Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe speaks at a news conference at LDP headquarters in Tokyo on Monday. Photo: REUTERS/Issei Kato
politics

Abe says he will seek 'flexible' discussions on constitutional revision

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they secured 160, falling short of the 164 needed in the chamber to propose amending the pacifist Constitution.

Just 4 seats is not much. Negotiation with small parties is the key, and being "flexible" as PM Abe states. PM Abe will not give up on this, he is like a terrier, and expect some agreements with other House of Counsellors members in coming months. The debate on changing this outdated and unfair Constitution Article 9 will now commence. Time for Japan to defend herself as well as help her allies in overseas battle.

-16 ( +2 / -18 )

Well he has been flexible about free overtime, childcare, reducing national debt, getting the return of ubducties, getting a peace treaty with Russia, flexible about his pledges, promises going against public opinion he can be flexible, when you have no spine being flexiable is easy I guess.

18 ( +19 / -1 )

@Ganbare Japan!

Abe is as weak as piss. He had the necessary majority for three years and did nothing with it. The only thing flexible about him is his morality.

22 ( +23 / -1 )

Just 4 seats is not much. Negotiation with small parties is the key, and being "flexible" as PM Abe states. PM Abe will not give up on this, he is like a terrier, and expect some agreements with other House of Counsellors members in coming months. The debate on changing this outdated and unfair Constitution Article 9 will now commence. Time for Japan to defend herself as well as help her allies in overseas battle.

Abe will go down in history as the longest serving prime minister that move Japan towards amending its American imposed, pacifist constitution, of which his Emporer Showa-serving grandfather would be proud.

He will also solidify the notion that givernance is predetermined in this country. That will further suppress the vote.

Revise the constitution, but never forget that you will be kept in line.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Abe says he will seek 'flexible' discussions on constitutional revision

And that's as far as you'll get.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Why is he so focused on the constitution? That's all I ever read about. Let's focus on fixing the other problems here first!

15 ( +15 / -0 )

Abe is focused on the constitution because that's what his American handlers are pushing all the time. The U.S.A. has bankrupted itself with its "wars" and military spending. Without military support from Japan and Korea, it's going to disappear under the waves. And Abe is too much of a wimp to say "No!"

1 ( +7 / -6 )

Plural citizens who criticized wayside speech of prime minister Abe were restrained and eliminated by police officers on the pretext of "obstruction of speech".

But Japanese police do nothing to harassment or slander against opposition parties' candidates.

Twitter accounts of many Japanese who had criticized Abe government were "frozen" before or during election campaign.

Criticism or objection against Abe government have been decreased from mainstream media of Japan by political pressure year by year. TV or Radio programs that had criticized Abe government have been ended one after another.

Japan's TV media never treat about movie 'The journalist' depicting threat of cabinet office despite popular.

 Half of Japanese nationwide newspapers are just "defenders" of Abe government already.

Even fact check about politicians' speeches is not done in Japan.

Japanese mainstream media now avoid even mentioning about election law violation of Ad of ruling party LDP.

Gradually but surely,

Japan is about to be oppressive state like China and Russia.

14 ( +14 / -0 )

The man was too cowardly to mention this or anything like it during the campaigns, but BOOM the day after, here we go!

12 ( +16 / -4 )

We must not rest. Article 9 must be saved and Abe and his rightist gang must be beaten down.

13 ( +16 / -3 )

Time for Japan to defend herself as well as help her allies in overseas battle.

After the traumatic catastrophe of WW2 not many Japanese will relish volunteering to "help" anyone in "overseas battle", as this would invite immediate retaliation on Japanese soil putting a sudden end to Japan's enviable image as a "safety" country untouched by foreign terrorism. The extra tax burden necessary to maintain a bloated war machine would also curb most people's enthusiasm for mixing it up with Muslims among others in stirring "adventures abroad". Even milquetoast Abe is no warmonger, just a chicken hawk who wants to report to his grandpappy's gravestone that he got rid of Article 9 by changing the constitution, thus making good on his vow to realize the old war-criminal's fondest dream.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

It could be beneficial to take time out an review........

The Politics of Revision.........Constitutional Change in Japan........

https://www.cfr.org/interactive/japan-constitution/politics-of-revision

I really don't espouse to the suggestion that clarifying the status of the Self-Defense Forces is Prime Minister Shinzo Abe sole political motivation.

If their was any doubt that japan present Self-Defense Forces could be interpreted as unconstitutional, remedial action would have taken place decades ago. Also Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his LDP are proposing four changes.

The danger here is that the changes proposed could render Article 9 meaningless so considerably increasing the risk of future military conflict.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Flexible discussions? What does that mean? If you disagree, you get annihilated? This has been his main agenda since he took office. His ‘flexible discussions’ will be nothing more than reinstating his sane old crap until he gets enough votes to pass it. He will also start removing members who disagree.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

The fact that over half the eligible voters didn’t vote tells me they were clearly against any constitution amendment.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Plural citizens who criticized wayside speech of prime minister Abe were restrained and eliminated by police officers on the pretext of "obstruction of speech".

But Japanese police do nothing to harassment or slander against opposition parties' candidates.

Twitter accounts of many Japanese who had criticized Abe government were "frozen" before or during election campaign.

Criticism or objection against Abe government have been decreased from mainstream media of Japan by political pressure year by year. TV or Radio programs that had criticized Abe government have been ended one after another.

Japan's TV media never treat about movie 'The journalist' depicting threat of cabinet office despite popular.

 Half of Japanese nationwide newspapers are just "defenders" of Abe government already.

Even fact check about politicians' speeches is not done in Japan.

Japanese mainstream media now avoid even mentioning about election law violation of Ad of ruling party LDP.

Gradually but surely,

Japan is about to be oppressive state like China and Russia.

@Hideomi - that is frightening to read..

7 ( +7 / -0 )

The environment around Japan is changing, Russia, China, are constantly investigating in their military, North Korea is shooting missiles over Japan and threating nuclear destruction. S. Korea a supposed ally and friend are closer to North and China rather than Japan. Military pacts and aggrements signed are only temporary until new S. Korean government comes to power and restarts the whole problem again. Japan needs the ability to protect its citizens, property and interest.

-11 ( +2 / -13 )

Abe says he will seek 'flexible' discussions on constitutional revision

Does this mean that Japanese discussions tend to be fixed?

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Flexible = slippery

6 ( +7 / -1 )

The only thing I can think "flexible" could refer to is "compromise." But how can you compromise on Article 9? Either you keep or don't keep the war-renouncing clause.

Abe may not finish his term of office because of his insistence gutting Article 9. One can only hope.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

pushing a pet project the people of Japan do not support. Good job representing the people!

5 ( +6 / -1 )

He called for other political parties, including the main opposition Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan, to face the will of the voters and present their proposals.

Why should they. It's pretty clear from this election result that the voters would be more interested in proposals on education, welfare and employment. The Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan stood on a platform of leaving the Constitution alone and gained more seats, so I think they can politely tell Abe where to go.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

His idea of 'flexible' is 'he will make them understand'...

1 ( +2 / -1 )

For the Japanese right Article 9 is on a par with the Second Amendment for the American right, of an equally irrational and outdated significance, and an equivalently political value when it comes to re-election.

Otherwise, it's a waste of time going into.

The idea the Chinese trolls and American racist equally promote, that an unleashed Japan will rampage over Asia again and hence it has to remain muzzled, is patently ridiculous.

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

There is no "flexible discussion" regarding the future of Japan.

It is either crossing out the Article 9 or keeping it.

There is no inbetween.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

 Half of Japanese nationwide newspapers are just "defenders" of Abe government already.

hahaha, you don't read Japanese newpapers.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

AlexBecu: "The environment around Japan is changing, Russia, China, are constantly investigating in their military,"

They're 'investigating' in their military, are they? Someone ought to 'investigate' what word to use.

"North Korea is shooting missiles over Japan and threating nuclear destruction."

No, they are not. Haven't done so in a while, either, thanks to Trump bending over for Kim, and Abe having already done so for Trump. But if you had your way, they would be firing them again tomorrow. You are not for the safety of Japan, you would seek it's destruction just for a bit of pride.

"S. Korea a supposed ally and friend..."

Until Japan decided to once again try to sink a boot on their necks, like during colonization and when the atrocities occurred. They helped save Japan after the quakes on 3/11.

"Japan needs the ability to protect its citizens, property and interest."

Yup. Worked well the last time... when Abe's grandfather was in power, no less.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

MJGA Make Japan Great Again!

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

The idea the Chinese trolls and American racist equally promote, that an unleashed Japan will rampage over Asia again and hence it has to remain muzzled, is patently ridiculous.

I'm neither American nor Chinese, but I'm gonna chime in here anyway. This is a simple strawman argument that you make here.

There could be many negative outcomes. To highlight but one though: due to Japan's history of aggression and current dismal relationships with its neighbors, it might be other nearby countries that rampage all over Japan the moment that an armed Japan makes one aggressive gesture.

As things stand, Japan's neighbors have no need to do that. Let's keep it that way and avoid mass suffering this time around. Name the last time Japan was attacked by a military force...

1 ( +3 / -2 )

The fact that over half the eligible voters didn’t vote tells me they were clearly against any constitution amendment.

The voter turnout tells me that the majority of Japanese people just could'nt care less (as long as the comfort zone is not disrupted).

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The fact that over half the eligible voters didn’t vote tells me they were clearly against any constitution amendment.

The fact that over half eligible voters did'nt vote tells me that the majority of Japanese voters could'nt care less (as long as the comfort zone is not disrupted).

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I do not understand why it is wrong to change our peace constitution and defend our country by ourselves. Our peace constition was written on the condition that our neighbors are all peace loving nations. Japanese people found from recent happenings surrounding us that the idea of the constitution was wrong and our neighbors are all rogue nations.

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

This is NOT about "defending" Japan which the JDF can do just fine now. Article 9 is about "offshore adventurism" or what was previously, and recenty as national histories go, known as the "Greater East Asian Co-Prosperity Sphere". You've never heard of it because you know no Japanese history whatsoever. The ancient cultural heart of Japan is one of the most aggressive on the planet but has been subdued these last 70 years by Article 9. Japan does not NEED America to defend it, other countries do just fine without an army of occupation abusing its people (we can start the discussion with Okinawa). And America is not still occupying Japan to protect Japan, but for Japan to act as a shield and forward operating base for American forces against China or Russia. How do suppose that will work out for Japan? I promise you, America doesn't care. We must ask, "Why the desperation, Shinzo? Why, in fact, is any change desired or necessary to the success of the Japanese People?" Article 9 has protected Nihon FROM ITSELF for 70 years. Preserving it is to move forward in the development of Japanese culture. Removing it is a giant step back to fascist, militaristic aggression, the way of Japan for 1500 years of frequent periodic mass murder. Now we are on the Path of 'Heidou' and no mass funerals for our children killed in foreign places and the nation of Japan will last sooo much longer than if it returns to the Path of 'Rambodou' which has brought only death and destruction and domination by foreign psychopathic parasites. It's time for Abe to go find his 'Silverseat' somewhere and quit trying to destroy the Japanese People.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

@vanityofvanities

Our peace constition was written on the condition that our neighbors are all peace loving nations. 

The US wrote Japan's peace constitution under the assumption that Japan would become a protectorate state of the US from now on.

The US understanding of Japan in 1953 was that the Japanese Empire were more evil than the Nazis, so Japan must not be allowed to ever rearm again, to secure world peace.

https://www.pri.org/stories/2013-01-03/beate-sirota-gordon-american-woman-who-helped-write-japanese-constitution-dies

Beate Sirota Gordon, American woman who helped to write the Japanese constitution, dies at the age of 89

0 ( +2 / -2 )

One must ask, why has Abe been in that seat for so long.. I think the majority of japanese are in on the revision. Its like hunting and eating whale meat there - the japanese will say they don't eat it or care for it, but they still going out hunting religiously. Same with 'protestors' out in the streets over there. The protestors are not even real. Culturally for them, there is no such thing as 'protesting' or rocking the boat against their authority - Just follow the one at the top without questions. In a way, them being colonized might have been a good thing, but it is possible the U.S. did not do that and the bamboo just bending right back to its old ways. Nothing changes, just time went by and people forgot and died off..

Why erase and hide history and not tell the truth of the wrongs done by japan of the past? When they trhow anime and cute animated faces and digital gadgets, many will let their guard down and, hell, maybe even be ok with being ruled by them. Many idiots fail to realize they are far behind in human rights.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

AgentXToday  01:09 am JST

To highlight but one though: due to Japan's history of aggression and current dismal relationships with its neighbors,

Many people often talk about "Japans history of aggression" which spams 1894 to 1945....51 years.

Yet they ignore "Japan's history of peace" spanning 1945 to 2019......74 years.

Japan is not the Japanese Empire of 74 years ago. If it were, why would so many former WWII adversaries be supporting Japan in normalizing their military?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I guess nobody remembers this comment from Trump just a few weeks ago:

"We have a treaty with Japan -- if Japan is attacked, we will fight World War III," the president said. "We will go in and protect them and fight with our lives and with our treasure. We will fight at all costs.

"But if we're attacked, Japan doesn't have to help us at all," he added. "They can watch it on a Sony television, the attack."

That's why! It's not that Japanese doesn't have to help out, their hands are tied with article 9! The most the SDF can do in this case and cheer USA from the sidelines...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@OssanJapan

Japan is not the Japanese Empire of 74 years ago.

Abe's goal is to turn back the clock to 1939.

If it were, why would so many former WWII adversaries be supporting Japan in normalizing their military?

Only the US does.

Everyone else, including Russia, China, Korea, and EU, want Japan to stay a pacifist country that it is.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

AgentXToday  01:09 am JST

> As things stand, Japan's neighbors have no need to do that. Let's keep it that way and avoid mass suffering this time around. Name the last time Japan was attacked by a military force...

North Korea abducted innocent Japanese civilians and still keeps them. It's missiles flew over Japan

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

We want PEACE.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Everyone else, including Russia, China, Both Koreas, and EU, want Japan to stay a pacifist country that it is.

> We want PEACE.

Sing your own praises when they all follow Japan's article 9

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Why would anyone want to attack let alone invade Japan? And what for?

For the goal of coming to work 80 hours a week and pay 5 times as much for fruit and vegetable? To live, all crushed up in little rabbit hutch boxes, and squeeze themselves into trains like sardine? To wrestle with the resistances of an impenetrable language and culture?

For what, no natural resources?

The only thing that makes Japan a target for anyone is its submission to America, and its use as America's number one aircraft carrier in Asia.

It seems to most of the discussion is stuck in ridiculously bogus views, based on WWII era propaganda, such as those of William Bjornson and Samit Basu above. So ridiculous, that they are hardly worth deconstructing as anyone believing them is clearly detached from reality and just indulging in racial ignorance and prejudices.

There are many in Japan who want to adopt the position of those who believe in the "Open Cities" defence policy, ie no resistance (CIHL, Rule 7 Art. 48 of Protocol I) which kind of blows Bjornson's belief in "the ancient cultural heart of Japan [being] one of the most aggressive on the planet".

If Comrade Bjornson ever wishes to start understanding Japanese history and culture beyond books written by American military historians or the Chinese Communist Party, perhaps he might start by asking himself historically, what proportion of Japanese were actually in the Samurai class and bore arms? (Clue: it's a single figure percentage).

Then go on to explain how such an "evil" violent nation was able to agree on 250 years of peace, unity and cultural development (Edo), while Europe and Asia tore itself to pieces, and Europe ripped up Asia, and White immigrants committed the genocide of Native Americans.

Therefore, we have 250 years prior to Showa (which was a response to European and American aggression), and 75 post Showa, equally 325 years of peace, resourcefulness and industrious effort, expressing Japan's true "heart".

Either list how many other nations on Earth have had 325 years of peace and non-aggression in recent history, or admit your views towards Japan are racist nonsense.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

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