    And so we have come full circle; how does Japan become a soverign democratic country capable of its own self defense? So many different camps, but the current camp seems the 1940 solution was best, well there are facist hints of that anyway. Will Japan always require a babysiter?

  • 0

    jj1067

    @mike45

    My feeling is that Japanese had not been very political until late 90's. It was like "as long as economy goes well let the politicians do politics and we do our job" kind of attitude I was of that kind too. Things have been changing for, I'd say 4 reasons. 1) Japan is no longer in high growth era 2) Cold war is over and we realized that. 3) the internet is here and we have discussion boards! 4)China is much bigger and stronger that we thought!

    yeah we are in trouble and getting political:) that's good to make democracy in Japan more effective, but we don't want to make the wrong decisions.

  • -3

    toshiko

    I thought Abe succeeded to irritate China, Then found S. Korea and USA were bothered by his Yasujubi visit, etc/ So, Yasukuni visit created China, S.K. and USA togetherness. Maybe it was his plan to create Japanese voters' consensus to vote for /article 9 revision, I'd bet. He will please Japanese people by demanding US Military bases to go away without Japanese money. Well, USA already stated disappoint ment of Abe visit of yasukuni. US media mentioned 'controversial US Military bases in Japan". Hawaii people had demonstration of No US bases in Hawaii'. Maybe to Phillipine? USA still depend on man power military by accepting HS drop outs for marines, Japan may use varous robotics instead. Drones, too. Chance for Abe;s next step is ready now. Well, China will get Germany tech help. SK has chance to become communist country of atheism. Abe couldn't care less of foreigners in Japan raise hell. It created Secret law severer than USA's. Watch out if you think there is democracy and freedom of speech in Japan.

  • -4

    Mike45

    @jj

    I can appreciate your response but you said "but we don't want to make the wrong decisions." So who is making the decisions for you?

  • -1

    jj1067

    @David

    Under the current constitution, Japan's self defense force can't treat wounded US soldiers because that is an act of war. We can't even try to destroy DPRK missile being fired at US flying over Sea of Japan even though we technically can with aegis destroyers because that is an act of war.

    Now you see why DOD wants Japan to update the constitution?

  • 1

    David Franklin Delano Norton

    @mike, I guess they will need American presence until they stop being seen as a threat to other countries. Japan would do well to adopt a strategy of economic and political integration with Korea and China. China's influence will only grow while Japan will be in decline so it is unwise for Japan to think remilitarization will help at all. I don't see the Americans leaving Japan or Korea in the foreseeable future...

  • 0

    jj1067

    @Mike45

    by that I meant we want to make right decisions. we make decisions as voters in Japan.

  • 0

    Disillusioned

    Changing the constitution can only be done public referendum, but when you consider only 50% voted to get Abe in the turn out for a referendum will be much less. The only people that will vote will be the same right-wing supporters that voted for this joker in the first place. Let's hope this socialist is stopped!

  • -3

    OssanAmerica

    David Franklin Delano NortonJan. 01, 2014 - 11:03PM JST

    If you had Americans vote right now on whether we should pull troops out of Japan and Korea and Germany they >would all vote yes, yes and yes. Shortly thereafter we would have WWIII.

    Why? What countries would attack them? Because neither Germany nor Japan are going to start any wars.

    It isn't so much that the Japanese Constitution can't be changed with a vote but the set up that was put in place just >after WWII is designed to not allow Japan or Germany to become a military power and also create stability etc.

    Your thinking is off here. While that was the original intent, by 1945 it was clear that the USSR was America;s adversary, NATO wasn't created to keep Germany from taking over the world again. The US didn't force Japan to create the JSDF to "keep Japan from starting a war".

    Japan would do well to create an Asian economic zone like the Europeans and tie their fate together instead of hating >Korea and China...

    It is China and South Korea which use anti-Japan sentiment as an official political and diplomatic tool. Japan's "hate" for these two are today, reactions to China and South Korea's positions. Proof is that Japan has abided by their treaties with the two countries (1965 and 1972) whereas China and South Korea ignore their existence.

  • -3

    Mike45

    "I'd bet. He will please Japanese people by demanding US Military bases to go away without Japanese money."

    @toshiko

    Yes, that might be in the cards, but the U.S. could easily pull a similar move on Japanese companies access to U.S. markets. Your standard of living in Japan depends on exports to the U.S. Europe and China. All of your military technology came from the U.S. Many Japanese are employed on U.S. bases. I think the U.S. could easily live without a Japan, but Japan would be in a serious jam without the U.S.

  • -1

    Bgood41

    Japan is the second largest donor body at the U.N. and has no seat at the security council! After 60 years+ of good will since WWII, the NEW JAPAN must come out of the shadow and be a positive force of better world. Otherwise, Japan will live with the stigma and labelled with all bullies in the region. The idea of Japan as colonial power is too rotten to be used by those who do not want to move forward. Yes, there is an old history, and the new one as well. Action speaks louder than barking of same old rhetoric. The NEW JAPAN has many things to offer the world ( not just taking & copying).

  • -1

    Simon Foston

    The biggest problem with Japan having a military that be used for purposes other than self-defense is that, as their handling of WW2 and the economy since 1989 has demonstrated, Japanese politicians and generals are basically imbeciles.

  • 0

    David Franklin Delano Norton

    Osaan? What countries would attack Japan??? Um.... North Korea ring any bells??? Ping pong :)

  • 2

    chucky3176

    Let it be. China and South Korea are nasty neighbors.

    I keep hearing this here, but what exactly evil thing has South Korea done to Japan to deserve such a hostile name?

  • 3

    David Franklin Delano Norton

    Japanese feeling against Korean and Chinese is very childish. You guys would start a war as children would. Cooler heads must prevail in all of this.
    Why don't you just accept to live together in peace for a while and then maybe strengthen ties? It seems instead Japan is hell bent on offending and reoffending Korea and China just as a child would. These statements I make are not made in any sense of my own nationalistic feelings but are made from an understanding of economic, political and military stability around the world...

  • -1

    zootmoney

    @kaimycahi Mass media confusion being spread here by those who want change for their own flag they way along with paranoid while living and sponging off a country they are guest of or just sitting at a pc complaining.

    You are a prime example of what I mentioned in a previous post: once Abe starts whipping up nationalistic tendencies, we are going to see a creeping, spreading xenophobia amongst the Japanese people. You've no need to worry about foreign "flags". The Japanese people will get exactly what they want; or more precisely they will get exactly what they are being frightened into believing they want. By the way, just for the record, there are over 50,000 Japanese "guests living and sponging" off my country. Where do you think Japan's wealth comes from...domestic demand?

  • -1

    AlexNoaburg

    Let us remember this started when Japan nationalized the senkaku islands when it previously agreed to shelve the issue of ownership in the 70s with China. Though China has reacted in kind, it is Japan leading this dance towards war with that action, visits to yasukuni, denial of coercion of comfort women, etc. Honestly, if Japan ingrained the atrocities of ww2 like Germany had in its people, this remilaritization wouldn't seem so threatening but Japan sees themselves as the victims, and whitewashed history. Because they have forgotten it, they are on a path to repeat it. A preemptive strike to 'prevent' war is around the corner if the Japanese people don't voice their opposition to the politicians lime what the Americans did that prevented war with Syria.

  • 1

    Michael Craig

    Gen. Douglas MacArthur wrote the present Constitution to prevent this sort of rightist militarism from rising again in Japan.

    "The Japanese people were slaves of their own government, so we liberated them." he said.

  • -2

    Fox Cloud Lelean

    I'm seeing a lot of people jumping to the conclusion that revising the constitution will immediately lead to war. Do you seriously believe that will happen? Are you really so naive? Japan suffered heavily at the hands of the US in the close of WWII, do you really think Abe wants that to happen again? He's not looking for war, he's just looking to be able to defend Japan without having to wait on US intervention that might not even come to pass. Let's face it, the US isn't exactly the most reliable of allies. They were quick to oppose China's ADIZ, but they've gone more or less silent on the issue now. They were also quick to express disappointment at Abe's visit to Yasukuni shrine. That's the problem with the US, everything has to be done quickly. Abe's looking to revise the constitution in 2020, and there isn't even any guarantee that it'll happen, so really all this outrage is fuss over nothing. What's going to happen if the constitution doesn't change six years from now? Will you pat yourselves on the back and say "well done"? If you do, you're only highlighting how naive you are. This outrage won't change anything in the long run. Just calmly make a decision when the time comes to do so. No need to rant and rave online, ramming your opinions down everyone's throats.

    The way China's going, it's going to destroy itself before 2020 anyway, so there won't be any need to revise the constitution. That's my opinion, take it or leave it, just be mature about it.

  • 3

    oldman_13

    Of course the anti Japan crowd will sound the alarm and panic about those 'evil unrepentant' Japanese re-militarizing itself. Facebook postings and ramblings.

    Funny how these people conveniently overlook WHY Abe and company have been more vocal about these matters in the past few years.

    The Chinese nationalists and anti Japan crowd have been belittling and antagonizing Japan over the island issues for a few years now. Japan has more of a right to the islands from a historical and legal standpoint than China does.

    Yet, China instead diverted the issue and used the 'WW2 atrocity card' to garner world support against Japan. This culminated last year in the destruction of Japanese businesses and innocent Japanese civilians throughout China. Where was the world outrage over these despicable acts? Instead, it was somehow all Japan's 'fault.'

    And China continues to provoke and antagonize Japan over the island issues, escalating from words to sending planes and ships to bait Japan.

    People, these things don't happen in a vacuum.

  • -1

    toshiko

    Here is the text of Articvle 9

    The official English translation of the article reads:

    ARTICLE 9. Aspiring sincerely to an international peace based on justice and order, 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. (2) To accomplish the aim of the preceding paragraph, land, sea, and air forces, as well as other war potential, will never be maintained. The right of belligerency of the state will not be recognized.

  • -8

    OssanAmerica

    David Franklin Delano NortonJan. 02, 2014 - 12:48AM JST Osaan? What countries would attack Japan??? Um.... North Korea ring any bells??? Ping pong :)

    I really doubt many people actually believe that. Their goal is unification of he Korean Penninsula under their rule. Attacking Japan doesn't help reach that goal.

    Michael CraigJan. 02, 2014 - 02:12AM JST Gen. Douglas MacArthur wrote the present Constitution to prevent this sort of rightist militarism from rising again in >Japan. "The Japanese people were slaves of their own government, so we liberated them." he said.

    No he didn't. Article 9 was written to keep the other allies from pursuing the prosecution of the Emperor. Japan has not had a Minister of the ARMY and MInister of the NAVY is their cabinet since 1945. The Japanese people indeed were liberated from their government that had been taken over by the military.

  • 1

    David Franklin Delano Norton

    You doubt many people believe North Korea would attack Japan? Are we living on the same planet?

    The United States wrote the Japanese Constitution 100% and mostly under MacArthur's ideas guidance and approval. I don't see as how trying to rewrite history is helpful here.

    Most of the Constitution as written is to prevent the Ah So Emperor from having any kind of power at all with good reason. Maybe you should try reading that Constitution because you can not interpret article 9 as anything other than what is written in Artcle 9. The reason for writing article 9 can be debated as much as anything anyone writes can be debated.
    You could interpret acceptance of Article 9 as the only way the Emperor would be allowed to live. Maybe if you look at it that way it could be clearer but either way Japan may not engage in acts of war. Do you know what Japan was like in 1945 and how they viewed the Emperor? He was viewed much as Kim Jung Un is viewed today. If you read the Constitution it becomes very, very clear that the majority of it concerns preventing the Emperor from having any kind of power because he was the person most responsible for what happened in that time. Japan will not remilitarize and it will not change Article 9. The United States will not allow it at all. Cooler heads will prevail

  • -3

    Iowan

    I'm some white guy from Iowa (America, middle part, northern side (snowy)), and I agree--build!

  • -5

    toshiko

    Ossan is right. Meiji Constitution was revised (Not written in English) with Gen, Mac;s order. (Joji Matshmoto Commission) but Gen, did not like. Many times later, Sr. Military officers with law degree helped GHQ. Sirota added men and women equality portions. Then Pacifist people(PM Yoshida, etc) helped. Gen. MacArthur never wrote original in Japanese language. Japanese Constitution Research Group helped. Translations of English was added later. So, believe me, Gen. Mac did not wirite Japanese language constitution by himslef.

  • 1

    David Franklin Delano Norton

    Are you really attempting to introduce the idea of MacArthur writing Japan's Constitution in Japanese Language himself as a debate topic? The Japanese Constitution was not written by Japan. I am beginning to wonder if some of you(as many Japanese are) even knew that the Constitution of Japan was written by the Americans and specifically MacArthur. It amazes me that people attempt to debate the topic of changing a Constitution when they haven't read it and don't know who wrote it and don't understand why it was written. I am not saying that Japan had zero input or revision on the Constitution but it certainly was not written by Japan...

  • -7

    OssanAmerica

    David Franklin Delano NortonJan. 02, 2014 - 03:16AM JST

    The United States wrote the Japanese Constitution 100% and mostly under MacArthur's ideas guidance and approval. >I don't see as how trying to rewrite history is helpful here.

    No one is re-writing history. The "No he didn't" des not mean he didn't write the constitution. It means that Article 9 does not touch on the power of the Emperor. Article 9 is not even conclusively credited to MacArthur. It was not put in as stated to allow the US to keep he Emperor in office by placating the other allied powers who wanted him persecuted at the War Crimes trials. In 1950 the US forced Japan to create the basis of today's JSDF, an obvious violation of Article 9.

  • 0

    Kao Otoko

    I believe it is time to allow Japan a fully functional military without restrictions. Enough time has passed, apologies have been made. We can't rely on the US anymore to act in Japan's best interest. We need the right to act on our own when needed. That said, the military must remain under civilian control to prevent the errors of the past. We should also build a strong military that would generate many jobs and improve our economy. Peace through strength.

  • 0

    David Franklin Delano Norton

    "Article Nine Early in the occupation, MacArthur identified the abolition of war as a critical principle to be included in any revision of Japan’s constitution." Yes, article 9 is all MacArthur and trying to rewrite that history is just plain wrong. I didn't write that article 9 touched on the Power of the Emperor. I wrote the the bulk of the Constitution of Japan takes away the powers of the Emperor.

    I think you may be imagining things about the Emperor and the Constitution and also Article 9 of the Constitution. I wrote nothing about placating the allied powers etc. That is something you have imagined. You won't be changing Article 9 at all, in my view.

    Tell me, what do Japanese students learn about the Japanese Constitution in public schools?

    Also, were you aware of who wrote Japanese Constitution before recently?

  • -2

    AlexNoaburg

    In terms of a people's capacity for war, history has shown Japan is not special or better. Sixty years later or not, any country who has willfully forgotten the lessons of a war they waged, atrocities they committed, must not be allowed to expand its military.

  • -1

    Kabukilover

    1It past time to get rid of Abe. Fortunately this is easier than scrapping Article 9.

    Who has always opposed Article 9? The ultra-rightists. They are Japan's real enemies.

    Killing Article 9 will turn Japan into a warfare state. Expect the worst. Conscription. Wars. Possibly a war that will destroy Japan.

  • -6

    toshiko

    The Article 9 was added after then PM Kijuro Shidehara insisted, He and another pacifist (next PM) Shigeru Yoshida wanted Japan to stop war, we read on newspapers and magazines. Then after Constitution was ratified, Kenpo KenkyuKai members came all over in major cities in Japan to explain what was taken out and whata mavelous items are added, We thought funny when some of us were invited to the meeting. Girls were not included in anything that time. So, I got a Constitution book free and when I brought to my middle school and joked one of Emperor's vocabruary, my teacher called my house to talk to my father but my father was too busy that nothing haoppened, Vocabruary? Empeopr's I is not watakushi. Chin, If you open Japanese constitution book from right side top right of 1st right page, you will find.

  • -5

    FernandoUchiyama

    Japan need a change in its article 9 because:

    1) To get out of alienation. No weapons policy is good, but it is utopian. It only works in a world where the US will be present forever and defending Japan with the same prohibited weapons. While the entire world use guns, how can Japan guarantee sovereignty of state? Today the japanese are war/conflict alienated. It don't know how to use guns and also don't know how to deal with conflicts, how to negotiate in difficult relationships. That's why China bullies Japan all the time.

    2) It is very important so Japan can work together with alied forces. Today Japan can only defend itself but not defend its alies. Japan must provide support to allied countries.

    3) Japan must go abroad to get conflict international experience. Today, Japan has almost zero experience in this field.

    4) To balance power in Asia. As China is powering itself, Japan also needs it.

    My point of view is that you, that are japanese, must give support to Abe. It is a very important change and it will must be done someday as US will not be in Japan forever. Why not now?

  • -1

    Vincehwr

    I wonder what Abe is going to say next. Maybe something like we need to draft more people into the army or we need to spend more in military budget?

    And what did Korea do to get such a backlash from some commenters? Constant whining but there is such a truth that no countries are coming out smelling like rose here. All of them are itching to start a war sacrificing more of their citizens to raise their position. If Abe is changing the constitution why just revise Article 9, there could be lot more to be done to erase away the source of this particular problem.

  • -2

    David Franklin Delano Norton

    "Why not now"? Because I do not want you to endanger the people of the world with a destabilization of Asia. The Chinese hate Japan and the Koreans hate Japan and Japan hates both Korea and Japan.
    I do not want to fight WWIII because Japan wants to act like a child. Why can't you just apologize in a way that Korea and China accept? Why can't you make China and Korea your ally? You can increase trade and cooperate and integrate but instead you guys just want to offend the Chinese and Koreans. You won't be allowed to change article 9. The wolrd does not want WWIII.

  • -2

    Simona Stanzani

    He doesn't only want to rewrite the constitution but also the history books. I think that is even worse. either way, he's bad news.

  • 2

    AlexNoaburg

    Since the aphorism, "Those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it" has become so repeated people have become numb to it, let me add "A country cannot move forward without seeing the road it took."

  • 1

    Farmboy

    Preemptive pacifism - Is this like offering flowers and greetings of peace to all our neighbors before they offer them to us? If so, then I'm all for it. Have a peaceful New Year everyone!

  • 2

    Bill Johnson

    Either Japan does something about the rise of Communist China now or Japan dominoes like the rest of Asia will when China/Russia takes over the region. China and Russia are not expanding their power at a rapid pace because they need to protect themselves from their populace who they step on.

  • 1

    Mitch Cohen

    Will Abe allow the ordinary Japanese to have a voice in this matter, like what would happen in a normal democratic society?

    If Japan was to have a referendum on this issue, I don't think Abe's dreams of scrapping the pacifist constitution will ever come true. Memories of war and its aftermath are still fresh in the minds of many in Japan.

  • -1

    toshiko

    Here is Article 96 of Japanese Constitution official English Translation,''''

    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. (2) Amendments when so ratified shall immediately be promulgated by the Emperor in the name of the people, as an integral part of this Constitution.

  • -1

    kurisupisu

    So, let the people vote on this! Article 9 is designed to prevent a build-up to war-it's omission would surely allow militarism to rear up again.

    Lets see what the people want as it is the people that die in conflicts and not the politicians or their children.....

  • -1

    Farmboy

    Either Japan does something about the rise of Communist China now or Japan dominoes like the rest of Asia will when China/Russia takes over the region.

    When you say, "does something about," do you mean nuke, bomb, invade, or what? Can you imagine what a war would do to both China and Japan? Can you imagine what would happen if the US and Russia joined in on either side? I think you are imagining a war that doesn't touch you, your family, or anyone you care about, while destroying the people you don't like. Such a war doesn't exist.

  • 1

    JaneM

    Yeah I agree. A strong military used for self defense purposes for a pacifist country sounds reasonable, but a military build up for posturing Japans interest around the globe, sorry I dont buy it. I could only imagine the headaches of having a joint anything with Japanese, look no further than the business world to see the nightmarish entanglements that creates. A uniquely Japan vision for the world, ummm, Id rather not know about it. I prefer the current status quo with the U.S. calling the shots, as imperfect as it is, than anything Japan or joint Japan. Mr Yew is a wise man, and amazingly he implemented everything British for his new country. Japan should stick to what it exports best, cars and AKB48.

    And you should try and tone down your comments. Expressing your feelings of superiority to anything Japanese simply shows deeply seated racism. This is no way of having a constructive discussion. But then again... people do not need to have constructive discussions on the web, do they?

  • -3

    Strangerland

    Expressing your feelings of superiority to anything Japanese simply shows deeply seated racism.

    Conversely, seeing anything that relates Japan in bad light as being racist shows a deep seated pro-Japan bias, which is also no way to have a constructive discussion.

  • -2

    toshiko

    It is not easy to have constitution revised.
    (1) 2/3 of 480 ,Members of House of Representatives has to vote for.
    (2) 2/3 of 242 members of House of Councilors will have to vote for.
    (3) after all procedures were achieved, a majority of voters in nation has to vote for. Then if it passed, immediately ffective. Keep your hope low whether r you like Japan change or as is.

  • 1

    JaneM

    Stranger land,

    Conversely, seeing anything that relates Japan in bad light as being racist shows a deep seated pro-Japan bias, which is no way to have a constructive discussion.

    True, but failing to distinguish criticism from racism (or criticism based on fascism if you like) is another thing which does not lead to a constructive discussion.

  • -3

    Strangerland

    Your criticism was that his post was racist, which was unjustified.

    • Moderator

      Back on topic please. No more comments along these lines please.

  • -2

    Octagon

    JaneM

    Yeah I agree. A strong military used for self defense purposes for a pacifist country sounds reasonable, but a military build up for posturing Japans interest around the globe, sorry I dont buy it. I could only imagine the headaches of having a joint anything with Japanese, look no further than the business world to see the nightmarish entanglements that creates

    Yeah I agree with Mike45. Japan enjoyed peace and prosperity back in 1970s and 80s. Back then there were territory dispute too. Back then it had moderate, matured and wise government. US has contributed Japan post war success with security, market access and technology. US can be called as adopted father of Japan. Abe and his right wing associates should tone down the combative noise with neighbors and move on like others. Tolerance and patience is lacking in current J government. There is nothing racism in Mike45 post.

    A uniquely Japan vision for the world, ummm, Id rather not know about it. I prefer the current status quo with the U.S. calling the shots, as imperfect as it is, than anything Japan or joint Japan. Mr Yew is a wise man, and amazingly he implemented everything British for his new country. Japan should stick to what it exports best, cars and AKB48.

    Whether Abe or Diet or Public want to amend the Article 9, it will not be easy and rocky road ahead. According David Franklin post, US may even intervene for reining Abe is not going too far. Japan has right to defend herself. However it is debatable about revising the constitution.

  • 4

    Sentiments

    Speculation in nice for exercising the imaginary powers. However don't mistake speculation for some kind of embedded truth. Abe has proposed to change the pacifist constitution. That all we know. It doesn't mean Japan is aggressive. Abe has stated that he will not hesitate to protect Japans territory. That is what every country, not trembling of fear, would state. Nothing aggressive with that. Just because China is becoming stronger doesn't mean that their strength should be used as the reference point to what is appropriate to say or not. Chinas military might is the real problem from a regional strategical point of view and, as I hope you all have noticed, much effort are put in to media to try to avoid that fact. It is called propaganda. Maybe it is easier to keep blaming the ones that has been blamed before, in that way we don't have to learn. However it is nothing but sad if the pacifism of Japan is removed. It has worked as an inspiration and a light in a much to militarized world. China should think a lot about how their expansion is affecting the region. Maybe take some responsibility and constitute their own pacifist constitution. But of course the only response will be that they need to protect themselves, and so on and so on.

  • 2

    henrib736

    Why are we all so opposed to Japan having the right to defend herself? Take a look at China. To this date, the total value of military technology China has stolen from the Pentagon amasses to over a whopping 300 billion US dollars. In addition to these Chinese cyber attacks on the US, China has also recently declared the new Air Defense Identification Zone overlapping with Japan's zone. Is it not clearly evident that China is trying to militarize?

    In light of this, is it fair to call Abe the nationalistic, war-mongering imperialist as many of us are now labeling him as?

    Is it fair to condemn Japan for merely deciding to defend themselves?

    Please, understand that Abe wants to defend Japan. He does not aim to colonize China as some of you imply.

  • -2

    Strangerland

    don't mistake speculation for some kind of embedded truth. Abe has proposed to change the pacifist constitution. That all we know. It doesn't mean Japan is aggressive. Abe has stated that he will not hesitate to protect Japans territory. That is what every country, not trembling of fear, would state.

    Why are we all so opposed to Japan having the right to defend herself?

    Do you people not know that Japan already has the power to defend itself? The Japan Self-Defence Force already has the second strongest navy in the world. No one is saying Japan shouldn't be able to defend itself - it can already do that without changing the constitution, not only legally, but physically as well, seeing as the Chinese Navy is almost non-existent.

    If all Japan wanted to do was defend itself there would be nothing to worry about, as there would be nothing to change. What Abe wants to change is the provision in the constitution that prevents Japan from starting a war. If he had no intention of starting a war, there would be no need to change the constitution.

    This is what we are worried about. No one has said Japan should not be able to defend itself, which is why the two texts I quotes are making false presumptions/assumptions.

  • -2

    honey

    Abenomics was never about the economy,but rather gathering enough public support for this,but I don't understand the end game.Japan flying Solo? Not happening,.In fact word on the financial street is Japan is planning a bankruptcy in the coming year or so.they are backing themselves into a dangerous corner.

  • -2

    smithinjapan

    "...He added that Japan’s elevated status could possibly help Asia become a “balanced and stable region”."

    I know a whole lot of other nationalists and history white-washers who claim that that's what Japan did by occupying neighbours and slaughtering more than 10 million across Asia the last time a military was allowed here. Abe wants a return to 'the good old days'. Sadly, Abe has the wrong definition of what makes a country strong and respected.

  • 2

    zichi

    Article 9 should remain in place and unchanged.

  • 2

    Sentiments

    Strangerland Im sure you are no stranger to the possibility that the text with possible false assumptions is yours. I agree that Japan already has the ability to defend themselves. I dont believe I have stated anything else. Of course this current fact may change if China continues to build and japan does not. Now lets test your assumption. Changing the SDF to a normal military is as far as I understand mostly a matter of identity and pride for Abe. Thus changing the name on paper could be what it is all about. Balancing the force toward an external possible treat could also be part of it. Nothing odd about that. However that is not your argument. In order to make your reasoning understandable you need to add two more components. First Abe must be portrayed as a crook, a left over imperialist that dreams of going back 100 years. I haven't really seen any clear statements about such political dreams of imperialism from Abe. Secondly you need to add a component of a people that can't be trusted because their ancestors did something horrible. Sorry that is as far as I now totally false since I haven't met one single imperialist japanese to this day (well I haven't spoken to the guys in the vans so it may be on me) These examples from you reasoning usually falls under the category bias, or if you will presumptions that may cloud a logical conclusion. My point is simply, how about beeing a bit more cautious when cooking up stories for an imaginary future. Please sell your arguments as speculation.

  • 2

    Bill Johnson

    When you say, "does something about," do you mean nuke, bomb, invade, or what? Can you imagine what a war would do to both China and Japan? Can you imagine what would happen if the US and Russia joined in on either side? I think you are imagining a war that doesn't touch you, your family, or anyone you care about, while destroying the people you don't like. Such a war doesn't exist.

    All too often in history, a Communist power that declares territory outside its own after building up its military, will eventually take it by force. Communism knows only to dominate others and won't yield to weakness. China is building up its own navy and it has the military of Russia to back it up.

  • 1

    sf2k

    It would be a better world if more countries had Article #9 in their constitutions rather than not. I'm of the opinion that it is ridiculous that Japan is safer without it

  • -2

    toshiko

    We don't know what kind of constitution revision Abe will present to Japanese Diet yet. Whatever he propose, US govet has no say as Japan is not a territory of USA. Now, I am going tto write n,umbers of elected members in Diet. So many political parties in Japan that I will write numbers of members separated by commas, starting LDP, DPJ, JRP (Nippon Ishin no to), NKP ( komei to), YP( Yoi Party), JCP (J communist Party), PLP (People Life Party), SDP (Social Demoocratic Party), 'GW (Green Wind), NW Daich (True Democratic), NRP (Seito Kaikau), OSMP( Okinawa Soci. Mass) ..... I omitted Party but each To is Party, ...... (1) is numvers of Representatives , (2 is numbers of Councilers

    (1) 295, 57, 55, 31, 18, 8, 7, 2, 2, 1, 0, 0

    (2) 115, 59, 9, 20, 18, 11, 2, 3, 0, 0, 1, 1

    As I wrote before, 2/3 of Representa tives have to vote Aye, othere Nay,
    2/3 of Councilors have to vote Aye, othere beome Nay

    After that, Japanese people will vote in special voting session. majority (means at least 50% and 1) will be used (after lengthy vote validation process). If it was verified, exactly same time it is a part of constitution. It is strictly Japanese peoplle' decision.

  • 0

    Strangerland

    My point is simply, how about beeing a bit more cautious when cooking up stories for an imaginary future. Please sell your arguments as speculation.

    My arguments are fact, not speculation. I only sell them as they are - facts.

  • -1

    toshiko

    @seireu tobimatsu: You wrote Protect also from pollution contamination ecological unsustainabilit

    Good idea for politicians to follow. However, Japanese Constitution was created before writers ever heard of vocabruaries that you suggesting.

  • 0

    CrisGerSan

    This is sadly a very biased take o the recent efforts of Prime Minster Abe by the AFP making it appear that somehow the Prime Minster of Japan does not have the right to try to strengthen his own country. I am appalled to see such negative attempts to propagadize. by using deleterious language and words such as "appalled" over the reactions of other Asian nations, when this was a purely Japanese matter involving a Japanese ceremony at a Japanese Shrine. It is the western biased news media under pressure from the liberal administration in Washington that is trying to slant this against Japan and favour China. Other nations are concerned yes but they recognize Japan's right to self determination just as they expect others to respect their own. So i hope that people clearly see the press here is trying once again to slant opinion to support China because of China's efforts to dominate the Pacific and Obama wanting to placate them.

    Abe is doing what is right for Japan. As he should.

  • -2

    JoeBigs

    It is about time that Japan put away that old Constitution and accept the fact that it's neighbors are no longer playing nice and wish to cause great harm to it.

    Time to revise it to be able to meet these threats head on with an armed force that isn't restricted by unneeded chains.

    Freedom can only be kept as long as one is able to defend him/herself against those that would take it away.

    I would like to thank the PRC, North Korea and especially South Korea for helping Japan see that light.

  • 1

    toshiko

    Did you people compute how many aye votes are needed by Representatives and Councilors?

    total of Representatives is 496 right now, So, 2/3 is about 331

    totals of Councilors now is 240 So 160 needed.

    It is not easy. Some lawmakers do not vote with majority of his/her party members. Some abstain. It will take time for lawmakers to study entire text of proposals. agenda.

    Then Japanese people will have to study, too. I am pretty sure ther is no legal mambo jumbo in text. All in Japanese Japanese language. I think only Article 9, If more needed, 1 at a time,

  • 1

    Bear27840

    It is long over due for Japan can not rely on America forever and especially after America tells Japan on thing then turns around and says a completely different oppinion to China kow-towing to China in stead of being the ally they are not now.

  • -3

    Strangerland

    This is sadly a very biased take o the recent efforts of Prime Minster Abe by the AFP making it appear that somehow the Prime Minster of Japan does not have the right to try to strengthen his own country.

    No, Japan has always had the right to strengthen itself. That's why it has the second strongest navy in the world by a long shot. People's concerns are that Abe wants to to change this navy from a self-defence force to an attack force.

    What so many people here fail to realize is that if this happens, Japan will become the aggressor, and will become everything that everyone is accusing China of now. And while I'd like to watch you all eat your words, I don't look forward to the world in which you have to, because a militarized Japan is a scary thing that already played a huge part in one world war. We don't need another.

    Japan should not have had the pacifist constitution in the first place.

    No you've got it backwards. Every country in the world should have a pacifist constitution. We should all be modelling the example Japan has been setting for 70 years.

  • 0

    WilliB

    Ever since I came to Japan, I have heard LDP politicians claim they want to revise the constitution. But they are never clear about what they want to replace it with. Is this any different`?

  • 0

    Strangerland

    They don't want to replace anything, they want to remove article 9.

  • -2

    toshiko

    The Article 9 was added after then PM Kijuro Shidehara insisted, He and another pacifist (next PM) Shigeru Yoshida wanted Japan to stop war, we read on newspapers and magazines. Then after Constitution was ratified, Kenpo KenkyuKai members came all over in major cities in Japan to explain what was taken out and whata mavelous items are added, We thought funny when some of us were invited to the meeting. Girls were not included in anything that time. So, I got a Constitution book free and when I brought to my middle school and joked one of Emperor's vocabruary, my teacher called my house to talk to my father but my father was too busy that nothing haoppened, Vocabruary? Empeopr's I is not watakushi. Chin, If you open Japanese constitution book from right side top right of 1st right page, you will find

    It was not forced by SCAP or GHQ because Red Scare that military foce could help to crush getting poerful Japan communist Party. USA was not the planner of Article 9. .

  • -3

    tinawatanabe

    China/Skorea are critisizing Japan even with Article 9 anyway, so why not get rid of it.

  • -1

    Flyfalcon

    Japan post war constitution was written by US. Article 9 is restriction for Japan will not repeat the past aggression and mistake. General MacArthur will not allow for removing Article 9 too if he is still alive.

    If there is no traffic light, car accident will happen at the intersection. Whether Japan like it or not, revising constitution will take a long time and hurdles due to the resistance from alarm bell ringing Asian nations.

    Japan likes a Mount Fuji which is an extinct volcano. If there is a strong earthquake, Mouth Fuji will be active and erupt again. Militarilized and nationalistic Japan is nothing different from Mount Fuji is waiting for eruption.

  • -3

    tinawatanabe

    Flyfalcon Revising constitution is a domestic issue, and does not require consent from any country.

  • -3

    tamanegi

    Yes, revise the constitution. I think Japan should go it alone vs China, Taiwan, North and South Korea.

    Also? all those Arashi wannabes might want to hold off on dyeing their hair and plucking their eyebrows as conscription would be a logical next step for Japan.

  • 2

    jeff198527

    In the literal sense there is no "Pacifist Constitution". All Article Nine says is that Japan can't have a standing military. Japan hasn't rampaged through Asia all these decades, so let them have their military.

  • 0

    toshiko

    Because Jaspanese people got sick and tired of miserable time during WW II, people became pacifists. Then Pacifist PM Shidehara proposed article 9. Well, Russia promised then Japanese Communist Party Chair ////////tokkyu (Kyuichi Tokuda - we used to call by his nick name) etc with russina help. So, SCAP were not too interested in A=idea of Article 9. Yoshida promised Japan will get rid of JCP without military forces. Well, it took time so GHQ released an A class politician (he was not convicted yet). to work against JCP. It worked and JCP membership drained. Well, this politician got too frinedly with Eisenhour that when he came back from USA, he was almost assassinate by right wing. Because of his work against communist movement of Red scare, he received UN Peace Prize. Nobusuke Kishi. So, it was Japanese politicians idea that added article 9. Top to bottom Japanese were scared of War, then. Japan escaped to become Red country without fighting against Russia.

  • 0

    smithinjapan

    toshiko: "Top to bottom Japanese were scared of War, then. Japan escaped to become Red country without fighting against Russia."

    So, by your logic, Japan became a 'Red country' because they were scared of war during the Cold War? The surrendered to the US because they were scared of Russia but somehow became a 'Red country'? I really question the logic of apologists on here sometimes.

  • 3

    toshiko

    @smith: I wrote Japan escaped to become Red country. I never wrote Japan became a Red country. We were scared of War that time. Japan Communist Partyy members were increasding under Sanzo Nozaka and Kyuichiu tokyuda. Sano, etes. Smith I did not write my logic. It was just my memory of after WW II. We were really scared of memory of hiding ketchup to pretend we participated on Ichioku Gyokusui. We had to make Bokugo on the nearby hill to hide from air raid (kushu) and our middle scjool closed to let us go home to be inside dark Bokugo. Fortunately, my city did not get air raid but scary. When we found new constitution inclluded Article 9, and Kenpo Kenkyu Kai peopl e came to explain contents of new constitution, that included females are same as male, We were excited. No longer we were bewtwwn Pets and fish. We were same as males. We loved new constitution. Kishi worked to crushing Japan communist Party. Just my memory.

  • 2

    Kimokekahuna Hawaii

    I wish that Japan would take a leadership role in becoming a champion for peace. The legacy of Hiroshima and Nagasaki must be peace. Business is modern day war and peace is good business.

  • 0

    Daemon Ryuou

    I don't know enough about this man's character or political power to ascertain whether or not a decision like this is the right choice, but the news lately sounds like China has been putting it's cigarettes out on the back of Japan's neck and Abe is justifyingly asking daddy permission to break to their fingers.

  • 0

    toshiko

    My guess (not analysis) is that Representatives will have enough votes to revise. Councilors may not have enough votes/

  • 1

    avigator

    It all make sense. First, you make a move that will create a situation. Then you escalate it to the point you can convince people Japan is being threatened by China. Then you convince people you no longer can live with a Pacifist constitution. This is where the Hollywood Department of Japan fell into place.

  • 1

    Tamarama

    I am late on this, but I don't like it.

    Japan is allowed to use force to defend itself, that is sufficient. Japan has a strong alliance with several countries that would help defend it in even of war, that is also sufficient.

  • 0

    tmtmsnb

    [[ "China is building and repairing harbor facilities in Sri Lanka and Maldives, its submarines frequently seen or detected in that part of the Indian Ocean. China wants Scarborough shoal and is currently engage in intense dispute over it with the Philippines. China wants Senkaku, a bridgehead within easy access of both Okinawa and Taiwan--islands situated right on the West Pacific sea-lane. If you draw a line starting from Middle East along these spots all the way to a Japan harbor, you know China is trying to choke Japan off of its oil supply." ]]

    Tiny islands for fishing? for oil? Think again, those are perfect spots for submarine supply activities, while submarines are perfect for enforcing oil embargoes.

    Revise Constitution so Japan and the countries situated along said sea lane--Japan's lifeline--can cooperate militarily to stop China from putting its fantasy into action. It's Japan's right to defense itself, it's for one independent nation's survival.

  • 1

    interuni321

    Don't worry about article 9, it is the other revisions Abe wants to make at the same time, the ones restricting freedoms the Japanese people have enjoyed for 60 years.

  • 0

    tmtmsnb

    China is awash with US$, earned out of selling lots of dirt cheap goods to the world. Japan officials need $ to change into Yen to buy a house. Revise the Constitution so that before these officials decide to sell some national secrets to others he may think twice.

  • 0

    Xeno23

    Wouldn't "proactive pacifism" be about disarmament and express measures to defuse flash point situations? Whatever happened to the idea of Japan being a spokes-nation for peace? Wouldn't that be a global role everyone would applaud?

    It seems the people of Japan learned the lessons of WW2 and have taken them to heart, but not the government - see the JT article on popular opinion on Abe's recent Yasukuni visit. But then, has any government really learned the lessons of WW2? Some of the more obvious lessons, sure, but resort to arms, brinksmanship, intolerance, and sabre rattling... doesn't look like it to me.

    Given the effort behind this, it may well happen, but will it result in everyone's worst fears? Probably not. There are too many international vested interests in powerful sectors that wouldn't like seeing a militarily resurgent Japan. Besides, how much can Japan do? How puissant could a Japanese military become?

    The only thing that would provide a genuine threat is if Japan openly deployed nukes - and that's pretty unlikely. Imagine Abe trying to get that approved...

  • 0

    toshiko

    @inter32qL You wrote Don't worry about article 9, it is the other revisions Abe wants to make at the same time, the ones restricting freedoms the Japanese people have enjoyed for 60 years. Thank. We have been talking about Article9 that LDP failed a few times. Do you have info of the other article? Just write the number of article. then, I will write official English version of that article you knew. I am not going to ask source of your info because of Ja;an's new secret law. Just write number of the article you mentioned. Thank you. We will discuss of the article you will let us know.

  • -3

    OssanAmerica

    FlyfalconJan. 03, 2014 - 03:43PM JST Japan post war constitution was written by US. Article 9 is restriction for Japan will not repeat the past aggression and >mistake. General MacArthur will not allow for removing Article 9 too if he is still alive.

    Firstly, Douglas MacArthur is not credited with coming up with Article 9. Secondly, MacArthur wanted to use Japanese Troops in the Korean War, but only managed to use former Imperial Navy vessels and men under clandestine conditions. Article 9 was put in he allow the US to keep the Emperor on the throne. It was never meant to "keep Japan from repeating it's past" although that's the way it was sold to the allies and the American public. In 1950 the US forced Japan to create the predecessor of today's JSDF in clear violation of that very same Article 9. The US has been pressing Japan to re-write the constitution, accept collective defense since then.

  • -1

    toshiko

    I have written who proposed Article 9 in Japan then. But some people still insist Gen. MacArthur created Japanese Constitution that was revised from Meiji Constitution. So, here again.

    The Article 9 was added after then PM Kijuro Shidehara insisted, He and another pacifist (next PM) Shigeru Yoshida wanted Japan to stop war, we read on newspapers and magazines. Then after Constitution was ratified, Kenpo KenkyuKai members came all over in major cities in Japan to explain what was taken out and whata mavelous items are added, We thought funny when some of us were invited to the meeting. Girls were not included in anything that time. So, I got a Constitution book free and when I brought to my middle school and joked one of Emperor's vocabruary, my teacher called my house to talk to my father but my father was too busy that nothing haoppened, Vocabruary? Empeopr's I is not watakushi. Chin, If you open Japanese constitution book from right side top right of 1st right page, you will find

    It was not forced by SCAP or GHQ because Red Scare that military foce could help to crush getting poerful Japan communist Party. USA was not the planner of Article 9 Beside that, Gen, Mac was not an attorney and he did not use Japanese language. Legal scholors of GHQ stuffs helped Japanese legal scholars to revision. Of cause Gen. Mac's order. Don;t believe Gen. Mac was fluent in old Japanese language. Meiji Constitution was written when Meiji Govt was forrmed. We used Showa time Japanese language, not Meiji or Taisho time Japanese, then.

  • 1

    Steve Mcgrew

    IMO the world would be a more peaceful and secure place if ALL countries maintained only a defensive oriented military...Pre-emptive strikes should be consdored by the international community as a war crime.... Wouldn't it be much better world policy to make it a crime to put boots on the ground of foriegn nations or launching a strike,without first making a declaration of war? Warrring efforts are far to commonly justified ,for the most part, by ideological/political reasoning rather than as a defense measure. WAR..GOOD GOD YA"LL WHAT IS IT GOD FOR? absolutely nothing.

  • 1

    Bartosz Jankoś

    what makes me lol more than anything is Japanese citizens who believe that when China strikes with all they got US will give a crap about pile of rocks on the other side of Pacific. You will defend yourself for months maybe a year then they will wipe you out and continue as usual. Only possible situation US will come to "Aid" you is when Japan will start winning with China (which is impossible with SDF) and the only reason they will do that will be to get most of China natural resources before you do. If you don't believe me read about how many countries helped Poland in WWII when Germans arrived and believe me Polish people had more than enough "treaties" and "friends"

  • 0

    funny car

    Why are we all so opposed to Japan having the right to defend herself?

    henrib736, no, the question is why are war hawks desperate to give Japan an attack force rather than be happy with a self-defense force? Oh, that's right, they are war hawks! And probably chicken hawks to boot!

    Some may point out that technically the constitution does not allow Japan to have any sort of armed forces, and that is true. But I can't remember seeing any comments here against Japan having the right to defend herself.

    Now let's just remember that Abe does not want to make the SDF legit in the constitution. He wants to erase article 9 so that Japan can have a full fledged military.

  • -1

    Spanki

    While I don't particularly like or trust Abe I think a major reason he is doing this, is that he wants Japan to play a bigger role in the UN.

  • 0

    kalkan64

    I agree with ben4short 100%. We are now in the 21st century! Long gone are the days when some regions/nations were curved as protectrates during the colonial period of the 18th and 19th centuries! There is no nation in this world that would want to depend on another nation for its security/defence. Where is the independence and where is the pride??? Independence means to be able to run your own affairs as you see fit and above all, to be able to defend your selves seccessfully against any external aggresor. How can you achieve this without a strong military (navy, airforce, army,etc.) and you are an island surrounded by hostile nations who are itching to revenge over wars that took place early in the 20th century? Japan should not be lumped together with third world countries and be told what to do and what not to do and it should not accept that. What is the fear? This is the 21st century!!!

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