politics

Constitutional questions grow over Abe's military plans

32 Comments
By MARI YAMAGUCHI

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32 Comments
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Even the experts are telling Abe it's unconstitutional and yet he pushes on. Something is not right here and the population seems apathetic to the situation.

23 ( +25 / -2 )

Laws always seem vague and open to interpretation when they are applicable to government and authority but very precise when they are applicable to the average person. Funny that. And yet the examples used to justify the vague laws will be extraordinarily detailed. This detail is meant to obfuscate. And, the constitution has been nothing more than a vague guideline for ages with all the systematic effort to subvert it. And now we can just re-interpret it so that it can mean anything.

13 ( +13 / -0 )

This man Abe and his expansionist ideas must be put to a stop early as soon as possible before Japan returns to its monstrous murderous past. The changing of the constitution to allow Japan to venture out militarily and to produce and sell military weapons is very dangerous considering the atrocities that Japan committed yet refused to acknowledge all these years (don't forget the comfort women). What Abe is trying to do is to defile democracy using cheap arm twisting tactics.

16 ( +17 / -1 )

I don't like the expansionist mindset. That's exactly what China and Russia are imposing on Japan, and that's exactly why Japan needs to focus on building its military to defend its home, not send out to foreign lands.

-8 ( +3 / -11 )

Perhaps, to put things into perspective, we should remember that Japan has been run by military dictators of one form or another since 1338. This is the default position. Abe and his ilk are right in a sense that this postwar period of something remotely resembling democracy is highly unusual and from their point of view it is highly perverse. In fact, I am sure that the people can be convinced that their tradition of dictatorship should be respected too.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

More than 200 constitution experts in Japan have joined a statement calling the legislation unconstitutional

Experts in what?? Before you become an expert @ anything, you must consistently show some proficiency and aptitude in whatever it is you claim to be an expert in.

-15 ( +1 / -16 )

Japan actually has a serious problem: the depopulation of its outlying islands. Japan currently has over 6000 outlying and unpopulated islands. This could lead to tensions with her neighbors should one or another try to increase presence around them. If Abe really wants to protect his country he should begin building bases to protect japan in those outlying islands, not sending troops abroad.

-10 ( +2 / -12 )

If Japan will neither help friend nor ally when attacked, what happen when Japan being attacked by bully such as China? New Japan seeks deterrence and defense capability rather than just a sitting duck for abused and exploitation. The provision must spell out clear in the constitution for Japan sovereignty according to international norms.

-11 ( +2 / -13 )

This is not Abe's decision, he is just the method to be passed. He is just been a good dog to USA.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

I don't think there should be questions. He's said point blank he wants to change the constitution, he has said he wants to build a stronger military, he has said he wants to be more active in a military role throughout the world. What is he ambiguous on? The only people still unsure of Abe's plans are the ones who are scared to fight him on it.

And please, this isn't because Abe pledged to the US, Abe himself wants a bigger military. Using this pledge and saying I'm only doing what is asked or expected of me is an excuse to cover up this whole constitution change, as if to say I'm just dealing with the hand I'm dealt. NO, Abe truly wants this.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

When you have even Japanese experts telling Abe he's gone to far in 'reinterpreting' things then you KNOW there are problems with what he is doing. He knows it, too, and is trying to rush things through, and only yesterday they took power away from certain people to control the forces so that the government has more direct authority than civilians do on Japan's military affairs. Welcome to China!

14 ( +15 / -1 )

I think the essence of Article 9 is a very noble and good declaration.

Aspiring sincerely to an international peace based on justice and order, the Japanese people forever renounce war as a sovereign right of the nation and the threat or use of force as means of settling international disputes.

Even if it was essentially imposed on them (in a rather colonial way) by their de facto conquerers.

The problem lies with the second part:

To accomplish the aim of the preceding paragraph, land, sea, and air forces, as well as other war potential, will never be maintained. The right of belligerency of the state will not be recognized.

In a perfect world this would be great, but in the real world it would be telling a person that they should never lock their doors, leave all their windows open, not have a security system, or any security measures whatsoever...without their neighbors doing the same. It's just silly. Even having the JSDF as it is in in opposition to this clause and this clause is likely the clause that people are jumping on now as well.

A constitution that was forced on Japan by victorious powers should, itself, not be seen as legitimate. Even if the core of the constitution is a good one it doesn't make it legitimate or right.

Personally I think that Japan should be able to maintain a military force that is capable of defending it's territory and capable of supporting their allies and neighbors if necessary. As it stands the Article hamstrings Japan and Japan is essentially constantly and endlessly being unconstitutional simply by maintaining an Armed Force (even if it's a "Self-Defense Force). Each time they fly out to meet a Chinese probing flight. Each time they sail their ships near Chinese ships probing their waters...they are using force to settle an international dispute. Which is precisely counter to the constitution as it stands.

I have always believed that stupid laws should not exist, because when a law is so absurd that it is broken daily then it creates a culture and society that disregards all laws. If laws make sense, and are enforced, then people are more likely to actually obey them.

Revising the constitution would be a good idea. Actually making the Japan's de facto (how it is) military presence into a de jure (how it legally us) military presence would go a long way to making Japan responsible for it's actions. When the words are reflective of reality and are actually words uttered by people living here and now they are far more relevant and far more meaningful that the words of dead presidents or old conquering forces.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

A constitution that was forced on Japan by victorious powers should, itself, not be seen as legitimate. Even if the core of the constitution is a good one it doesn't make it legitimate

Japan is not a sovereign nation.

Revising the constitution would be a good idea.

Right. So why don't japanese want to change it? Those 200 or so "experts" can't come up with anything?

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

A feeling of déjà vous anybody? fukoku kyohei"?--- "Rich country, strong countryA cry before the abomination in Asia? A leadership that appears to be in the here-now but the mind-set is calsified in the middle-ages.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

PM Abe is the BIGGEST THREAT to Japan. He :

(1) tries to revise the Constitution without the "required" approval of the two-thirds majority in BOTH houses and the majority of Japanese voters in a referendum. He does not called it revising, he calls it reinterpreting. He behaves like a dictator with no respects for the highest laws of Japan. He tries to push through the security laws despite many Constitutional scholars say the laws violate the Constitution.

(2) wants to silence and intimidate the press like newspapers, TV stations, radio stations, etc. by using laws on national security and secrets. He wants to deprive Japanese citizens of their Constitutional rights to know about the LDP's secret deal allowing US to bring nuclear weapons into Japan, 18.4 million "missing pensions" scandal, Fukushima radiation leakage, corruption, mishandling of industrial accidents, etc. by the government. He wants the press NOT to show, write or say bad things about "his" government, even if they are true.

(3) wants the young and the future generations of Japanese to learn history based on "his" interpretations, revisions, etc., not based on factual materials, evidence, etc. This is what happens in North Korea, Soviet Union, etc.

(4) wastes thousands of billions of yen in foreign aid to bribe other countries into voting for Japan's permanent membership in the UN Security Council, despite knowing that the bid can not succeed with China's veto. This "wasted" money can be better spent to help millions of Japanese with their medical care, tuition costs, living expenses, food, rebuilding from disasters, old-age care, Fukushima resettlement, etc. More than 159,000 Japanese and many businesses were evicted from lands too radioactive to live in the Fukushima nuclear disaster. Many are still waiting for help, enough compensation, etc. to rebuild their lives.

(5) wants to take away some of the basic Constitutional rights of all Japanese citizens under the false excuses of protecting national secrets. These are the same excuses used by dictators and totalitarian governments to control their citizens.

14 ( +16 / -2 )

With the current population japan will have a formidable Oojisan army, or are they going to put the young people they dont have to go and die abroad?

6 ( +6 / -0 )

The constitution is based on the one set up by the US at the end of WW2, it's time for them to quit using it as a crutch, and come up with one that fits the modern era.

-8 ( +0 / -8 )

The Cabinet reinterpreted the constitution last year to allow Japan to defend American troops or allies, outside Japan and its vicinity, a major change to its current policy.

Huh? Can someone more knowledgeable on this subject than I am explain this please? Does the Constitution really give the Cabinet the authority to "reinterpret" it? Or is this just some sleezy poltical maneuver by Abe, since the LDP has majority in both houses, so he can push through any legislation he wants?

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Kerry Le Blanc,

Yes, I agree with you Japan needs to come up with a new constitution that will create a new national identity - including social services, human rights etc. Unfortunately the current administration only wants to revise parts and I agree that is not the correct way to go.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Kagemusha wrote: In a perfect world this would be great, but in the real world it would be telling a person that they should never lock their doors, leave all their windows open, not have a security system, or any security measures whatsoever...without their neighbors doing the same. It's just silly. Even having the JSDF as it is in in opposition to this clause and this clause is likely the clause that people are jumping on now as well.

You've got the right idea, but your comparison is a bit off. The Japanese constitution has never banned defense of the country, only the right to wage aggression and war on other countries.

So your analogy should be along the lines of:

In the real world article 9 would be telling a person that they should never take their gun out of their home, never enter another's yard without permission nor with offensive weapons of any kind ,nor spy on one's neighbors in an effort to ascertain their wealth and worldly goods lest one begin to covet what isn't yours.

Sounds like a world I'd like to live in. It's also something that was attempted in 1928 (and signed by a great many countries at the time) with the Kellogg–Briand Pact. The UN charter also has a provision banning countries from the threat or use of force.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

With all the comments regarding Abe.... Do you really think this is all his doing? Do you think that Japan (a conquered nation) has the ability to do whatever it wants whenever it wants to? If America didn't want this, would you assume that this would fly? That all it takes is a "hawk" and some voting in congress? Japan's been ordered to join in and arm up. The enemy of my enemy is my friend.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

About time Japan is stepping-up in the right direction to become a responsible nation able to defend itself and its allies.

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

I am sure Abe will try and push this through. All I can say is wait to the body bags with young Japanese start filling up when troops are sent to the Middle East or where have you. Then the people of Japan will understand this folly and regret not doing something about it today.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Then the people of Japan will understand this folly and regret not doing something about it today.

Too late by then. The laws will be in place. The secrets protection law is already in place. Mr Abe just has a few pieces remaining, then his puzzle is complete. The Japanese people have the power to stop this. Now. If only they would rouse themselves from their smartphone and anime induced apathy.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

The constitution is based on the one set up by the US at the end of WW2, it's time for them to quit using it as a crutch, and come up with one that fits the modern era.

Other countries constitutions have been around hundreds of years and get upgraded or amended when necessary.

There is nothing stopping the government from doing it the right way,other than one egotistic wannabe leader who thinks he knows better than everyone else in the country.

No constitution should be easy to change, and if Abe gets his way and forces through the change of a 2/3rd's majority to simple majority in the diet, then followed by a simple majority national referendum every party in power will make changes to the constitution based upon their own whims and this country will fall over the precipice.

This country is walking on a fine edge here and if folks are not careful there are going to be changes that will happen that they wont like but it will be too late to stop.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Sir In this truly violent world--there should be no protest to Mr Abe military policy--japan must rearm and expand Japan is not a third world country ! But a peaceful and responsible country ! Japan be Brave , have confidence in your abilities !!!! thomas Crane !

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Sir In this truly violent world--there should be no protest to Mr Abe military policy--japan must rearm and expand Japan is not a third world country

Define what a third world country is?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

When is Abe going to join the SDF?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

LDP is very aware that their first priority is controlling the budget spending but too bad their egos prevent them from doing that but stuck doing the least thing Japan needs right now expanding the military.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Seems to me Abe is making it sound like US is pushing for mandates for military expansion but we all know that is absolutely untrue.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Actually, that is precisely what is going on. The revision is being demanded by the US.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2015/05/16/national/social-issues/japan-becoming-extinct/#.VX5T21LvplY

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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