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Abe says it is his duty to revise constitution; calls for debate

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However, observers point out that corralling support for a revision from its coalition partner Komeito which has traditionally shied away from nationalist posturing could be difficult.

Well I don't think it will be so hard. Komeito long ago gave up any residual principles in exchange for hands on the levers of power. They are utterly contemptible.

20 ( +21 / -1 )

May seek UK style referendum (!)

0 ( +2 / -2 )

“I take it as people’s strong confidence in Abenomics and for its acceleration.”

How can you accelerate something that doesn't exist?

19 ( +23 / -4 )

Didn't take long for him to show his true colors.

21 ( +28 / -7 )

Looking forward when they bring back the bodies of young Japanese in plastic bags. Surely politician do not send their sons.

14 ( +20 / -6 )

And the proposal would still face a referendum, with pollsters saying the vast majority of the public are wary of any softening of the country’s pacifist stance.

But Abe is counting on their complacency if and when a referendum would take place. The people may say one thing in a poll but when it comes time to vote, it will be too late after they give Abe what he wants that they realize that they made a mistake. It isnt just the security measures that he wants to change, there are social welfare issues he wants to include as well as making it possible for a change from the two-thirds majority to a simple majority to make further changes to the constitution.

A country's constitution SHOULD be difficult to change or amend.

Didn't take long for him to show his true colors.

What are you talking about? He's been preaching this for years now, and this should come as a surprise to no one. If anyone thinks he is just now showing his "true colors" they have had their heads in the sand all along.

11 ( +14 / -3 )

It is not so much changing Article 9 as changing Article 96. This sets the conditions for making changes to the constitution. Abe would probably like to make it changeable directly by vote of LDP members only or by the PM himself or herself but that will likely be impossible. He can claim the bar is set too high right now by a foreign-imposed constitution and needs to be lowered so that Japanese can be in charge of their own destiny as determined by their unique and profound culture. Or something that will get the juices stirring with nationalistic pride. And it will probably work.

14 ( +16 / -2 )

Its his 'duty' to ensure that Japan, at present a relatively safe haven, becomes as dangerous as the rest of the industrialized world in terms of becoming a target for international terrorism, when under the present Constitution Japan is fully capable of defending itself? I guess it translates into 'You're nobody if you don't have don't have ISIS attacks on your soil' or 'Aww, c'mon guys, how come you get to have all the fun in places like Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq? We want to play too.' So yeah, I guess in that sense its his duty to make a conutry that has never had an incident of international terrorism get it share of the limelight too.

14 ( +15 / -1 )

The last hurdle for Abe to clear is now easy. Asahi exit poll shows that 49% support revising the constitution, while 44% oppose.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

Abe said the election result shows that he has popular support for his economic policies. “I take it as people’s strong confidence in Abenomics and for its acceleration.”

Is he living on a different planet or something?

17 ( +20 / -3 )

I want to go home, but my children, having spent most of their time in Japan, feel Japanese. When the line in the sand comes, they'll want to stay here.

Abe's scheming and constitutional tinkering, will bring nothing but suffering. He must be stopped at all costs.

21 ( +26 / -5 )

".... it was his “duty” to revise ...."

Doesn't he have more important duties?

And then this: ".....he has popular support for his economic policies."

Popular support by who? Definitely not mine and the support of many (also Japanese folks) I know.

Again, he and his buddies are living in their own little world!

14 ( +15 / -1 )

We have always set a goal of revising the constitution…that is my duty as president,” Abe said.

No, idiot. Your duty is to ensure that people's lives here are made better by better safeguarding their rights, improving their standard of living, finding a solution to the declining population, managing Japan's debt, reforming and improving the nation's failing economy, and making sure that Japan's residents are protected by the SDF by keeping them HERE.

NONE of these duties as "president??" are addressed by you changing the constitution, you muppet.

23 ( +25 / -2 )

When we look at aggressive attitudes of China and Korea to us, Abe has a reason he wants to change the peace constitution and become a normal country. China and Korea are taking advantage of Japan's peace constitition in their provocative diplomatic attitudes. Many Japanese are feeling angry.

-21 ( +3 / -24 )

Abe says it is his duty to revise constitution

My struggle.

14 ( +15 / -1 )

Abe says it is his duty to revise constitution

He certainly wasn't hyping this right before the election. Now he is acting like this topic was the platform we were voting for. More politicians with low moral character and a broken voting system that gives you the illusion we have a choice. No party consistently spoke of how to tackle the important issues, and now we are stuck their real agendas.

16 ( +19 / -3 )

This is one of the few times I believe that the Japanese people will rise up. I could be wrong but I read somewhere that a referendum is necessary to revise the Consitution and if the people get a direct vote on the matter they WILL vote Abe down. I paid close attention to the BS,..I mean..rhetoric... coming from Abe and his camp and they were adamant that the main issue of the election was not Article 9. Abe knows this and I think he will strive endlessly to "gain the understanding of the public" but the public won't give it to him. This will be an endless cycle with no progress towards the changing of Article 9 and that suits me just fine.

11 ( +15 / -4 )

My struggle.

How quickly they forget. Aso Taro expresses his admiration for the way the Nazis changed the Weimar Constitution:

http://edition.cnn.com/2013/08/02/world/asia/japan-politician-nazi-comment/index.html

Takaichi Sanae endorses Hitler's election strategies:

http://www.huffingtonpost.jp/2014/10/21/hitlersenkyo_n_6019042.html

http://d.ibtimes.co.uk/en/full/1398718/sanae-takaichi-japan-hitler.jpg

It's not as if they are hiding their true intentions, is it. Everything is in plain view. But still people vote for them....

26 ( +27 / -1 )

Mr. Abe is right in this one. Japan faces dangers at the borders. This is not 1945, and the constitution should change to adapt accordingly. China will increase its belligerence in the near future and try to steal the Senkaku islands as well as whatever resource they find around. The best Japan can do is to be prepared.

-24 ( +1 / -25 )

Many people here disagree with the election results: a landslide victory for Abe's party. I guess the majority of voters (50% voted) in Japan Want more aggression, less money, more pork barrel politics.

I am seriously thinking of leaving because I don't want my draft age children involved with Abe's wars.

16 ( +18 / -2 )

I wasn't talking about the early bird having a vote.

I am seriously thinking of leaving because I don't want my draft age children involved with Abe's wars.

Where on earth are you going to go ? Best place is China. They are the nicest people on the planet, never attacked anybody

-25 ( +2 / -27 )

The US must be happy. Abe following through their orders, pushing through what he was told (+ fits his own wareager mind). The arms & weapon business for the future can begin, jets, ospreys and co can be ordered for billions, since Huge pockets need to be filled & need to be filled fast (before the people wake up). But : Since more then 50% Japanese voted for the LDP & their minions,seems they wanna pay for it, welcome to more taxes, more LDP controlled news, Hope you will enjoy it dear votes.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

Okay, I clearly understand Japan has no natural resources. Never has never will. Really though, are a group of small islands really worth it? No, it's not fair that China is doing what it's doing but scrambling F-15s on a daily basis isn't the best diplomatic solution either. And taking the situation in as a whole the Japan govt has nobody to thank other than the loonies and killers that invaded a great portion of Asia in the earlier part of the 20th century. Next time they visit Yasukuni they can give their proper thank yous.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

calls for debate

Yeah, what use does a debate have if he is going to do it his way anyway.

12 ( +12 / -0 )

When your car in overdue for a maintenance check and you know from the last check that you will need new tires but the clutch cable is broken and only able to get one fix this month and get the over done next month. I would get the tires first. Because I can drive a car without a clutch. Because mechanical application is my Profession and able to drive a car without a clutch safely. Where the worn tire are very dangerous in the case of having to stop at notice. Use clutch issue as Constitutional reform and the tire issue as the economy. Abe is putting the cart before the horse. Constitutional reform can wait. Your duty Abe is to revive the economy.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

“We have always set a goal of revising the constitution…that is my duty as president.”

I thought he was Prime Minister, not President.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Probably means as President of the LDP. Which to him means President of Japan, because in his mind, the LDP is Japan.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

Once again Abe the snake declares a mandate to push forward his highly personal policies after barely mentioning them during the election campaign. This was all about Abenomics we were told.

As I said a few days ago, this is personal for Abe. It's all about him finishing what his grandfather (former PM Kishi) couldn't.

I've said that he thinks of himself as a President rather than a Prime Minister and he's finally admitted that is the case.

9 ( +12 / -3 )

You can fool all the people some of the time and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time. Abe is more obsessed with the half-century or so that preceded his date of birth than he is with anything going on right now in 2016.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

Beware of any politician who thinks it's his/her duty to impose their will.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

why do so many of you mistakenly believe that this will lead to war? and even a few of you bring up this ridiculous notion of a draft. almost every country in the world has a constitution that allows for armed forces. how many of them are starting wars? all this fear-mongering is propoganda from china and sk. the rest of the world either doesn't care or would agree with japan having an army.

-12 ( +4 / -16 )

^ Yep, it doesn't matter if you change your handle 'peeping tom', you're still a horrid little person. Piss off and go play with your net-uyo friends.

Moderator: You can have 48 hours off to learn some manners.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

“We have always set a goal of revising the constitution…that is my duty as president,” Abe said.

Perhaps someone here, who has followed Abe-sans political election campaigns, can confirm if this was ever one of his election promises? I don't recall hearing or reading anything in this regard yet suddenly its his duty! Surely if that was the case it should have been his opening slogan at every political rally on his way to his presidential position. Or is that how democracy works? You can say whatever you like to get elected and then do as you please once you have your shoe in the door? If I am barking up the wrong tree in this regard and it was a pledge by Abe-san prior to any election then please enlighten me so I can feel better about democracy in its current form.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

nakanoguy01 - Good point!

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

why do so many of you mistakenly believe that this will lead to war? and even a few of you bring up this ridiculous notion of a draft. almost every country in the world has a constitution that allows for armed forces. how many of them are starting wars? all this fear-mongering is propoganda from china and sk. the rest of the world either doesn't care or would agree with japan having an army.

The problem is that a lack of strong leadership is what led to Japan starting the agressions that became WWII, it was mostly momentum that brought them to the point. After that, there has been no strong drive by the Japanese to recognize the mistakes that brought them there. Now they are attempting to return to the same set of circumstances that led to the aggressions in the first place. With this lack of reflection about why it happened the first time, it will be all too easy to have it happen again. Japan has changed significantly since then, but the mindset of the people has not.

Personally, that's what scares me.

Personally, this is what scares me.

9 ( +12 / -3 )

If Japan really had to defend itself I can,t see any national politician opposing it. In other word is if and when it is really needs to be change it will have 100% support and be changed quick smart. You could go head even before the vote if the situation arises. Plus their is ample fire power here with the US Bases. But right now, there is no real fret. What Abe really wants is the military contracts that will go along with the constitution change. He see a future for Japan in the international arms industries similar to IMI who owns the patient on the 9mm bullet. He knows Japan can make a dent in this market if allow entry. Japan has the finance and the ready cheap work force post Games. It will affect the economy positive but only by a few % point in the GDP. But it a licence to print money for the companies issued with these Military contracts.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

So, here it is! 24 hours after the election he's announced the constitution change. He will also have the sales tax increase back on the table by the end of the week.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

How about a referendum, not a debate with the usual old foggies. Let the people speak!

1 ( +4 / -3 )

He may want to revise constitution asap but he has to follow constitution designed procedure.So,umlike,y. My guess is another 20 more hears before some one starts to talk revision.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Abe is trying to defraud the Japanese people. Japan don't need to change her Article 9 peace Constitution. His only motivation is to protect Diaoyu/Senkaku. His basic strategy is Diversion, playing the Game of Go invented by the Chinese. He try to outsmart the Chinese master by diversion.

First hint of his diversion strategy is Collective Defense (Offense), in cahoot with US by sending JSDF to the South China Sea. By doing so, he want to bottle up Chinese forces in the South China Sea but guess what? His scheme backfired and there are more Chinese 'intrusions' into Diaoyu/Senkaku lately as China Make Sure Japan Stay in East China Sea, Not South China Sea.

If Japanese people let him change Article 9, he will become more daring and start a war with China over Diaoyu/Senkaku. Then he can extend his stay in power, emergency rule like FDR war president. Right now Article 9 is the last barrier that prevent him from starting a war with China over Diaoyu/Senkaku. Okinawans in particular will become first casualty in any war over Diaoyu/Senkaku. Are they sleeping?

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Sidewinder ... let's keep the conversation wholesome with Abe calling for debate on his “duty” Everybody here is talking bollocks .. The leader of this country is asking his people ... Only one person here has a vote and it's not You or the sulfer sniffer .

I really don't get what you're trying to add with your comments. Most of these people live here and they have opinions about politics; why is that surprising or intolerable for you? Are we Japanese not allowed to have opinions about other countries and what they do, then? Such a silly perspective.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

@John-San IMI owns the patient on the 9mm bullet? please explain.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Anyone who opposes the revision are either traitors, Chinese, Koreans, or people who don't RESPEK Japan's traditional culture.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

For gaijin residents like myself this whole thing is pure spectator sport. As unfortunate as Abe's win seems, the Japanese people have spoken...

0 ( +2 / -2 )

If messing about with the Constitution so that he can send young Japanese men and women overseas to kill and be killed is his 'duty', he should have stated so clearly and made it the central post on which to fight his election campaign. Instead it was all but ignored.

The opposition are also to blame; with Abe's past failed policies and his promise of future Japanese body bags, the election should have been a pushover.

That said, a blundering Minshuto/Minshinto/whatever they're calling themselves this week, is preferable to and would do less damage than a conniving war-eager Abe financed by construction companies and the Nippon Kaigi ghouls.

I would also like to second domtoidi's comment. Politicians with a 'duty' to do stuff are a danger to the country. Not much different from those who bomb other countries because 'God told me to'. We all know where that got us.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

PM Abe will be conducting debate by Japanese voters.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

I'm surprised at how many readers above have gone ballistic over this issue. We (and the voters) have known for two years what Abe's stance on this is. Yet readers above seem to think Japan is getting ready to go to war and their kids will be conscripted.

I'd be willing to bet my bank account that Japan will not attack another country or that there will be a draft in my lifetime.

I also think the fact that the SDF has not fired a shot in combat in 71 years is something to be tremendously proud of, but the world has changed and if the Japanese government wishes to change the constitution and does it after a clear debate in the Diet and makes the change legally, then I have no problem with it.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

How about a referendum, not a debate with the usual old foggies. Let the people speak!

Let me get this straight, you are suggesting a referendum about whether or not Abe should attempt to change the constitution and then another referendum after he gets the proposed changes through the Diet?

Consider your suggestion here a minute and I hope you come to the same conclusion.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I am all for revising the article 9 of the Constitution as I believe that a better armed Japan would help to stabilize the Asia Pacific region. I also believe that the Japan should have a constitution of its own instead of the one imposed upon it by the US. But I'm dead-set against replacing the current constitution with the LDP draft, which is badly drafted and contains many provisions that could turn Japan into a Nazi state.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

nakanoguy01JUL. 12, 2016 - 09:31AM JST why do so many of you mistakenly believe that this will lead to war? and even a few of you bring up this ridiculous notion of a draft. almost every country in the world has a constitution that allows for armed forces. how many of them are starting wars? all this fear-mongering is propoganda from china and sk. the rest of the world either doesn't care or would agree with japan having an army.

I thought Japan had an army, so what is the SDF then ?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

And there you have it; less than two days after the polls closed he is claiming it is his duty to change the constitution, as mandated by the people. Any moron who thought he would actually focus on the economy needs to go and give themselves a serious slap in the face.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

It may just be a U.S. style kickstart to the economy, though. War = money. The bigger, the better... As someone said in another thread, the Japanese people certainly have an aversion to suffering, and didn't learn anything after 1945. It's scary to think of the added potential these days to wreak havoc.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

“We have always set a goal of revising the constitution…that is my duty as president,” Abe said.

Duh? He's Prime Minister. I doubt that he said this. I wonder if the news source is using Google Translate.

May seek UK style referendum (!)

Nowhere in the article is there a reference to a UK style referendum. Article 96 of the American-written Consitution requires:

ARTICLE 96. (1) 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.

This is not a UK style referendum.

I want to go home, but my children, having spent most of their time in Japan, feel Japanese. When the line in the sand comes, they'll want to stay here. Abe's scheming and constitutional tinkering, will bring nothing but suffering. He must be stopped at all costs.

If you've been here that long you can almost certainly naturalize quite easily. Do so and start campaigning against the LDP and Abe. Anything you say here is just preaching to the choir. It's not going to win any new converts.

How quickly they forget. Aso Taro expresses his admiration for the way the Nazis changed the Weimar Constitution:

This has been analyzed to death. He was being cynical and saying just the opposite of what the Anglophone press claimed.

I am seriously thinking of leaving because I don't want my draft age children involved with Abe's wars.

Don't go to the US. The US Senate has voted to require women to register for the draft. Men already have to do so.

almost every country in the world has a constitution that allows for armed forces. how many of them are starting wars? all this fear-mongering is propoganda from china and sk. the rest of the world either doesn't care or would agree with japan having an army.

Gosh! Someone talking sense. What next?

What Abe really wants is the military contracts that will go along with the constitution change.

He does not need to change the Constitution to get arms sales but I agree that he wants to expand the arms industry. I think he realizes that Japan can no longer compete in most consumer goods and wants to shift the economy to a sector where purchase decisions are political and countries will buy quality at any cost. I've been saying for years that his real agenda is not overseas military adventures but overseas military sales. That's why I find the gaijin hysteria over constitutional revision so misplaced.

If Japanese people let him change Article 9, he will become more daring and start a war with China over Diaoyu/Senkaku. Then he can extend his stay in power, emergency rule like FDR war president. Right now Article 9 is the last barrier that prevent him from starting a war with China over Diaoyu/Senkaku.

Pure fantasy. And, he doesn't need to change Article 9 to start a war with China. He could easily screw up with the Constitution as it is now written and interpreted.

I'm surprised at how many readers above have gone ballistic over this issue. We (and the voters) have known for two years what Abe's stance on this is. Yet readers above seem to think Japan is getting ready to go to war and their kids will be conscripted. I'd be willing to bet my bank account that Japan will not attack another country or that there will be a draft in my lifetime.

Someone else talking sense here. What is happening to the Japan Today comments section?

-11 ( +1 / -12 )

This changing of the constitution, with all of the work, the double talk, the strategies , the effort to manipulate public opinions and for what? If Japan was to be one day suddenly attacked I don't think the world would expect them to sit on their hands, do nothing and not defend themselves because its written on some piece of paper that said they cant. There would be a quick emergency resolution to make whatever changes necessary to deal with the threat at hand. Done.

Why the need to push this agenda so hard now? Perhaps the leaders instead could start facing up to the many pressing social problems and challenges the country faces, rather than this backward looking old boy agenda, which is out of touch with public sentiment anyway! Is the need to believe in an illusion that strong? Will the country sleep better at night when the Hinomaru flies in war again? Seems to me a lot more is being lost rather than gained.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

A debate in Japan? That is extremely laughable! He already changed the law so a referendum is not necessary and now he wants to have a debate with his two-thirds majority? The verdict is already in. It's just the blanks that need to be filled.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

bullfighterJUL. 12, 2016 - 12:22PM JST

“We have always set a goal of revising the constitution…that is my duty as president,” Abe said.

Duh? He's Prime Minister.

Abe means president of LDP. LDP charter has a long forgotten clause to create a constitution from scratch.

Don't go to the US. The US Senate has voted to require women to register for the draft. Men already have to do so.

Yes. US does have draft system (selective service system). As long as constitution allows use of force, it is only fair to have a draft system. Volunteer army works only when the enemy is kept at bay. When the enemy starts directly attacking the home land, the nation will draft its soldiers as desperate measures.

It is just silly to assume no risk of draft when changing constitution into more aggressive one.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Abe says it is his duty to revise constitution

Abe has a duty to see to the economy, nothing else. The constitution does not need amendment.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Here we go, not a day later....

In fact it was such an important duty that he failed to mention it the entire election when he said it was about the economy.

Bait and Switch.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I don't know, does cramming his right-wing goals of militarizing Japan to make it "beautiful" again qualify as "debate"?

Read my lips Abe, "Stop farting around. Do your job and fix the freaking economy!!"

2 ( +2 / -0 )

It's Abe's duty to obey the constitution, and to obey the people, not to change the former against the people's will. Abe is not obeying the will of the people, who elected his party to solve Japan's economic problems. They did not elect him to change the constitution. He is pulling the same bait-and-switch tactic employed by the worst tyrants of the last century, but I suppose the people don't know their history well enough to realize what is going on.

A new constitution will not be of much good if the national economy collapses.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I believe that a better armed Japan would help to stabilize the Asia Pacific region.

Japan's military budget is already over $40 billion: it is one of the world's top ten militaries. It does not need to be any better armed in order to defend its people and land, and there is no need to revise Article 9 in order to make it a better-armed army. The JSDF are perfectly capable of doing what it says on the label, i.e. self-defence.

The only reason to revise a constitutional article that bans the use of offensive force is to allow the JSDF to start its own wars (not very likely) or to join in with the USA's misbegotten military strategies.

Don't go to the US.

I can't imagine that anyone who finds Japan a pleasant place to live apart from the sabre-rattling would consider the US their first choice of refuge.

it was such an important duty that he failed to mention it the entire election when he said it was about the economy.

Exactly.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

The ruling coalition has not been open with its motives and has yet to clearly explicate their rationale for rewriting the Constitution. Thankfully, Nippon Kaigi has made no secret of their motives. Look no further than their mission statement and you will understand the orchestrations of the Abe government.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Whatever Abe's deficits as an economist might be, he is surely right in wanting to shrug off a ban on defence imposed seventy years ago in different times, especially in view of the posturing of North Korea and China. If an avowedly neutral country like Switzerland can still have national service and their trained citizens keeping their arms locked securely at home ready for an (unlikely) invasion, then surely the attitudes of those Japanese scared of re-arming can adopt a less wimpish attitude and back Abe to get their own country prepared for any military response necessary?

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Forgetting the attempt to change Article 9 for the moment, I have to say that I'm even more concerned about how any change to Article 96 would effectively open Pandora's Box, and the government would then be able to edit the constitution as and when they see fit.

I can't help but feel that Abe and his mates will use any change to 96 to start cracking down even harder on press freedom and such. Journalists may be prevented from printing anything negative about the government because Abe and his Nippon Kaigi mates decide it's 'against the public interest'.

For someone who dislikes China so much, Mr Abe sure does seem to like the way China's government runs its media. I think he's trying to copy their murky methods.

I'd go back to England but my home country is on a slippery slope as well. At least the people in the UK are actively moaning/ranting about it though (not that it will achieve much!) Whereas, from what I can gather, here in Japan the populace is largely apathetic to it all. Or ignorant of what lies behind the spun Abe-friendly newspaper headlines. There seems to be little passion for digging deeper to get closer to a truer picture. At least, that's how it feels in my circles (Japanese colleagues/friends). Maybe I should start hanging around with smarter people!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Here's an interesting article regarding Abe's membership in a group called Nippon Kaigi. This may explain it all about his intentions.

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/07/10/does-this-religious-cult-run-japan.html

2 ( +2 / -0 )

But Abe is counting on their complacency if and when a referendum would take place

If they care about Article 9 strongly, it's not too much to suggest they vote to preserve it. If they can't be bothered to vote then I'm not sure how much they care.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Fix the economy everything else can wait.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

See, as was said in Japan Today comments many times prior to the election, the purpose of the election was to change the Constitution ... not Abenomics as pounded into everyone's heads by Jiminto and Komeito. Those two parties lied time after time in promoting their candidates, telling everyone Abenomics was the target of the election. Nope! As we now know for sure ... changing the Constitution was at the top of the list all along. And now that Abe has won the election, he is telling us that the people of Japan want to change the Constitution ... not only him and Jiminto. Do the voters actually realize they were suckered into voting "in favor" of Abenomics?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

"He also garnered support from the young after Japan’s voting age was lowered from 20 to 18, with Jiji Press exit polling data showing more than half of votes from those 18 and 19 years of age went to the ruling coalition."

That's among the most miserable sentences I've read while living in Japan.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Tony W.JUL. 12, 2016 - 02:28PM JST

surely the attitudes of those Japanese scared of re-arming can adopt a less wimpish attitude and back Abe to get their own country prepared for any military response necessary?

Have you ever read the current constitution of Japan? Have you ever read the proposed constitution draft by LDP?

If the answers to the 2 questions are both no, your argument is like walking into a trap with a blindfold.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I take it as people’s strong confidence in Abenomics and for its acceleration.

Poor soul. Utterly detached from reality. Economists have already dubbed Abenomics 2.0 as an abysmal failure after 4 years in action. In fact, Japanese families are effectively poorer than they were since 2012. The majority only voted for the LDP because, with a weak and discredited opposition, it's basically a one party system at this point. But keep stroking your ego if that helps you sleep at night, Abe shushou.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

An emboldened Shinzo Abe called Monday for debate on Japan’s pacifist constitution

Read: I'll crank up the bullying and containment tactics I personally deployed before the election.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Bullfighter - your comment re -"“We have always set a goal of revising the constitution…that is my duty as president,” Abe said.? ...Duh, He's Prime Minister. I doubt that he said this. I wonder if the news source is using Google Translate "

Abe is president of the ldp. As a naturalized citizen I'd thought you'd know that.

And the concern with constitutional change from the people I speak with - mainly Japanese - is that Japan as a country that saw so much death & destruction, embarked on a peaceful non-offensive journey that has seen negligible deaths over 70 years. The Korean war pounded around them, the Vietnam war pounded around them, the cold war pounded around them, the Iraq & middle east wars have pounded around them and Japanese have avoided death by taking the higher road. The easy road was to join in with all the slap-dash buddies, but the constitution has prevented them from doing so - that is going overseas and becoming involved in wars.

As I stated on another post - Japan has a massive SDF that CAN protect the country against external assault. What millions of local people are worrying about is using the defense military for offense. And frankly I share their concerns.

Japan should maintain it's position as the sole militarily non-aggressive nation in the developed world and hold that banner high. It's a great pity that more don't follow suit, but those countries leaders just lie and lie and lie to their citizens - witness the middle east debacle.

No shame in not offensively attacking. Takes more guts to stand broadly while holding steadfastly to a pacific agenda.

But Abe just reeks of OB cronyism.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Bait and Switch.

How so? Abe has made no secret of the fact that he intends to push through with changes to the constitution. He hid nothing, and it's nothing new coming out of his mouth.

There is no bait and switch and anyone who thinks so is pulling at straws that do not exist.

Folks need to pay better attention to what is going on before jumping in here with half-arsed information and commentary.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If this were # 10 on his list of things to do I wouldn't mind as much. But this is his #1. It means all energy will be spent on something that is really tangential to the day to day struggles of working people. It means that the future really will be sold off in order to buy this kind of nationalistic pride. I see this as a big waste of time and ink when Japan's future success depends on improving its human resources.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

So many comments, so many misinformed. Bottom line: Abe won a solid majority. His 'platform' was/is unchanged. Abenomics. Constitutional reform. Nothing new, carry on.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

He has been an advocate to. change Constitution. Now he wants to tap silent majority (he thinks). He does not realize this peace constitution enabled other Asian countries forgave Japan's very many atrocities to become friends of Japan.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

"He does not realize this peace constitution enabled other Asian countries forgave Japan's very many atrocities to become friends of Japan."

korea and china were extremely pro Japan during cold war, even Mao himself was a Japanese boot licker. Because they needed Japanese aid to industrialize, and Japan did help them, immensely.

now they don't 'forgive', despite of the numerous apologies from Japanese goverment on many different occasions. now they suddenly got a good memory again, of course. And now look around, we've got a sabre rattling neighbour that bullies everyone nation in the region and openly piss on international laws. You are damn right Abe is an advocate to change the constitution, who wants to be a sitting duck in a situation like this?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

who wants to be a sitting duck in a situation like this?

Japan will be a sitting duck no matter what.

How so? Abe has made no secret of the fact that he intends to push through with changes to the constitution. He hid nothing, and it's nothing new coming out of his mouth.There is no bait and switch and anyone who thinks so is pulling at straws that do not exist.Folks need to pay better attention to what is going on before jumping in here with half-arsed information and commentary.

So what's going on? Japanese people really don't want to be pacifists anymore? Their hawkish neighbor(s) will have a field day hearing that one.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Fix the economy first, like you have promised you would for the last 4 years.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Debate? My son just told me the word in Japanese when the decision is already made but the contest goes forward. Sorry, can't remember the word but have been in that position many times here in Japan.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

As I stated on another post - Japan has a massive SDF that CAN protect the country against external assault. What millions of local people are worrying about is using the defense military for offense. And frankly I share their concerns.

Well said Brownie1.

With the court ruling on The South China sea I guess its all eyes on China. In a way , pacifist ideals aside Japan should be prepared, and South East Asian nations all want Japan to play a bigger role, but more push will mean more shove. No doubt about it. Everyone playing silly buggers, at the expensive of their own people.

Imagine....

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Cloe: Your are totally wrong about Japan being in the top 10th military. In monitory yes terms. Japan would find it very hard to defend it self against a invasion force. Japan has not a ready fighting force. It been out of action for 70 years, They are not allow to experience any full on conflict by the UN. if ask to join forces for UN work, the Japanese forces are always place at the back doing clean up and humanitarian work. YOu need to change the constitution if Japan want to have a force capable of repelling a invasion force, which is very not likely. Abe is doing this for self reason to increase his wallet using fears of the rise of China. These reason will show themselves when the contract are dollied out.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Japan would find it very hard to defend it self against a invasion force.

What are you talking about? Japan has one of the strongest navies in the world, and is an island nation. It can defend itself very well.

They are not allow to experience any full on conflict by the UN.

What? The UN has nothing to do with it - it's the Japanese constitution that prevents Japan from attacking other countries. It does not prevent them from full on conflict if they are attacked.

if ask to join forces for UN work, the Japanese forces are always place at the back doing clean up and humanitarian work.

Because that is the extent of what Japan can do under its own constitution (and even that has been brought into question).

All sorts of misinformation in that post.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

John-san - sorry but you're are wrong.

Please do some research and you'll find Japan's military size and capability are in the world's top group.

And back to the topic, Abe wants to increase this capability while at the same time promoting the weapons development industry. All to fulfill granfather Kishi's wish.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Revision= more taxes to create an army that we don't need.....=(

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Moonraker -

Only a few constitutions protect the amendment clause and Japan is not one of them. So theoretically, that could be amended as well. Another technicality is that 2/3 of both houses must agree, along with majority of people voting in amending. Essentially, if only supporters of it vote, it would still pass - no quorum is required unless the supreme court ruled on such in the past.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Stanger: You forgot the The UN had a lot to do with constructing the Japanese Constitution. People like Abe want to change it because of that vital fact. HTF does a navy stop a invasion by air. You would be a fool to try a old outdate invasion by sea. With the Japan forces training consisting of driving around in Humbies and firing blanks. They have to go oversea to be train to fire any large weaponry. people really watch too many american hero movies. The Japanese Army is devoid any conflict experience Say the force is China of this so call conflict is with. They not going to go in half hearted and half prepared and follow the rules of war like the allies do,

1 ( +2 / -1 )

HTF does a navy stop a invasion by air.

English please.

You would be a fool to try a old outdate invasion by sea.

How exactly do you get troops and ground equipment to Japan if not by water?

With the Japan forces training consisting of driving around in Humbies and firing blanks

Wrong: http://www.defensenews.com/story/defense/international/asia-pacific/2015/08/18/japan-kicks-annual-live-fire-drills-mount-fuji/31928601/

They have to go oversea to be train to fire any large weaponry.

Read the article.

The Japanese Army is devoid any conflict experience Say the force is China of this so call conflict is with.

English please.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Instead changing Peace Constitution, how about empty American basses in Japan?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Typical garbage journalism by the biased AFP. Article IX was imposed by the Allies after WWII but it has been used by Japan as a shield to turn down every request that the United States has made for Japan to rearm. It is NOT "reviled" by Japanese for having been imposed on them, because it is what kept their Emperor from being charged as a war criminal. Amending the Japanese constitution is not going from a peace loving country to some war machine. Article IX as it stands is in direct contradiction to the existence of the JSDF, something that the U.S. FORCED Japan top create at the outbreak of the Korean war in 1950, and needs to be corrected. Abe's moves are supported by the United States, and in light of the threat now posed by an openly expansionist China, they are the best thing that Japan could do to ensure the future peace and stability of the region.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

They don't want to scare off foreign investment as they incrementally slip through the language they really want into a constitution-- one party rule and removal of human rights.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I wonder how the Hiroshima residents who hope for peace feel about this...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

OssanAmericaJUL. 15, 2016 - 12:17AM JST

Abe's moves are supported by the United States, and in light of the threat now posed by an openly expansionist China, they are the best thing that Japan could do to ensure the future peace and stability of the region.

Actually I think the best thing Abe and his cabinet could do is resign en masse so that if there's a crisis there might be some halfway competent people in charge.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Abe is president of the ldp. As a naturalized citizen I'd thought you'd know that.

I know that. But translating 総裁 as "president" is questionable even if the LDP itself favors that translation. Since Japan is a parliamentary system, one that is grouped with the UK as a type of "Westminster system" and because I favor British terminology for such systems, I would use British terminology to describe Abe's position in the LDP. The British terminology is "leader," not "president."

1 ( +2 / -1 )

In changing world order,changing power balances in South east Asia,Geopolitical complicated conflicts aroud the clock,and trouble makers neighbors threatens,makes changing constitution A MUST.Neither Abe,nor anyone else wanna go for a war,but should be strong enough,ready enough to make others think hundred times before taking any stupid step,this is the fact everywhere in the world-Japan is not an exception,let alone States isnt interested to play same role as before,and i guess all of us know very well States is encouraging Japan to take this step.Even if Japan keep being nice and peaceful,others wont be so,nor appreciate it.If Japan has nice peaceful neighbors,we have the right then to blame or attack Abe,but is this the case?sure not.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Let's not forget that it is a democracy which brought Hitler, so that is why it is important to understand the politics and vote well, unfortunately Japanese does not seen to care very much about politics hence the danger.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Stop saying the Japanese constitution was imposed, it wasn't, it was originally passed by Japanese legislators and has never been seriously challenged, even though it could have been overturned by the Japanese people at any point since it's introduction.

Abe's real intent here is not article 9, it's the civil liberties aspects.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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