Abe vows to change constitution, reestablish 'proud Japan'

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  • 33

    Yubaru

    Abe said in January he intends to change the constitution, by modifying an article which stipulates that amendments need a two-thirds majority in parliament.

    This is the scariest part in my opinion. Amending constitutions SHOULD be difficult and not done lightly, getting a consensus opinion is paramount when attempting something that affects generations. Take away the difficult parts and any party in power could in effect propose changes at their whim.

    I hope the people within the LDP realize what a danger this is and put a stop to Abe on this point.

  • 5

    some14some

    Does it mean Japan is prepared to lose the "Huge Benefits" of cornerstone relationship with the United States Of America?

  • 11

    Yubaru

    Does it mean Japan is prepared to lose the "Huge Benefits" of cornerstone relationship with the United States Of America?

    Not at all, however technically speaking under the current constitution in a scenario where let's say for discussion purposes the Chinese navy attacked a US Military vessel, the Japanese Navy could not intervene and attack the Chinese ship, and would have to stay on the sidelines.

    In this point I agree the constitution needs some tweaking to be updated to todays situations, it's not 1945 anymore, BUT it HAS to be done carefully and with open discussion among everyone in the country and not just Abe's cronies in the LDP.

  • 15

    herefornow

    Abe said in January he intends to change the constitution, by modifying an article which stipulates that amendments need a two-thirds majority in parliament.

    Very foolhardy and dangerous. No wonder both Japan's allies, like the U.S., and its neighbors, are going to be nervous. A constitution is supposed to be a document of basic principles for a country, not a political one subject to the "flavor of the month". Abe and his cronies who seek this concept of a "proud Japan" do not seem to have truly learned the terrible lessons of the past.

  • 3

    Aristoman

    Japan had this wonderful idea about self-defense army. It is Diamond of your nation, showing no aggression. It is better then any other country, even USA. Now Abe wants to have same system like USA or China. So weak. We normal people don't need your wars where politicians get rich and innocent die. Well... At the end you get what you voted for. I'm sure this idea will never excite all tsunami victims.

  • 2

    OssanAmerica

    herefornowMar. 18, 2013 - 07:47AM JST "Abe said in January he intends to change the constitution, by modifying an article which stipulates that amendments need a two-thirds majority in parliament."

    Very foolhardy and dangerous. No wonder both Japan's allies, like the U.S., and its neighbors, are going to be nervous

    Nervous? We (the United States) have been pushing constantly for this since 1950. Don't forget that it was the United States that "forced" Japan to form the JSDF in he first place. Today thanks to China's military and territorial expansion, all of Asia is supporting this. Except of course, The dictatorships of China and North Korea, and the South Korean Japan-haters who will change their tune in a flash if North Korea attacks them.

    some14someMar. 18, 2013 - 07:27AM JST Does it mean Japan is prepared to lose the "Huge Benefits" of cornerstone relationship with the United States Of America?

    What is Japan going to "lose"? It further strengthens the alliance with collective defense.

    .

  • 1

    Chin4Sailor

    Abe vows to change constitution, reestablish 'proud Japan'

    Oh, no.... Here we go.... Isn't this what got the Nazi's into trouble a few years back...? Not too mention Japan itself...

    History, History and More History... Those that Do Not Learn from it, are Destined to Repeat It!

  • 2

    mikihouse

    All of SouthEast Asia are in favor of Japan remilitarization except for Cambodia. This could have not happen should China used its clout to be a friend of SEA and be a world leader but instead it started pushing deep into Indian Ocean creating mistrust with India and Pakistan, expanding into Myanmar territory, taking over isalnds claimed by Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei, Philippines and bullying weaker countries into submission like it does with Taiwan. So the table turned against China. People now believe Japan needs to counter China's military aggression specially that USA is on the decline.

    Its about time.

  • 20

    lesenfant

    For Japan to be proud they need a leader who can stay in office longer than a year and a half....

  • 2

    Kyle Alpert

    ABE proposes the 'snowball constitution', likely with provisions to allow indefinite suspension under 'emergency situations'... I can't say I am opposed to this: Japan, as one of the cornerstones of modern prosperity, deserves the same rights as the rest. The current constitution serves as nothing more than a badge of shame, marking Japan as perpetual war criminals, who cant control their aggressive urges. Leaving it as is, invites trouble.

    Shame of it, though, is that the Pacifist constitution encouraged Japanese youth to dream and develop all the beautiful, catchy things for which Japan is LOVED across the World. I would have preferred Japan develop some secret, obnoxiously FINAL weapons platform, based in Space or under the Ocean--secret from the population, but known to other heads of State. That way Japan can continue to be the beautiful carefree girl we have all grown up LOVING, without having the realities of the 'World of Incompetents' ruining anyone's dreams...

    All this war mongering does is give power to those whose goal is to soil Japan, take away her charms, to make her 'just like the rest of us'. ABE needs a way to create a credible (ie, 'scary') force deterrent, without damaging peoples' hopes for a better World. Allowing ZAKO to believe they have a chance only invites conflict.

    Its not enough for Japan to believe in Japan, the World must too...

  • 1

    sf2k

    The Pacifist Constitution is great, keeps hawks like Abe and others from starting wars. Come July the other parties need only remind people of his words and he'll be held in check. Hope so

  • 7

    JeffLee

    I will definitely protect Japan’s agriculture and food.

    If that's so, he needs to usher in mass immigration. Japan's countryside is dying, with not enough young Japanese willing to work the land to produce food. That's the real danger. Mind you, pinning the blame on gaijin, a la TPP, gives most Japanese a warm and fuzzy feeling (a.k.a. "proud).

    Unless the Japanese have lots of babies, then Japan's salvation lies in young Chinese, Vietnamese, Filipino and others people come here permanently to work Japan's land.

  • -8

    The Chronic

    With regards to Japan increasing military spending, and to amending it's constitution to allow first strike capibilities if warranted.....I think Christian Slater said it best in the movie 'True Romance':

    "It's better to have a gun and not need it, than to need a gun and not have it."

    Amen to that!

  • 2

    herefornow

    Nervous? We (the United States) have been pushing constantly for this since 1950.

    Ossan -- nonsense. While it is true that the U.S. has favored Japan taking a greater role in international missions, including mutual self-defense, the LAST thing Obama wants right now is a potentially more unstable Northeast Asia caused by Abe deciding 51% in the Diet is enough to change the Japanese constitution. The U.S. is already trying to find a delicate balance between China, Taiwan and Japan -- not wanting to infuriate China based on its long-standing agreements with the other two. Plus the Kook in NK is causing the U.S. enough difficulties without Japan throwing more fuel on the fire. Not to mention how SK would respond to Japan moving in this direction. You need to look at the big picture and also recognize that Japan has ZERO credibility right now with Obama and the U.S. going back to Hatoyama, so, there is plenty of nervousness about this in the U.S.

  • 3

    Moonraker

    reestablish a proud Japan

    What can it mean? It already seems pretty hubristic to me.

  • 2

    Yubaru

    Hey kids, remember Japan started a world war with THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA! That does not simply get footnoted and forgotten. Never.

    This kind of thinking does no one any good. To use your logic here then just about every country in the world had never be forgotten nor footnoted for it's misdeeds.

    The US was no angel either, but now former enemies are friends. And as friends Japan should be able to participate not only in it's own defense but in the defense of it's allies and friends as well, which the current constitution does not allow.

    Changing the constitution is one thing, and one that the entire country needs to participate in the discussion as well. BUT the 2/3rd's majority part.....that NEEDS to stay.

  • 3

    Yubaru

    Hey kids, remember Japan started a world war with THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA! That does not simply get footnoted and forgotten. Never.

    And knowing the risk here of having this censored I will add separately the US of A started wars with all sorts of countries throughout history, open your eyes and dont be so naive to believe that this way of thinking does any good in building and maintaining friendships in the future.

  • 5

    JerryL

    Hey, "herfornow," you don't think Japanese people should be proud of their country? There's something wrong with this you think? And you also believe this will lead to aggression?

    Germans are proud of their country and I don't see them trying to start a World War for the 3rd time.

    If you have a problem with Japanese people becoming proud of Japan then the only thing I can think of is that you want them to be easy to push around and manipulate so they don't stand in the way of some personal agenda that you support.

    You do realize that all the Japanese who were aggressive are dead, don't you? Japanese people alive now had nothing to do with the past. I don't understand why Asians don't understand this. Nobody in Europe keeps whining to the Germans and Italians about being proud of their country and becoming hysterical if a German picks up a gun. They don't daily ask the Germans for apologies. The UK was bombed to bits by the Germans and yet are now close allies with Germany and Italy and never mention the past aggression. Europe moved on and all of Europe is much better off for it.

    You must come from a country that has always been perfectly civil and fair and the poster child for love of mankind and humanity. What country are you from?

  • -6

    BertieWooster

    Are we to believe that little "tummywobbles" Abe thought all this up by himself?

  • -1

    noriyosan73

    There is no value in being disrespectful of the office. Ask a question without attacking personal qualities or appearances. If anyone can look in the mirror and see the flashing neon sign that says, "You Are Perfect," please enter the next election.

  • 1

    Verisimilitude

    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.

    In all technicality, we have already violated Article 9, by maintaining, war potential.. and I say that because Japan has, the worlds, 9th largest military. I do not see any benefit in amending the constitution, we already pay US$ 40 billion in supporting American forces located in Japan.. which btw is much cheaper then expanding the military.. I think we should stick to tradition and keep applying the Yoshida doctrine.

  • 3

    BurakuminDes

    It's sad that japanese people are - according to hawkface abe - not "proud" of their country. It's even sadder that constitutional checks and balances will be removed in an attempt to force them to be proud. A lot of goodwill toward japan will be eroded and thats a real shame.

  • 0

    noriyosan73

    In the previous century the USA dominated and controlled the military and defense of Japan. It is time for Japan to honor the real meaning of "self-defense" by establishing its own military and changing the constitution. It is time for Japan to be prepared to do whatever it takes to defend itself against NK. The USA can assist, but it cannot continue to be the shepherd. It may take another 33 years to change the constitution, but by 2046 Japan must stand up on its own.

  • 3

    sf2k

    Carrying a gun is not what makes a people proud of their country.

  • 5

    Scrote

    Rather than changing the requirement for a 2/3 majority, why doesn't Abe state clearly his other proposed changes to the constitution, i.e. what would the exact text be?

    He won't do this because his main aims are to take away freedoms and bring back conscription and he knows he won't get a 2/3 majority for those changes. Instead, in the time-honoured fashion of weaselly LDP politicians, he tries to achieve his aims sneakilly, hiding his true intentions.

    It's a pity that so many Japanese will vote for this. They won't consider the repercussions and won't think about what the loss of freedoms they take for granted will mean to them. Such people will enjoy being forced into the army and being told what to do without having to think for themselves.

  • -2

    KariHaruka

    A move likely to stir unease in China and South Korea? Oh for the love of god. Not like Japan will suddenly attack either one of you! In fact its due to China's recent behaviour that is forcing Japan to think along these lines.

  • 3

    BurakuminDes

    @ kariharuka - actually the revision of the constitution has been a personal project of abe for many years now. Not a recent thing at all.

  • 2

    Bgood41

    That is the spirit Mr. Abe. Japan needs to step out of the box to connect the dots. Japan can be a factor to support the rest of the world against tyranny, dictatorships, and bullies nations. Strong and non-aggressive Japan will contribute great things to peoples across the globe. The old history is over, wake up and smell cherry blossom fragrances. Cheers.

  • 3

    Yubaru

    Just remember Mr Abe, there is a fine line between patriotism and nationalism, let's hope you get the patriotism part right and not go (more) nationalistic on the world.

  • 0

    gokai_wo_maneku

    "Japan" cannot be proud, nor can the "US" or "China" be proud. These are not entities that can be proud. Individual Japanese, Americans, or Chinese can be proud of their actual individual achievements. But that is as far as it goes.

    If the only source of your self-esteme in being a "proud American" or "proud Japanese" or "proud Chinese", then you ain't got nothing!

  • 1

    sojherde

    Jerryll, the Germans are not proud of the fighters and weapons in WW2. They are proud of the people who fought against the Nazis. I do not see a reason to be proud of carrying a weapon to threaten others. In my opinion there is no alternative to using your brain.

  • 1

    smithinjapan

    A "proud" Japan?? What's this guy so embarrassed about besides historical fact? Scrapping article 9, one of the things that most dignifies Japan, is only going to ensure Japan depends more than ever on others for protection. THAT is nothing to be proud of!

  • 3

    GW

    Hey abe, if you wanna make Japan "proud" how about you tell what Japan was during the 50s,60s,70s,80,90s,2000+

    Hey what kinda Japan hasve I been livin in there? Sure I aint the only one who wants to know!

  • 1

    gogogo

    Whatever takes the focus of TPP

  • 0

    GW

    And lets face it Japan has LONG LONG had the ability to act militarily either defensive or offensive, just a snap of the fingers really.

    Japan has been living a lie of the, oh we are a peaceful, non-warlike country, the fact is the US has kept the genie IN the bottle since 1945, the US has wanted to let a bit of the genie out, thing is if the cork is lifted can the US or Japan control that genie once its freed again, will abe be the one to pop the cork!!??!!

  • 1

    GW

    And to those who say the people of Japan arent like those in say the 1920-50s......................sorry not much of anything has changed, just suppresed is all. It wont take much to bring all that nasty stuff back to the surface, believe me its all still there!

  • 1

    kuuku

    “We will definitely win through the (upper house) election and reestablish a proud Japan,” Abe told the convention.

    reestablishing a proud Japan must be in the minds of some politicians, having article 9 unchanged for years provoked nothing but peace and a prosperous japan,,if this article 9 is now going to be changed, it should not take weeks and months, but a year or so for everyones ideas to be included/considered and lets hope it would not create more problems to add on to those already been created especially the one in Fukushima, etc...

  • 4

    Tahoochi

    Call me naive, but isn't what Japan did after the war (economically rebound without military agression), what Japan should be proud of? And isn't that (economic power) what they should continue working on? I think Abe is wanting the right things for Japan, but going about them in the wrong way.

  • -7

    issa1

    Throughout these years I've been watching how American politicians work behind the scenes, to doing all sorts of trickery and untruth, unfortunately here in Japan the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan will a thorn in the side to Abe. Abe is perhaps the last hope for the Japanese people.

  • 2

    TheCookieMobster

    I will support a proud Japan just as soon as shame and historical truth is properly admitted and preserved in textbooks and the national conscience.

    Then I will support a change in Article 9.

    But Japan is no Germany, that is for sure. Japan has been trying to skirt around the shame for 70 years with no success. Until Japan swaps denial for acceptance, and truth for half-truth (read "lies") all else should remain unchanged.

  • 5

    Knox Harrington

    Yubaru:

    This is the scariest part in my opinion.

    I agree.

    While changing article 9 is a big thing, the LDP proposes other changes as well. If what I have read is true, those ideas are, all combined, pretty scary stuff. To limit "excessive individualism", replace "public welfare" with "public interest and public order" and other such progressive ideas just reeks of militarism.

    In principle, though, I think Japan, as an independent nation should be able to do whatever they want with their constitution. We might strongly disagree and realize they are on a dangerous path, but they can do what they want. Hopefully, the people of Japan are smart enough to see whereto this might lead...

  • -4

    issa1

    Japan has every right to change their constitution. Enough of being Muggle!

  • 0

    Tony Ew

    America should threaten to drop the security treaty with Japan right away the moment Abe succeed in changing the Constitution! What further reason for US to be in the neighborhood? And if US leave, maybe just move to Guam, Australia, let's see if Japan is still that arrogant in dealing with China!

    “I will definitely protect Japan’s agriculture and food. I want you to trust me,” Abe said. Don't bother with your fake TPP negotiation. First Japan makes it hard for Detroit to compete. Next protect agriculture and the 'holy' rice. There is no reason for Japan to join TPP, just stay as an island unto herself. The world can get along real fine without Japan! ( really, not meant as an insult, but what Japan can export can be had elsewhere easily and cheaper!)

  • 2

    Ranger_Miffy2

    Japan could be prouder if they showed the world how to live well with less. Alternative energy sources should be made the mainstay. Support families who have kids. Stop all nuclear power. Reinvest in infrastructure jobs throughout Japan, like retrofitting homes to solar and installing insulation, double pane glass, etc. Stop fooling around with the tsunami and nuclear disaster and show the world positive steps for a sustainable future.

    Oh, and elect a lot of people under the age of 50 would be a good step.

    My two yen on this one. Abe is not good news.

  • -6

    Tiger_In_The_Hermitage

    Don't let the American dictatorship / Obama Regime get the upper hand, the Japanese people must not be subdued by the populist sentiment of the American regime to push us into disputes with our neighbours. WAKE UP everyone and use your vote against Abe.

  • 1

    dcog9065

    Japan has the right to amend their constitution, and if this amendment (to reduce the majority required to amend the constitution) is passed within the framework of Japanese law and the constitution, then the decision should be respected. Ultimately Japan is a democracy so it's leaders and representatives are accountable to the people who elected them.

    Regarding the right to use force to settle international disputes, I personally believe that this should be a right of any sovereign, and besides the US has already welcomed it as it would offload a lot of responsibilities and costs the US is burdened with in Japan.

  • 3

    hoserfella

    unfortunately, for silver-spooned chickenhawks like Abe, "proud Japan" means a ruturn to the good old days of fascism.

  • 2

    Oruti

    I guess point is that Japan needs to have the constitution made by its own government and citizen. If I remember it correctly, after WWII, Japanese government had to submit GHQ a draft constitution before it is validated. Of course they had to manipulate its contents according to GHQ's politics behind. Like someone said already, the constitution is like a principle of the country. How can people uphold their principle that is not made by their own will? Or probably this might be a reason why Asian countries especially China, SK and NK do not trust Japan. After all, no matter how Japan act and behave as a member of international community, its principle is not its original. Putting it aside their own agenda, I personally don't trust the country that doesn't have their 'own' principle. On top of that, through 2/3 or 51%, the constitution must be continuously argued and revised by its own citizen. About fifty years, Japan has never revised its constitution, and created discrepancies. I guess it's about time. Otherwise, discrepancies will distort the balance and lead to a huge trouble.

  • 1

    Octagon

    Abe is hawkish like fighting cock . He used to talked like drunken sailor in local pub. He was born with platinum spoon and spoiled son of Aristocrat. All of his words are reflecting the pride of rising sun from 1938 to 1945 era.

    Since 1991, Japan has nothing to proud except Pokemon, AKB 48 and Mao Asada(Ice skater). Godzilla is more popular than Abe in rest of Asia.

    According http://www.economist.com/node/14861545 Japan is the land of setting Sun. May be winning the Olympic game will make Japan is the land of pride and glory.

  • 0

    YankeeX

    I suppose you cant be a pacifist and proud ha, Mr Abe?

  • 0

    Michael Craig

    On top of that, through 2/3 or 51%, the constitution must be continuously argued and revised by its own citizen.

    2/3 is 67%! Der!!

  • -1

    Michael Craig

    America should threaten to drop the security treaty with Japan right away the moment Abe succeed in changing the Constitution! What further reason for US to be in the neighborhood? And if US leave, maybe just move to Guam, Australia, let's see if Japan is still that arrogant in dealing with China!

    I wish for General MacArthur's ghost to haunt the Diet!!

  • -1

    Upgrayedd

    Seriously though, should Japan have a constitution written by the people of Japan (Abe's idea) or by the US military (current)?

  • 3

    ThonTaddeo

    Any time a politician starts appealing to nationalism and vowing to 'protect' something, watch your wallet.

  • -1

    Jay Que

    The US should no longer be Japan's nanny (abroad) any more than it should be a nanny to its own citizens at home. Standing up on your own two feet is a good thing. Abe is moving in the better direction.

  • -3

    Virtuoso

    Changing the Constitution raises the question of which Japanese legal scholars and brilliant intellectuals can be entrusted with the task of coming up with something superior to the current document in terms of outlining the rights and responsibilities of 120 million citizens, and without inserting articles and clauses designed to ensure they can enrich themselves at the expense of the hoi polloi. Who's going to pick them -- corrupt politicians like Mr. Abe?

  • -1

    Chin4Sailor

    Just remember Mr Abe, there is a fine line between patriotism and nationalism, let's hope you get the patriotism part right and not go (more) nationalistic on the world.

    Japan is not able to differentiate between the two.

  • 0

    Christopher Blackwell

    I would worry more about his wanting an easily changeable constitution, then having Japan take full responsibility for its own defense. As for changing history, why not start honestly reporting Japanese History and learning from it, so as to not repeat failed polices of past government what destroyed Japan last time.

    By the way the same would be true of all other countries as well. Honest history would save countries a lot of future grief. Those that do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

  • -7

    Tony Ew

    The moment Abe suceed in changing the constitution, ASEAN should form a defense bloc like NATO specifically against Japan. Why not China? Because WWII history shows China is not the aggressor but a victim! You want to prevent repeat of being attacked by the country that had invaded you before. So Japan should not express surprise at a NATO version of ASEAN subtly hinting who the real potential enemy is. Sure this ASEAN NATO can be configured against China too, but have to exclude existing disputes, not much different than how insurance works.Individual countries like Philippines, Vietnam that want to fight against China under existing disputes have to do it on their own!

  • 2

    Spanki

    ****I will definitely protect Japan’s agriculture and food.****

    I read between the lines here

    " I will continue to heavily subsidize, at the expense of the Japanese taxpayer, noncompetitive farmers lifestyles, so that they can continue to produce bog standard produce and have the domestic market cornered whilst charging those same Japanese taxpayers extortionate prices because its 'made in Japan'.

  • -2

    tyvtgo1US

    I donot know where people are getting these ideas that somehow Japan changing its stance to being a regular military would affect its position with the US, when the US has been promoting Japan to do so, to take a more active position militarily in the region, and also Philippines wishing to see Japan take more responsibility and looking for a security partnership with Japan and other Asian nations to be able to stand up to China's recent aggression in the south China sea and East China see. All I read is deception that seems to be originated from CHina, as that is what China does best! Lies deception , and cheats its people from real time news within China and outside of China, only articles and events that supports their leader's position of power. This has been a fact since the communist forced themselves into power in 1949! Nothing has changed in that manner!

  • 2

    hoserfella

    as someone stated before, sad that the only avenue Abe sees towards a "proud Japan" is militarization. A government that created a better quality of life for it's citizens wouldn't need to rattle sabres like a 12 year-old.

  • -1

    melonbarmonster

    Good grief.

  • 2

    melonbarmonster

    Denial of atrocities + restoration of military in constitution doesn't make a "proud" Japan.

  • 0

    tyvtgo1US

    Japan has every right to develope its military, just as China takes no slow course to do so and has no shame in using it as soon as possible to intimidate its neighbors in claims of everything in the region!

  • -1

    CH3CHO

    ScroteMar. 18, 2013 - 09:43AM JST

    Rather than changing the requirement for a 2/3 majority, why doesn't Abe state clearly his other proposed changes to the constitution, i.e. what would the exact text be?

    It in on LDP home page.

    http://www.jimin.jp/policy/policy_topics/pdf/seisaku-109.pdf

    I think it is badly written.

  • 2

    GaijinNKyoto

    There are several points I want to hit on so let's get started shall we. Under Article I, Section 8 of the U.S.. Constitution. Congress has sole power to declare war and grant letters of marque and reprisal. Yet Article II, Section 2 provides that the president shall be Commander-in-Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States. While it's clear that the writers of the constitution intended for Congress alone to declare war. Presidents don't always check with Congress before acting. This might explain why Congress has only made that decision once at the start of WWII. The US founders were far from perfect, and at times, inconsistent and unjust; but, on the powers of war, they were unwavering, and their principles were sound. Presidents must acknowledge that being military commander-in-chief does not entitle them to take the nation into war. Rather, they are to fight only conflicts authorized by Congress. At the same time, Congress must be willing to confront tough issues, rather than leave them for the president. Legislators have no higher responsibility under the Constitution and to the voters than to decide when it's citizens must fight.

    The reason I set this up was to put this potential decision into some context. No President or leader from any nation should have that kind of power given solely to them. It would make them no better then Kings or dictators from oppressive regimes. Furthermore does Japan really want to follow an example of which has cost the US dearly. In both lives, reputation, and the disdain of the world. Which in turn has made the US the #1 terrorist target on planet earth because of it. I don't think Japan wants that headache turned on itself. Not to mention acquiring a debt of which was largely due to our military operations throughout the world. You put that into a Japanese context and it would be difficult to swallow. Japan does not need this now in it's current economic state. Let's just say for argument sake that Japan were to ratify the constitution. What would it accomplish other then pull the US into a conflict of which it doesn't want any part of. Either China recognize the Senkaku Islands as Japanese territory or else!! While personally I do feel the islands are Japanese is besides the point.

    This tactic is not all that unlike North Korea trying to blackmail US into getting it's way or face Nuclear War. Thus turning South Korea into a sea of fire as a means of getting what it wants. To address the second part of this debate. What really concerns the US isn't so much Japan wanting to remilitarize. It is more dealing with Japan's hard line and flat out denial of it's own past aggressions which has many in Washington on edge. When Abe makes statements like returning Japan to it's former glory. Or wanting to make less apologetic overtones as to Japan's involvement during WWII. It doesn't make for good relations when it was those actions which created so much pain and suffering and the death of countless lives. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see how a victimized country, as Japan sees itself. Can then turn into a very big problem later. Not only for the US and it's allies. Yet to the world as a whole if Japan ever sees itself as we Japanese against the world. Not something of which is to hard to envision as they already think that way. For Japan's sake I truly hope his return to power is short lived and without fanfare.

  • 1

    Toyomototire

    Japan, if it wants to be proud, should say sorry for its past and what had been done by it to the other Asia nations. Only through this, can it gain the trust and friendship from them. What Abe is doing is to dig a hole and bury himself.

  • -3

    LazerFlesh

    I'm glad to see this. This will make for a stronger Japan. There will be more room for talks and trades should come easier.

  • 0

    philsandoz

    Could you please clarify a detail in this story? Which countries were "both the countries, which were among victims of Tokyo’s 20th century militarism"?

  • 2

    Thunderbird2

    Being proud doesn't mean having the right to punch someone in the face if they step out of line... the people of Japan like their status as a country which doesn't shoot first and ask questions later. People don't look up to you because you have a bigger stick (cleaned that up), but more because you refuse to even pick up the stick.

  • -1

    WA4TKG

    So Japanese People will NOW have a " 2nd Amendment " ?

    KOOL !; now the people of Osaka and Kyushu can SHOOT BACK !. Neatooo~. (at the Yakuza).

  • 2

    OssanAmerica

    tyvtgo1USMar. 18, 2013 - 01:59PM JST I donot know where people are getting these ideas that somehow Japan changing its stance to being a regular military would affect its position with the US, when the US has been promoting Japan to do

    These people weren't around in the 80s when Ronald Regan asked Zenko Suzuki to get the JSDF to help defend Guam and they refused. Nor were they around when we had to literally "beg" Japan to join the coalition in the first PG war, which again they avoided, although they did end up paying for most of it plus they sent minesweepers afterwards. Japan changing it's position militarily would be the greatest push towards an even closer US-Japan security alliance. The Chinese harping on WWII goes only so far when the world is now seeing China as being the aggressor in Asia.

  • 1

    OssanAmerica

    Chin4SailorMar. 18, 2013 - 08:19AM JST "Abe vows to change constitution, reestablish 'proud Japan' Oh, no.... Here we go.... Isn't this what got the Nazi's into trouble a few years back...? Not too mention Japan itself... History, History and More History... Those that Do Not Learn from it, are Destined to Repeat It!

    Yes, exactly what CHINA is ding today.

  • 1

    OssanAmerica

    herefornowMar. 18, 2013 - 08:52AM JST "Nervous? We (the United States) have been pushing constantly for this since 1950. Ossan -- nonsense. While it is true that the U.S. has favored Japan taking a greater role in international missions, including mutual self-defense, the LAST thing Obama wants right now is a potentially more unstable Northeast Asia caused by Abe deciding 51% in the Diet is enough to change the Japanese constitution.

    You're really kidding yourself if you think North Korea and China aren't the only two De-stabilizing countries in Asia today. Japan is looked up as a stabilization, by the United States, it's allies and most of Asia. This article suggests that we are moving in that direction. What Abe is suggesting is what the United States has been pressing Japan to do since 1950. It took China's declared intent to take over all of the South and East China Seas and North Korea's continued provocations to achiever it..

    The U.S. is already trying to find a delicate balance between China, Taiwan and Japan -- not wanting to infuriate China based on its long-standing agreements with the other two. Plus the Kook in NK is causing the U.S. enough difficulties without Japan throwing more fuel on the fire. Not to mention how SK would respond to Japan moving in this direction. You need to look at the big picture and also recognize that Japan has ZERO credibility right now with Obama and the U.S. going back to Hatoyama, so, there is plenty of nervousness about this in the U.S.

    Truly wishful thinking from a China supporter's point of view. I think you're far overestimating China's "power" over the United States. You are also underestimating South Korea's desire to deal with their number one concern. There is zero nervousness about this except from China supporters.,

    http://www.stripes.com/news/bilateral-distrust-between-us-china-at-an-all-time-high-1.201025

    http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/political-news/chinas-domestic-problems-a-recipe-for-regional-disaster-20130205-2dwb8.html

    http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/political-news/shun-us-tiger-and-japanese-wolf-chinese-colonel-warns-20130122-2d52d.html

    Please read the above articles so you can get a real picture of what's going on.

  • 2

    YongYang

    Nationalism is soooooo last century.

  • 4

    Kabukilover

    "Proud Japan" means militarized Japan helping the US in its stupid wars. Japan is already proud, thanks to its civilian economy and its pacifist Constitution. One thing Japan cannot be proud of is Abe as prime minister.

  • 3

    7solace9

    Pride is not what Japan needs. It is one of the banes of human nature. By pride comes nothing but strife, but it is the humble who retain wisdom and its honor, as king Solomon noted.

    The current PM has expressed the intent to be forward looking, yet his heart seems somewhat attached to delusions of the past supported by appeal to pride. He asks others to join him, but the humility to acknowledge the historical record pieced together by scholars around the world would be nice. And, perhaps trust is best given to those who would keep in check movements that are reckless in regard to history rather than drawn out from history with sound reason.

  • 1

    Yubaru

    On top of that, through 2/3 or 51%, the constitution must be continuously argued and revised by its own citizen.

    What I think this was supposed to mean is that currently 2/3rd's of the Diet have to vote for any amendments for it to pass there before being sent out to all the prefectures for a public referendum where a simple 51% majority of the vote is needed to put the amendment into law.

    Abe KNOWS that once the diet part gets passed it's easy to get the people, or at least 51% to vote for whatever he wants because they are apathetic about many political issues and will follow what their dear leader tells them to do.

  • 3

    Yubaru

    America should threaten to drop the security treaty with Japan right away the moment Abe succeed in changing the Constitution!

    Do you happen to think about what you are writing before posting it? The US is encouraging, and has been for a number of years to have Japan change the constitution to play a larger role in international affairs.

    You may be too young to remember this but there was a time that many people criticized Japan's participation in the first gulf war, only sending money and no troops to support the coalition against Sadam. No government in the past 20 years has had the political will to go through with it or even openly discuss it as much as Abe has. Plus with the current problems with China, it is making more sense to many people as well.

    The US is not going to back out, in fact it makes it better for them as well and makes Japan a stronger partner in the alliance.

  • -1

    OssanAmerica

    YongYangMar. 18, 2013 - 11:35PM JST Nationalism is soooooo last century.

    Yes it is. Maybe you can tell that to China.

  • 2

    Akemi Mokoto

    I am all for Japan making an independent Constitution but PLEASE don't drag silly nationalism into this. It never works out in the end and is often the death of a country or a countries era.

  • -1

    herefornow

    Truly wishful thinking from a China supporter's point of view.

    Ossan, first off, the fact that I think Abe and his foolish, history re-packaging form of patriotism is dangerous to stability in Northeast Asia does not make me a "China supporter". But you neo-cons like to place labels on people soyur simple minds can wrap around things.

    Second,

    Please read the above articles so you can get a real picture of what's going on.

    Insult other poster's intelligence if you want, but not mine. Don't refer me to "Stars & Stripes" and a couple of OPINION pieces in the Sydney paper as "articles" intended to provide the real picture. Keep that logic for your fellow FOX News types, where preaching to the choir is held in high regard.

  • -1

    herefornow

    sorry, typo " so your simple minds"

  • -1

    humanrights

    ''Trust me'' last famous words of the doomsday leaders.

  • 0

    humanrights

    As if people aren't 'proud' enough in Japan. 'Pride is before a fall' famous proverb.

  • 1

    25psot

    Japan can't be proud without "safety first" and this may need some change to provide that safety..

  • 3

    warnerbro

    Ask a group of about 50 Japanese university students how many want to see Japan have a stronger military. I did and about 35, about 3/4 raised their hands. Then ask them how many of them are willing to serve in the military themselves. I did and none raised their hands. Where was Mr. Abe when he attained adulthood? Where was his hawkishness then? He'd have had no chance of hearing a shot fired in anger and still he declined to serve. None of Abe's relatives, nor Ishihara's nor Ishiba's nor Maehara's, nor Hashimoto's will ever serve in the military no matter what the constitution says and no matter what kind of idiotic mess the inept government either starts or follows the Americans into.

  • -2

    OssanAmerica

    herefornowMar. 19, 2013 - 08:35AM JST "Truly wishful thinking from a China supporter's point of view." Ossan, first off, the fact that I think Abe and his foolish, history re-packaging form of patriotism is dangerous to stability in Northeast Asia does not make me a "China supporter". But you neo-cons like to place labels on people soyur simple minds can wrap around things.

    Sure it does. There's nothing "foolish" about what Abe is doing on he security front. None of this would even fly if it weren't for China's belligerence. That I am against a one party dictatorship and support the democratic (and even non-democratic) allied nations does not make me a "neocon".

    "Second, "Please read the above articles so you can get a real picture of what's going on."

    Insult other poster's intelligence if you want, but not mine. Don't refer me to "Stars & Stripes" and a couple of OPINION pieces in the Sydney paper as "articles" intended to provide the real picture. Keep that logic for your fellow FOX News types, where preaching to the choir is held in high regard.

    Well you need to read sources that counter all the State controlled Chinese media that merely parrots official government propaganda. I think it's good for you.

  • -4

    A Realist

    Just because China and Korea insist on living in the past, are unable to realize that WWII is over and carry on their hatreds forever, that is not a reason that Japan cannot become a normal country with the same rights as every other country in the world. Of course what would China and Korea do if they could not unite their people by having a common enemy or bogeyman to keep them from looking too closely at their own inept governments? If Japan was to become a normal country and the Chinese and Korean people saw they had nothing to fear, how long would their governments stay in power? Those countries have been playing the victims for over a century; their whole outlook would have to change.

  • 0

    Maitake

    Abe is an old fool. How much longer until they get a different PM?

  • -3

    sfjp330

    A RealistMar. 20, 2013 - 03:29AM JST Just because China and Korea insist on living in the past, are unable to realize that WWII is over and carry on their hatreds forever, that is not a reason that Japan cannot become a normal country with the same rights as every other country in the world.

    Problem is that Japan goverment is still living in the past from WWII. When you have Abe and over 60 J-goverment representatives still visiting Yasukuni to worship the 2.5 million veterans of 1931-1945 war, Japan continues to open wounds to neighboring countries. Why don't Abe tell these goverment officials that you will be fired if you go to Yasukuni? Do you see Chansellor of Germany praying for Hitler?

  • 0

    Tamarama

    I would love Japan to stay pacifist - true enlightenment. If only their neighbors took a leaf out of their book as opposed to pursuing a line of military expansion and might that has proven itself time and time again through history to result in a sea of tears and little more.

    But the reality is they live in a belligerent neighborhood with aggressive and unstable neighbors who haven't taken the cues.

    I will be sad if this comes to pass, but you can't blame Japan if it does.

  • 1

    maglev101

    A move likely to stir unease in China and South Korea? Oh for the love of god. Not like Japan will suddenly attack either one of you!

    i'm sure a lot of chinese and koreans thought the same when japan announced setting up the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere.

  • 1

    maglev101

    Of course what would China and Korea do if they could not unite their people by having a common enemy or bogeyman to keep them from looking too closely at their own inept governments? If Japan was to become a normal country and the Chinese and Korean people saw they had nothing to fear, how long would their governments stay in power?

    funny, you can basically say the same about japan or u.s. Of course what would Japan & the U.S. do if they could not unite their people by having a common enemy or bogeyman (e.g. China) to keep them from looking too closely at their own inept governments? Also, it generates continued businesses for their military-industrial complexes.

  • -5

    OssanAmerica

    maglev101Mar. 20, 2013 - 11:07PM JST "A move likely to stir unease in China and South Korea? Oh for the love of god. Not like Japan will suddenly attack either one of you!"

    i'm sure a lot of chinese and koreans thought the same when japan announced setting up the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere.

    Well considering that China was already at war with Japan as of 1937, and Korea was a Japanese colony from 1910, and the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere was announced in 1940, I believe you are mistaken.

  • 0

    Piotr Gierszewski

    Many words were spoken, but time will tell whether they really meant something... I just hope this change in the constitution won't release a bunch of radicals who will happily murder everyone standing on their way (because historically that was the main reason for World War 2 in Europe, where Nazi party was almost bankrupt, and Hitler was compared to a hairdresser).

    Whatever people say about the current political issues, I think nothing significant is going to change in next few years. Unless there will be an "accident", and something quite unexpected will happen.

    We all are aware that there is a nationalistic tension between the Chinese, Korean and Japanese nations (which is constantly reminded to people of each of these nations). However each of these nations shares quite similar cultural base. Since unfortunately nobody is able to delete nationalism and military ambitions from anyone's minds, I just hope the Asian nations will be able to maintain a healthy distance from each other, for everyone's sake.

  • 0

    badsey3

    There is nothing "proud" about the ability to start wars. It will be wasteful at a time when Japan should be pulling in the purse strings. People need to remind themselves that Japan is an island(s) and presently and into the future will thankfully share no boarders with the nutters. Even if NK does get capable nuclear weapons does that really matter? -- If the worst is Fukushima why should anyone worry.

    This is a big red flag (warning sign) to me and if this rhetoric increases will get more dangerous. Very wasteful thoughts at a time of financial uncertainty. Increasingly hard earned money should be spent elsewhere or not spent at all.

    If Japan wants to talk about self-defence then allow people to buy rifles and form shooting clubs (Swiss example). Keep the guns at the shooting club if you must. =Education is the best defense, not aggression and fear tactics.

  • 0

    Chamkun

    @Michael Craig

    I wish for General MacArthur's ghost to haunt the Diet!!

    I think MacArthur would subscribe to Abe's point of view the based on the time, place& occasion today.

  • 1

    OssanAmerica

    Michael CraigMar. 18, 2013 - 01:02PM JST I wish for General MacArthur's ghost to haunt the Diet!!

    Really?

    Why MacArthur Should Have Been Allowed To Drop The Bomb On China

    The first reason is that the atomic bomb would have made as clear a statement as possible that aggression would not be tolerated. The later situations in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia demonstrate that the lesson that aggressive invasions with no provocation other than the conversion to Communism is intolerable was utterly lost on Communist forces in Asia. The atomic bomb would have made the message much more clearly. The entire Vietnam Conflict could have been avoided had we been bold enough to make such a statement. Many lives could have been saved and a philosophy that unprompted aggression isn't tolerated could have been stated with one simple act.

    The second reason is that China, without provocation, attacked and killed Americans. The Korean War was a military operation to ensure the sovereignty of South Korea. It was not an operation to fight Communism or kill Communists. North Korea chose to attack and invade South Korea, even when warned not to and threatened with United Nations sanctions for attacking another nation. The United States chose to intervene on behalf of the sovereignty of a state. It was always North Korea and China that continued the fight; they would not accept South Korea's sovereignty.

    The third and biggest reason, though, is that dropping the bomb would have hastened the end of the war. The war was becoming a stalemate, with both sides fighting back and forth across the 38th Parallel. At the time, no other nation could retaliate to the use of the atomic bomb; only the Soviet Union had the nuclear bomb outside of U.S. soil and they had no capacity to deliver the package. Many people believe that this action would have started a world nuclear war. That is simply not the case in the time frame. China would have been forced to withdraw troops, and with careful target selection (meaning strictly military targets), few civilian lives in China would have been lost. The net result would have been fewer lives lost as a whole

    http://everything2.com/title/MacArthur+and+dropping+the+bomb+on+China

  • -1

    avigator

    A proverb says " The dog goes back to its own vomit".

  • -5

    Thomas Anderson

    “I will definitely protect Japan’s agriculture and food. I want you to trust me,” Abe said.

    Of course he would, as LDP depends on bought votes from the Nokyo agricultural industry. As a consequence Japanese pay exorbitant prices for rice, fruits and vegetables, as much as 5 times more than the world's average, due to Japan's highly inefficient agricultural practice. Japanese pay more for things that are simply inefficient. In Japan, nobody wins - except for the politicians and the bureaucrats who receive tons in corruption money.

  • -5

    Thomas Anderson

    Nervous? We (the United States) have been pushing constantly for this since 1950. Don't forget that it was the United States that "forced" Japan to form the JSDF in he first place. Today thanks to China's military and territorial expansion, all of Asia is supporting this. Except of course, The dictatorships of China and North Korea, and the South Korean Japan-haters who will change their tune in a flash if North Korea attacks them.

    I have a hard time believing that you're actually an American since you have a very typical knee-jerk, defensive reaction whenever Japan is criticized and you go out of your way to defend it for some reason.

  • 0

    interuni321

    I`m not too worried about a change to the pacifist line in the constitution (although it has served Japan well until now), a change would probably only reflect the reality and truth of the situation.

    What worries me is that last time they proposed this, they tied to slip in all kinds of authoritarian right wing nonsense into the amendment as well as reducing rights for Japanese citizens. I hope they dont try that one again, but Id be surprised if they don`t....

  • 0

    interuni321

    Reducing the bar for constitutional amendments would also be a disaster, all kinds of nonsense might get put in there. The reason the Japanese havent changed the constituion since its inception is that they didnt have a good reason to, it has worked very well to date. In Particular it would open up the constitution to being twisted in favour of the elderly Japanese over the young, as they are the ones who tend to vote in elections and presumably referendums. Look at the UK which doesnt have the protection of a constituion, it has practically lost the right to free speech and the right to privacy just or starters in recent years.

  • 0

    Thomas Anderson

    The reason the Japanese havent changed the constituion since its inception is that they didnt have a good reason to, it has worked very well to date.

    Well I'd have to say that that's not quite true, the Japanese constitution is not quite working because for one, nobody takes the Japanese law very seriously. The judges, the police, the prosecutors, the bureaucrats (in fact they make the law), all completely ignore the law and in fact they are above the law. There are blatant abuses and infringements of the law in Japan left and right. And second there are other laws that would actually make the very good and sound laws on paper practically useless. The bureaucrats depend on the "unalterable" Japanese law for it benefits them. Ironically the people who are generally against the Japanese authorities who abuse the law (i.e. leftists) are benefiting the very people whom they are against by saying that they should not change the constitution for the fear that the right-wingers will mess with them.

    The Japanese law should be made democratically by the people for the people, not by the bureaucrats for the bureaucrats.

  • 0

    akoppa

    The most prepared Japan is, the safest will be the Japanese people. Don't play fool.

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