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Abe renews commitment to constitutional reform

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Ohhh hit the road jack and don't .......

-3 ( +10 / -13 )

Security is one thing, bankrupting the country in process is another! If Abe thinks Japan needs to spend this much money and effort on improving the security of Japan, then pray tell what is the Japan-US security agreement all about in the first place?

THAT agreement allowed Japan to become the country it is today, BECAUSE it was unnecessary to build and maintain an active military.

If that is not the case now, then get rid of the treaty, and bases while you are at it.

The real reason is purely economic, military buildups mean more money for industry!

-2 ( +18 / -20 )

Amending Article 9 to recognize the existence of the JSDF without changing anything else isn't going to bankrupt anyone, isn't going to start any wars and most certainly isn't going to send Japan back to it's Empire days. This doesn't change anything other than to recognize what has existed since 1950 and remove the obvious contradiction in the constitution.

1 ( +22 / -21 )

If that is not the case now, then get rid of the treaty, and bases while you are at it

Could it be that Japan is pushing back against the 'cost plus 50%' arrangement?

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

Better take care of the dwindling birth rate and aging population first. Where's your revenue stream going to come from for all your defense toys and whose going to man these? Wait, I know, you're going to use the same ol' story. Increase the consumption tax to 10% and tax the heck out of old people who live on a fixed income and then you're going to develop AI robots right? All the while, the same ol' farts run the government and live off everyone's taxes. Abenomics 101.

1 ( +17 / -16 )

Lolololololololololololololololololololololololololololololol

The so called arrows all completely failed to hit the mark so the geniuses default to the real reason behind the need to hold onto power ad infinitum. What a collosal joke this government is.

-7 ( +12 / -19 )

@OssanAmerica

What you say is partially true. Simply changing what the constitution allows, will only allow them to officially recognize what has already existed.

However, his final quote is what most are referring to.

Abe said his government will "drastically" accelerate the buildup of defense capabilities to counter both cybersecurity threats and threats from countries utilizing outer space for military ends.

The aforementioned clearly signifies an increase in military spending.

-6 ( +10 / -16 )

Why cannot Japan have a normal Military just like other nations? Why can't Japan come to the aid of USA if they come under attack in a foreign conflict? That's all PM Abe wishes to change, and why removing Article 9 is so important. Japan will continue to be peace-loving when Constitution changes. The Military will not expand or have overseas bases.

Fight PM Abe!!

-5 ( +18 / -23 )

Why cannot Japan have a normal Military just like other nations? Why can't Japan come to the aid of USA if they come under attack in a foreign conflict?

Yeah, let's do that.

You'll have the answer to your questions when young Japanese start coming back inside body bags.

-2 ( +13 / -15 )

"I am determined to put my all into developing conditions in which Self-Defense Force personnel can carry out their duties with strong pride"

The inference being they aren't carrying out their duties with "strong pride" now? That's pretty insulting to the people in uniform.

-2 ( +9 / -11 )

Why can't Japan come to the aid of USA if they come under attack in a foreign conflict?

Because America is constantly under attack. If you haven't noticed, America is still fighting wars in the middle east. The last thing Japan should do is drag itself into the never ending economy-killing money-wasting life-taking endless wars overseas that have nothing to do with national security or spreading democracy and everything to do with the arms industry and their vested interests. America bankrupted itself with these never ending foreign conflicts. They have wasted trillions of dollars overseas. Once you get involved, the special interest groups get activated and then it becomes extremely difficult to stop and go back.

0 ( +14 / -14 )

Ganbare Japan!Today  08:14 am JST

Why cannot Japan have a normal Military just like other nations? Why can't Japan come to the aid of USA if they come under attack in a foreign conflict? 

I trust you're willing to sign up and go off to fight in America's wars yourself.

-3 ( +13 / -16 )

Because America is constantly under attack.

I agree. The US is pretty much in a constant state of war, so signing an agreement to fight for them when they are attacked is pretty much like signing an assurance of war and dead Japanese soldiers - for little benefit that I can see.

It's one thing to defend against real threats, it's another to join in fighting the threats to the US, which are mostly imaginary, self-induced or internal.

3 ( +11 / -8 )

Abe is destroying this country!

It’s a lovely peaceful county... but he is ruining it. All this Abenomics didn’t work at all. Everything he does is making things worse. Instead changing the constitution he should use the money for kindergartens, birth help etc.

-4 ( +12 / -16 )

If Abe doesn't want wars, why would he change the constitution that forbids wars ????

-10 ( +10 / -20 )

Abe doesn’t care about the Japanese population and people voting for them. Lmao

-14 ( +4 / -18 )

If Japanese people can't stop Abe changing the constitution, they certainly can't stop him starting wars, as simple as that.

-12 ( +5 / -17 )

Change the constitution, everyone talks about Article 9 but there are other changes mooted that are not being aired in public. Might as well ease the restrictions on gun ownership if following America is to be followed.

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

"I am determined to put my all into developing conditions in which Self-Defense Force personnel can carry out their duties with strong pride," Abe, commander in cheat said.

Which constitution forbids Self-Defense Force personnel carry out their duties with strong pride ????

-11 ( +5 / -16 )

Liberal Democratic Party has shied away from the topic due to its potential political impact on a series of local elections in April.

its a very unpopular policy among voters. Government is supposed to represent the people not shove policies down their throats

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

"If Abe doesn't want wars, why would he change the constitution that forbids wars ????"

For three simple reasons:

1) China with nukes

2) North Korea with nukes

3) Russia with nukes

1 ( +8 / -7 )

It is very disappointing to see that SDF commanders as quiet as lambs in front of the commander in cheat when he vows to change the constitution which they swear to protect.

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

@Ganbare Japan

Personally, i don't care if they change it in the constitution or not. "A rose by any other name..."

As for coming to the aid of the US. Japan was one of the first countries to send troops to Iraq when the war first began. Many people seem not to know that. Their Self Defense Force (SDF) also has a Global Self Defense Force division. (GSDF). In other words, they don't have a military by name only.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

As for coming to the aid of the US. Japan was one of the first countries to send troops to Iraq when the war first began. Many people seem not to know that. Their Self Defense Force (SDF) also has a Global Self Defense Force division. (GSDF). In other words, they don't have a military by name only.

@ JJ Jetplane. True. But they were not permitted to fight, that is the crucial difference. It would be far more helpful to USA and therefore world peacemaking if Japanese Military were permitted to go into active combat, and instill a sense if pride in them as PM Abe often states.

-11 ( +4 / -15 )

I hope Japan remains a pacifist nation at heart, I love this country because it is NOT like mine.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

@Ganbare Japan

True what you say. They were there for "support."

But when the military logs were released back in April it showed that they not only were in harms way, they also took part in the actual fighting alongside Australian and UK troops. Logs even showed, that Japan led an incursion in order to help UK troops that were under attack. That's clearly a military.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Looks like Article 9 was doing its job really well if all the warmongers are attacking it.

Long Live Article 9! May we all have such a clause

3 ( +7 / -4 )

Pardon my ignorance but, is strengthening cybersecurity a military based defense?

Under the conditions of Article 9, Japan can defend its country and build any sized military it desires. They may also assist allied countries in any war, but only in a logistical sense. There is no real reason Japan needs to change the constitution. The statement about "defending the nation with pride" is the whole motivation behind the desire for these right-wing extremists to change the constitution. In their minds, they are still under a cloud of control by the US and allied forces. Japan waged war in the south pacific for the first half of last century and invaded every neighbouring country in an attempt to place imperial rule over all of Asia. This resulted in Japan being totally destroyed by the US and allied forces. It has also left a lot of animosity and hatred among the neighbouring countries that were invaded by Japan. Therefore, article 9 of the constitution was put in place to protect Japan from itself. Personally, I feel Japan will be at war within a year if they change the constitution. There are still too many right-wing imperialistic old fools running this country. They need at least another generation before changing it.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

It is very disappointing to see that SDF commanders as quiet as lambs in front of the commander

The cadets in that photo don’t look like they’re being very quiet...

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Ganbare Japan!Today  09:52 am JST

. It would be far more helpful to USA and therefore world peacemaking

Well, who would have thought that the USA's best interests and world peace amounted to the same thing.

...if Japanese Military were permitted to go into active combat, and instill a sense if pride in them as PM Abe often states.

It seems so straightforward and sensible when it's other people fighting and dying, doesn't it.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Pardon my ignorance but, is strengthening cybersecurity a military based defense?

If it is, we're screwed with Sakurada at the helm.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/nov/15/japan-cyber-security-ministernever-used-computer-yoshitaka-sakurada

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The picture above reminds me of West Point graduaton closing moments. Hope their allegiance is not always to Uncle Sam.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

BeerDeliveryGuy, have you seen Imperialism Army photos when they cheered their leaders liberating Asian people from colonization by the west ?

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Akie, have you seen any photos of any university graduation ceremony, especially one where a high ranking politician was the guest speaker? Sports games, concerts, etc?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

BeerDeliveryGuy, yes, I have seen leaders using such occasions to promote wars, to declare wars, and to spread hatred among people.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Let Japan go to war again. A new generation needs to experience the horrors of war. Perhaps Japan needs to learn a lesson every 75 years.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Could have used a more appropriate photo to go with the title of the article, tho.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Better take care of the dwindling birth rate and aging population first.

The Japanese birth rate (aka fertility rate) is not dwindling. It bottomed in 2005 and has been rising slowly since then. The number of babies being born is down because there are fewer women in the fertile age cohort, not because of a declining fertility rate.

Even if Abe could snap his fingers and get Japanese breeding like rabbits, the impact would not be felt for more than two decades when those babies started entering the workforce around age 21 or 22.

In contrast, as others have noted, China with nukes, Russia with nukes, and North Korea with nukes are with us in the here and now and Japan, like some European countries, has good reason to wonder if the US is a reliable and capable ally.

Personally, as a Japanese voter, I'd like to see the oppositon come up with their own formula for revision and take the issue away from Abe and the LDP. We live in a rough neighbourhood. "Just say no" to revision is not good enough.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

The rise of right wing nationalism is concerning. It would be prudent for everyone to re-read their history books.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Arming Japan (to attack) would be a huge mistake. The only people that would benefit from it are the industrialists (which is precisely Abe's true desire). The Japanese population will pay with their money, children's lives and suffering.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

Abe has every right to attempt to change the constitution if he believes it needs changing. Like any leader of any country. There is no guarantee that his desire to alter the constitution will come to fruition if he does not get the support required to do so.

There is absolutley no sign that war would be the result of altering the Japanese constitution as some posters would have you believe. Most countries that amend or alter their constitution do not declare war. Japan is no different.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

This change was necessary a long time ago. Long overdue in an area which has become more dangerous every single day. Missiles are flying over Japan, threats of nuclear destruction, hundreds and hundreds of incursions in Japanese territory/airspace by aggressive neighbors, some still stuck in the past with revenge and hate on their mind when it comes to Japan.

Wake up before it's too late! Even North Korea, the poorest country in Asia, has become a threat and serious danger.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

First, it was reported that "Shinzo Abe, who was prime minister from 2006 to 2007, once reportedly told a room full of college students that possessing nukes wouldn't violate Japan's constitution as long as the arsenal was "small in scale.""

Second, Japan did have nuclear weapons on its territory since the end of WW2, till 1972, and allows nuclear weapon return if needed.

Third, Japan is against nuclear ban at UN, no shame to admit it.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Changing the second paragraph of Article 9 will not change the pacifist position of the country. It would only recognize a de facto situation that already exists today.

The JSDF is the world's fifth most powerful army in conventional capabilities. And it has the eighth largest military budget in the world.

Right now Article 9 totally contradicts the current situation. Because in theory Japan's military capability should be 0. It should not be in fifth place in the world ranking. But it is. Like it or not.

And in a situation of ongoing open warfare. Article 9 will be ignored due to force majeure. It is condemned to be disobeyed with the current paragraph. It is only a question of time for this to happen. Simply because the current paragraph is too obsolete.

It is also true that Abe will not succeed in changing Article 9. But it will pave the way for another PM in the future. It can proceed to a constitutional amendment process with satisfactory results. As long as the international security situation continues to worsen. Everything points to that being the case.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Stewie Mar. 18 03:19 pm JST

The rise of right wing nationalism is concerning. It would be prudent for everyone to re-read their history books.

The main culprits in the rise of Japanese nationalism are the left-wing parties. They only engage in protest without offering real alternatives to state affairs. They only speak of sentimentalism or of offering unrealistic utopias in order to offer very complex solutions.

An example: If China takes Senkaku Islands by force. The opposition parties would talk about initiating a peaceful dialogue with China in order to try to reach a return agreement. And not to use force as indicated in article 9. You really believe that's possible in case it happens. Give China Japanese territory to avoid war at any cost. That would only hurt pride as a nation. Making the effect boomeran increasing duplicating the nationalism.

Because you think the number of votes on the left is dropping year after year. They want to live off the revenue of the past but they don't realize it's 2019. And fewer and fewer people vote for them.

Today's Japan is a consolidated democracy. With very definite systems of government different from imperial Japan. Japan will not repeat the mistakes of the past.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

dougthehead13, what do you mean that Japan is a consolidated democracy ? Does majority Japanese want Abe to change the constitution ? I don't think so. Then what is your self claimed democracy ? Against majorities ?

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

dougthehead13, why can't Japan do what neighbors already do ? Since the end of war, Koreans and Chinese didn't invade Japan for revenge. War is not the solution, that is my solution from opposition party's view.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

If Abe wants to change the constitution then I also recommend that the average Joe citizen also be allowed to purchase and own guns. Why should only the government enjoy the joys of owning their toys?

In all seriousness, you dont spend billions on weapons if you don’t plan on using them. One doesn’t spend the billions to be Mr. Nice Guy in support of Big Brother. I suspect somewhere in the dungeons of Washington, D.C. there’s a group promoting and indeed pushing Abe to militarize, come hell or high water. I foresee not only the change of the constitution but also that Abe will do it in a very underhanded way. Just watch. The Japanese people don’t want the change. The pity is only Japan will lose in the long run.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Remember that China became the monster nation it is today mainly because Japan, Inc. didn’t want to lower its standard of living and lower wages. Sending its manufacturing to China gave that country a lot of cash which it’s now using to flex its muscles in its vicinity. They wear an invisible ‘Remember Nanking’ band on their heads as they militarize. Abe knows this. Japan also handed over its technical know-how. None of this bodes well for Dear Leader Abe. There’s a heavy underhanded force creating tsunamis in Okinawa which didn’t exist before. Where’s that coming from, if not its neighbor next door who wants to control Taiwan at any cost, giving it free passage to the Pacific where it can enjoy access and control to the countless island without even a military presence. Change of the constitution spells war. We may not want it but Abe sees no way out..I think.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Missiles are flying over Japan, threats of nuclear destruction, hundreds and hundreds of incursions in Japanese territory/airspace by aggressive neighbors, some still stuck in the past with revenge and hate on their mind when it comes to Japan.

Now, why would they have revenge in mind..?

I'll say it again. If Japan had taken a more diplomatic approach with its neighbors and showed that it had changed, Japan would not be so hated by its neighbors. But Japan revises its history, lies to the world. That's why Japan should not be given a gun, but instead forced to look at itself and walk the road of proper diplomacy and humanitarianism. Giving Japan the easy way out with weapons would spell disaster.

Let's leave mass-destruction in the last century where it belongs!

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

In the past 30 years, I visited China every year. Each time when I talked to my friends there, they would say that they would never forget what Japan did to help them. Since the opening of China, many Japanese went to China to help them in any ways then could. It is very much appreciated. Each time when I heard them to say that, I would also say that Japanese would never forget that too. In fact, Japanese have good memory too.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Sequel to my post dated Mar. 18 | 10:50 am:

When Dick Cheney, a U.S. Vice President under the George W. Bush administration, visited Japan in 2007, he intentionally avoided to meet then Defense Minister Akio Kyuma, because Kyuma was critical of the U.S. government's stance toward Okinawa, but instead met only with his subordinates, the SDF chiefs of staff, as if they were the U.S.'s pet dogs.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Correction:

Wrong: Akio Kyuma

Correct: Fumio Kyuma

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

"In contrast, as others have noted, China with nukes, Russia with nukes, and North Korea with nukes are with us in the here and now"

Russia has possessed nuclear weapons since the 1940s, China since 1964. North Korea's nuclear weapons have almost nothing to do with Japan. North Korea developed them as a deterrent to prevent the United States and its allies with offensive military capabilities from doing to North Korea what they did to Iraq in 2003 and Libya in 2011, i.e. overthrow their governments.

There are two keys to ensuring continued general peace in East Asia, a region where no major interstate wars have been fought since 1979: China's avoiding going down a disastrous revisionist path similar to the one that Japan pursued beginning in 1931, and North Korea's somehow embracing reforms akin to those implemented by China from the late 1970s and by Vietnam from the 1980s. I'm not sure how Japan's repealing or amending of Article 9 will help bring about these outcomes.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Abe is insane. The LAST thing Japan needs is to become an armed offshore aggressor again. This is the disease lapping at the soft part of Japanese survival. If Japan wants to survive the coming WWIII, being neutral is the best bet. Shed the Americans and Japan will do more to ensure its own survival than anything else it can do. Japan is not an 'ally' to America, it is a shield. America wil push Japan directly into the path of destruction should open hostilities erupt. And if China and Japan share a healthy trade, Japan has NOTHING to fear from China. Nor North Korea. Japan's greatest danger and threat to Japan is JAPAN. Abe. 1500 years of militarism, Japan's addiction. That underlying cultural thread which lives in horrific manga, in 'Samurai traditions', in the fantasies of 'glory' of the lower end of the Japanese intelligence distribution. Insanity in this Age. GET RID OF THIS GUY AND HIS ARTICLE 9 'TRUMP WALL'. Abe, and his ilk, are a disease which will end Japan.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Japan has the right to have a normal military like every other country. The American forced Pacifist Constitution is outdated and must be changed.

Japan has dangerous neighbors (North Korea, Communist China and dictatorial Russia). Given those circumstances, it's important that Japan has a strong military to defend itself with offensive capabilities if needed.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

William Bjornson, "Abe is insane. The LAST thing Japan needs is to become an armed offshore aggressor again. "

So any country that has a normal military is an "offshore aggressor"? That's a dumb assumption. You're foolish for thinking Japan should only be a pacifist puppy of America.

Japan has nothing to fear? Tell that to the millions of people in labour camps in China, to the millions of prosecuted Tibetans and Uyghurs in Tibet and East Turkestan, to the millions of Mongols who were removed from their native lands (Inner Mongolia), to the cultural cleansing in China, the millions of oppressed minorities in Russia's Eastern regions.

China has been bullying other countries in Asia and there are very few countries with the capabilities to counterbalance it. Only democratic countries that share common values (India, Japan, Australia, South-Korea, Taiwan etc) can stop a communist regime from expanding in Asia.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The biggest Imperialistic nations in Asia are China and Russia. Nobody is telling them to have pacifist constitutions, because they wouldn't accept it.

There is no guarantee that America will come to rescue Japan if there is a major war. Japan needs a normal army to protect itself and small countries in Asia against big bullies (mainly China).

Japanese officials have apologized many times for WW2, that is in the past now. China keeps bringing it up to impose guilt and shame, while they never acknowledge their own war crimes in China (against Uyghurs, Mongols, Tibetans, Vietnamese, prosecution of millions of Chinese etc).

The pacifist constitution is very outdated and must be changed. Japan must become a normal country again that can bring balance in Asia against communist and dictatorial regimes (China, North-Korea is a puppet of China, and Russia) that try to dominate it.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Mao2kToday  07:51 am JST

There is no guarantee that America will come to rescue Japan if there is a major war. Japan needs a normal army to protect itself and small countries in Asia against big bullies (mainly China).

What else would Japan's military need to do to protect itself, other than what is currently permitted? Would the current Japanese regime be capable of coordinating any sort of successful military operations? I doubt it, given the mess they've made of running the country. The only thing they have shown any talent for is gaming the electoral system to keep getting themselves and their worthless offspring re-elected, so why should they be trusted with a "normal" army?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Those who cry crocodile tears about Japan militarism or trying to change the constitution look in the mirror.

All the changes that need to be done is because of aggressive neighbors with an ever increasing military budget and capabilities.

Become pacifist like Japan, remove your nuclear weapons, stop your aggressive behavior in South China Sea, East Sea, shooting missiles over Japan.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Simon Foston Today 10:31 am JST

The only thing they have shown any talent for is gaming the electoral system to keep getting themselves and their worthless offspring re-elected,

Blaming the d'Hondt electoral system is a serious mistake. Opposition parties don't win elections because people don't vote for them. That's the sad reality.

In the Tokyo elections, Yuriko Koike's political party Tomin First no Kai defeated Abe's all-powerful LPD. Simply because people voted for them.

So don't look for an excuse that Abe and the LDP win by an electoral law. I remind you that the d'Hondt law is in place in 40 countries. And it works perfectly.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

dougthehead13Mar. 20  10:41 pm JST

Simon Foston Today 10:31 am JST

"The only thing they have shown any talent for is gaming the electoral system to keep getting themselves and their worthless offspring re-elected,"

Blaming the d'Hondt electoral system is a serious mistake.

Yes... it would be, as only 180 Lower House members out of 475 are elected by proportional representation. The rest are elected in single seat constituencies under the Westminster-style first past the post system, and only need pluralities to win.

Opposition parties don't win elections because people don't vote for them.

In some areas, like where I live, they can't vote for the opposition parties because there aren't actually any on the ballot that aren't LDP clones.

That's the sad reality.

Are you aware of some of the ways in which the LDP has basically rigged the system to their own advantage? You'll soon see how they operate if you do a bit of research.

In the Tokyo elections, Yuriko Koike's political party Tomin First no Kai defeated Abe's all-powerful LPD. Simply because people voted for them.

In the subsequent Lower House elections Koike's party disintegrated. In over-represented rural areas conservative voters continued to opt for the local LDP man, just like they always had.

I remind you that the d'Hondt law is in place in 40 countries.

Most Japanese politicians are not elected by this method. Aren't you aware of this?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Lets get on with this, its about time Japan had a constitution that was fit for the 21st century and that takes into account the world it finds its self in. It crazy that a country that is surrounded by openly hostile neighbours is unable to officially have or recognise a military force!

Japan needs a constitution written by Japan for Japan! Not an imposed one that was written by a vindictive occupying force almost 80 years ago!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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