politics

Japan set for historic defense policy shift

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By Linda Sieg and Nobuhiro Kubo

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A historic violation of the Constitution.

32 ( +34 / -2 )

“But what America really wants is for Japan to fight in the war against terrorism,” he added. “If U.S. public opinion rises against Japan, this will be a problem.”

So, it's more important what the U.S. and the U.S. public opinion want from Japan, than what Japanese people want for their own country...and some people think that American allies are "free countries".

15 ( +20 / -5 )

A historic violation of the Constitution.

Wait, don't you know that Abe-chan has re-interpreted the constitution to fit his desires for more power?

How can Abe-chan be in violation? He has "changed" the constitution (yet), he just wants to show his country how much he cares for it by allowing his sons and daughters to go fight in some glorious conflict in some nameless (to Japanese) foreign land to return Japan to it's rightful place in the world.

Now that is historic!

10 ( +13 / -3 )

Only look at how much is "good" being involved in American wars...Europe is destroyed by mass immigration of desperate people. I can't recognize Italy, my own country, anymore.

12 ( +16 / -4 )

Peleliu, Wake, Butaritari, Rennell, Tarawa, Kwajalein, Eniwetok, Truk, Tinian. How important were these islands and atolls in the Pacific War? Were they such important places that thousands of Japanese and Allied forces needed to die to take possession of them? What is their value today?

Sorry, buy I can’t see any of the islands currently being saber-rattled over being worth the shedding of one drop of blood nor worth the investment of time, money and resources needed to protect them. I think there are many more pressing issues that need immediate attention in both Japan and the US, and many better uses of time, money and resources.

China (I’m not defending it) has established its navy and has already ‘finland-ized’ portions of the Pacific and Indian Ocean spheres while Japan was doing things ‘the Japanese way’ and the US spending time, attention and trillions of dollars on invasions. China appears to be ahead of the game. Maybe it’s time for some serious diplomatic discussions, anything, please, but more military threats.

The my missile is bigger than yours approach is of benefit to arms makers and investors in arms makers, leaving the rest of us at risk.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

One can argue that Japan, as a sovereign country, should have the right to operate militarily in protection of its own interests in a manner similar to other countries and that it is currently unable to do so because of the limitations embedded in the current Constitution and its interpretation over the last seven decades. There are, no doubt, many that would disagree and would argue that it shouldn't, particularly because of Japan's military misadventures in the last century.

However, even if one agrees with Japan having this right, there is something troubling about how these proposed changes are being effected and the reasons for which they are being proposed.

There is no question that the LDP can argue that it received a mandate from the Japanese people in relation to governing, as evidenced by their majorities in both houses. However, I don't believe the majority of the Japanese people voted for the LDP because they wanted them to pursue this policy. They voted for the LDP because they had absolutely no faith in the opposition parties to properly manage and grow the economy. In my honest opinion.

Therefore, what the LDP is now pursuing is not necessarily a reflection of the will of the people but, rather, an agenda long held by the LDP that is now possible because of the majorities given to it by the people in the desire that the LDP deliver on economic promises. Not because the people want the LDP/the Japanese government to pursue this property.

As such, pursuing such fundamental changes in the policies governing the use of the military in the absence of public consensus is fraught with potential danger and future ramifications unknown today.

Beyond that, Abe and the LDP government speak of the reasons for enacting these changes in a manner that is unconvincing of how it truly benefits Japan and Japan's self defense and protection. There is a lot of discussions about the ability to support allies (read the U.S.), but I would imagine that most Japan care less about the policy goals and military strategies of the U.S. and more about Japan's own protection and self-interests. This goes to the argument by many that Japan is nothing more than a lackey, a servant to the U.S. in this realm.

Again, it is not that there may not be a basis/reason for pursuing these changes. I just fear that it is being pursued without the support of the Japanese people, it is being done in a manner that may be unconstitutional and it is being done for reasons less about Japan's own interests and more about the interests of the U.S.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Congratulations Abe for ruining the peaceful image of Japan :/

12 ( +16 / -4 )

Yeah good luck with Japan fighting overseas. Since WW2 the SDF have only run around in woods shooting blanks at each other. They would have to have meetings about meetings to take any action. If US wanted to strike NK or anywhere else from their bases here, they would have to seek permission from Abe and his cronies to do so would be too late.

Hence the huge build up of troops on Guam so they can strike immediately.

If you do not believe me just visit any major hotel on Guam and it is full of military and contractors as they have no housing for them all.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

The my missile is bigger than yours approach is of benefit to arms makers and investors in arms makers, leaving the rest of us at risk.

Hasn't the "My missile is bigger than your missile" approach to diplomacy between "men" been around since like forever?

4 ( +6 / -2 )

The changes leave Japan still short of being a “normal nation” by global security standards.

It's not a normal nation, at least not a normal democratic nation, if the people don't want the change, but they are powerless to stop it. I suppose a military draft of some kind is next. At this point the boat toward war has already left the harbor. It still doesn't have to happen, but it's going to be hard to stop. Both China and Japan have set things in motion that will be difficult for the other to tolerate. Japan won't tolerate a pushy, expansionary neighbor, and China won't tolerate a Japan with a strong military working with the USA.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

I'd like to know American reaction, if Japan didn't make this change that the U.S. want. Japan would be included in American black list? You know, it's not nice being included in that list.

3 ( +7 / -5 )

To hell with this charlatan “normal nation” BS contrived by the military-industrial complex inadequates.

Japan and ally the United States can start making plans for a possible conflict with China

and now that China has a carrier-killer, this means a (further) bankrupting arms race.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

@Yubaru

Hasn't the "My missile is bigger than your missile" approach to diplomacy between "men" been around since like forever?

True, and a sad commentary on men. We seem stuck in some caveman (apologies if I offend that demographic) mentality. Curious, how many women in the Diet are going along with the defense policy shift? But then maybe it's not gender, maybe it's the memes left by cultural myths and fictions that distort things.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

American wars against terrorism brought only to huge disasters. Europe is now collapsing. They want to involve also Japan in these wars. And then some people call you "anti-American"...No, it's only that American foreign policy is a nightmare. Please, come to Italy, come to see the current mess in my country, with desperate migrants everywhere, thanks to American wars.

9 ( +13 / -4 )

American wars against terrorism brought only to huge disasters. Europe is now collapsing. They want to involve also Japan in these wars. And then some people call you "anti-American"...No, it's only that American foreign policy is a nightmare. Please, come to Italy, come to see the current mess in my country, with desperate migrants everywhere, thanks to American wars.

As bad as the cold war era was for those of us who lived through it, it sure seemed, to me at least, that the world was not in as much chaos as it seems to be today.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

If foreigners could vote in Japanese elections Abe would never have gotten in power, and you wouldn't have these problems. You reap what you sow Japan

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Japan and US has difference in this issue. US wish Japan to help US wars in middle east with excuse of terrorism attack. while Japan is not interested in sending its SDF members.

@Linda and Nobuhiro: HOPE YOU TWO DO NOT HAVE HABIT of deleting my comments. because I am writing off topic comment. Excellent article you two created.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

As bad as the cold war era was for those of us who lived through it, it sure seemed, to me at least, that the world was not in as much chaos as it seems to be today.

Indeed, I'm saying that American wars against terrorism brought the world in a huge nightmare. War shouldn't be the answer to terrorism. It's a crazy ideology, simply crazy. It created only more terrorism, poverty, mass migration. I repeat, Europe is collapsing.

11 ( +14 / -3 )

“Japan is not going to be like Australia, the UK or Germany in that those countries have been providing all sorts of human assets to war zones, Afghanistan, Iraq. That is not going to be a thing that Japan can do,” a Japanese government source told Reuters.

Oh ! Are you sure ? So I guess "everything is under control" ? Just like Fukushima ? The "New Olympic Stadium" ? The "plagiarized Olympic logo" ?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I’m sorry, but for all the folks who have bought into the narrative that this security legislation was prompted by the US or that it will allow Japan to participate in any future US military activity (which given Iraq is very unlikely), you’re just plain wrong.

First, while the US supports this change, it was driven only by a GOJ assessment of potential threats and ways to best respond to those threats, i.e., nKorea and China. The GOJ clearly believes (rightly or wrongly), that nKorea is unstable and likely to lash out militarily or implode. China is convinced it owns all the sea and airspace in its “nine dash line” and is making efforts assert its control. Why does that worry the Japanese – because 80% of its oil comes thru those sea lanes – and if China controls it, then it can shut them off – essentially embargoing Japan.

But for the folks who so virulently oppose this legislation, I would just pose two questions;

If NKorea launched a ballistic missile armed with a nuclear or chemical/biological warhead over Japan aimed at Guam, Hawaii or the western US coast, and Japan has the capability to engage and shoot it down with their US supplied anti-missile systems, should it do so – or do nothing and allow the missile to pass overhead and strike its target?

If a US ship in international waters around the Senkakus came under fire from an unidentified submarine and a Japanese ship was nearby, should the Japanese ship help defend the US ship or allow the attack to continue and do nothing?

Note under current constitutional limitations, Japan could do nothing in these two scenarios, under the new legislation, it could.

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

Again, it is not that there may not be a basis/reason for pursuing these changes. I just fear that it is being pursued without the support of the Japanese people, it is being done in a manner that may be unconstitutional and it is being done for reasons less about Japan's own interests and more about the interests of the U.S.

These are almost the exact same reasons used by the opponents during the 1960's Kishi era but at that time, the demonstrations were tenfold with more violence where the cabinet ministers couldn't go outside and where they actually thought that they would die that day.

 60年安保の真っただ中、当時の岸信介首相と対峙し、デモを主導した元全学連のリーダーは、昭和62年に岸元首相が亡くなった際、次のような弔文を書いて、その死を悼んだという。

「あなたは正しかった」

A former student coalition leader who organized the demonstration in 1960' on the day of Kishi's death wrote the following.

"You were right".

http://blogos.com/article/132765/

-8 ( +3 / -11 )

@Alex80, "American wars" are the cause of the influx of immigrants in Italy? Why stop there? Why not blame Turkey for not remaining neutral during WWI? The Middle East never would have been carved up by European powers had that been the case. My point is, there isn't a single cause for anything happening in the Middle East ... or anywhere else.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

As the big bear US looking increasingly busy and tired fighting smaller but nimble, fierce, elusive wolverines in different parts of the world, and presently middle sized bear inhabiting next to Japan growing bigger at an alarming rate and becoming more and more aggressive, the US wants Japan to transform itself into some kind of carnivore, not a passive herbivore, loyal only to the US. And when the big bear wants something, it gets it, be it creating a military-force-renouncing constitution, forging a military force in that very country, or making that country's lackey leader to do whatever reinterpretation is necessary to suit the big bear's desire.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

“Japan is not going to be like Australia, the UK or Germany in that those countries have been providing all sorts of human assets to war zones, Afghanistan, Iraq. That is not going to be a thing that Japan can do,”

Remeber this because it will be EXACTLY the opposite that actually happens.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Dictatorship, plain and simple. No one can say any different after this.

11 ( +14 / -3 )

Aki Okuda should be quite with rest of his buddies, naive kids that have no clue about real world. This is mainly about Self defense given current security environment surrounding Japan it has to be done. Instead of barking why he doesn't submit counter proposal Gaki.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

War shouldn't be the answer to terrorism. It's a crazy ideology, simply crazy. It created only more terrorism, poverty, mass migration. I repeat, Europe is collapsing.

Unfortunately, War is big business for the elite and we are human meat tossed to the dogs of war.

This is the disease of humanity.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

One could say that Japan is simply returning to the way it has been most of its long history - a country able to defend its borders.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

@Yubaru

As bad as the cold war era was for those of us who lived through it, it sure seemed, to me at least, that the world was not in as much chaos as it seems to be today.

Were you, like me, a child and teenager during that time?

Don't be fooled. The world is doing fine. As you get older you know more about the world, and its easy to get negative about that information. Its also possible to be overly positive while in a state of ignorance. Pretty much everybody thinks things were better when they were younger. Its a trap.

Something I remember from the Cold War was the siren tests to be used in the event of a nuclear attack. The tests were pretty regular and I think such an attack far more likely than one is today. I have no desire to go back to Cold War days even if going back to my youth is desirable. Don't confuse the two.

All Japan has done, besides make wanna-be war profiteers lick their chops, is to put Japan on the map as a threat, making it a bigger target than it already was with the U.S. military stationed here. And you know what really did it? Not so much the change, but showing the world this government will slice the constitution up like a Thanksgiving turkey to do whatever it wants. A proper, measured, and thoughtful rewriting of the constitution would have been much better. But these short-sighted, dim and greedy conservatives in power don't have the capability to do that.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Dictatorship, plain and simple. No one can say any different after this.

Cabinet decision regarding this security bill, July of 2014. Snap election in December of the same year where LDP clearly states on their manifest that they will pursue this security bill based on the cabinet decision. LDP wins. Per Manifest, they introduce this bill in the current Diet session.

Perhaps another snap election is in order?

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

as usual lincolnman, you're spot on. until today, i never heard that this was driven mainly by US interest. it has always been a domestic led one, and one that the LDP has wanted for decades. and the misguided belief that japan will be involved in countless wars against nameless states is so far removed from reality that it's laughable. japan is a rationale actor, and this legislation will do nothing to change that.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

"American wars" are the cause of the influx of immigrants in Italy?

You have no idea how Europe changed in the past 15 years! Wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Lybia, caused a huge mess. NATO (mainly the US, since her European allies are only puppets) has the responsability for these wars.

Situations of huge social tension like this

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rwj9NVwGl-c

are everywhere in my country. I'm sorry for the migrants, but Italians are desperate as well. It's sad to say it, but many migrants rape, steal, kill. Because they come from countries where they have known only violence.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

Disgraceful

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I am always puzzled by comments from Japan-haters like smithinjapan, who say Japan is a dictatorship. How is it possible that you can live in Japan and yet know nothing about Japan? Please learn something about the country you live in.

And please study your history. I know what real dictatorships are like and what it is like to live under one and I am telling you that conditions in Japan are nothing like a dictatorship.

By the way, I wonder what all those protesters would start yelling if North Korea were to lob a missile into Japan.

-7 ( +3 / -10 )

Very true, then again remember that WAR is BUSINESS and they'll never stop until they have brought the whole world down with them

Yeah, this is the only truth. :(

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Constitution was written in such a way to not allow weasel words to reinterpret its meaning. How Abe can just walk all over it like a table napkin is a mockery to the peaceful nation of Japan. Go protesters go! Save your country

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Cabinet decision regarding this security bill, July of 2014. Snap election in December of the same year where LDP >clearly states on their manifest that they will pursue this security bill based on the cabinet decision. LDP wins. Per >Manifest, they introduce this bill in the current Diet session.

the 2014 snap election results in state of unconstitutionality so much for claiming for being "representative". There should be a referendum with no vote disparities.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@Brainiac

I know what real dictatorships are like

They are not all the same. Some play a nicer seeming game than others, like in the cases of Lee Kwan Yew, Tito, Abdullah II, and Park Chung-hee. Japan has a pretty face to be sure (tatemae). But there is a lot of ugliness in the honne (the true inner feelings/ workings). Dictatorship might not be quite the right word though. Its more like oligarchy.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Alex80: ""American wars" are the cause of the influx of immigrants in Italy?

You have no idea how Europe changed in the past 15 years! Wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Lybia, caused a huge mess. NATO (mainly the US, since her European allies are only puppets) has the responsability for these wars. Situations of huge social tension like this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rwj9NVwGl-c are everywhere in my country. I'm sorry for the migrants, but Italians are desperate as well. It's sad to say it, but many migrants rape, steal, kill. Because they come from countries where they have known only violence."

Off topic, as usual. Wouldn't this better suited to the immigration problem even?

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

the 2014 snap election results in state of unconstitutionality so much for claiming for being "representative". There should be a referendum with no vote disparities.

Nope. The courts ruled that in some voting districts, the voter disparity number was unconstitutional but did not rule that the entire election itself was unconstitutional.

-9 ( +0 / -9 )

By the way, I wonder what all those protesters would start yelling if North Korea were to lob a missile into Japan.

Protester are certainly as much patriot as everybody and certainly willing to defend their country if , and there is a big if, it is under direct attack. Protester are against re-interpretation enacted by law of the pacifist constitution as currently interpreted for the last 70 years.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Used to be anti-communism. Now anti-terrorism.

@nigelboy: Kishi was fighting against communism. Check Kenji Miyamoto in Wikipedia. 1960, communism influenced ZenGakuRen demo. Kenji miyamoto who became Japan Communist Party chairman was from same area KISHI family rooted. In Yamaguchi-ken, everybody was encouraged Study hard be successful become big shot. So, left and right. even yakuza group founder. Every field.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Nope. The courts ruled that in some voting districts, the voter disparity number was unconstitutional but did not rule that >the entire election itself was unconstitutional.

We all know that the election was not nullified hence the re-interpretation, but voter disparities confirmed unconstitutional by the Courts should have been enough to declare the election unconstitutional, as it is, the snap election is a valid election based on unconstitutional voters disparities, the snap election 2014 is not "representative" of the population will, only a public referendum with 1 vote for all will make it "representative", let's see if the ruling party will do it that way or the other way around.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

We all know that the election was not nullified hence the re-interpretation,

No. The Cabinet decision (aka reinterpretation) was done in July of 2014.

voter disparities confirmed unconstitutional by the Courts should have been enough to declare the election unconstitutional

But they didn't so your point is moot.

-8 ( +0 / -8 )

And please study your history. I know what real dictatorships are like and what it is like to live under one and I am telling you that conditions in Japan are nothing like a dictatorship.

Exactly. If japanese political parties and voters would get their heads out of their butts and form a formidable opposition (and actually vote for it) then conditions wouldn't be like they are now. This is not a dictatorship, nobody opposed Abe- that's all.

Sheepish people, reap what you sow.

By the way, I wonder what all those protesters would start yelling if North Korea were to lob a missile into Japan.

I wonder the same.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

But they didn't so your point is moot.

@NigelBoy, rather a big red warning sign that the democracy is at risk, anyway, if "unconstitutional voters disparities" means nothing for you during an election than I understand now why you do not see also the extend of a post constitution re-interpretation enacted by the ruling power.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

"“But what America really wants is for Japan to fight in the war against terrorism,”

This is really nonsense unless we are talking about terrorism in the East Asian region. Nobody in the U.S. even knows Japan sent troops to Iraq albeit on a humanitarian mission.

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

@NigelBoy, rather a big red warning sign that the democracy is at risk, anyway, if "unconstitutional voters disparities" means nothing for you during an election than I understand now why you do not see also the extend of a post constitution re-interpretation enacted by the ruling power.

Nope. Your suggestion to extend the ruling to the entire election is essentially an abuse of power. I'm glad that the courts in Japan have sensible people with common sense.

-9 ( +0 / -9 )

So in other words Japan wants the US to get involved in Japan's territorial disputes with China, but won't lend any hand with troops to fight the terrorists in Middle East.

No wonder Donald Trump says Japan gives the US nothing.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Actually I always thought that the pacifist part of the Japanese constitution post Abe, should have been the model of "interpretation" of a constitution for the whole world and not the opposite way around. Sadly, the prime minister is shutting down, one after one, all the positive Japanese influences in the world like would somebody extinguish the candles, announcing dark period ahead.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Basically, I am in favor of the idea of coming to the aid of an ally under attack. But NOT NOW.

The flabby-faced Prime Minister has shown in numerous occasions a tendency to short cut democratic procedures and ignore opposing views. He and his party have relentlessly been passing legislations to destroy Japanese society. Abe is dangerous for Japan. He's got to be stopped.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Folks I agree with a lot of the things this IDIOT abe is doing, just NOT how he is doing it!

Japan starting around 3decades ago SHOULD have been dealing with its WWII historical issues in an accurate & honest way, to date, still ISNT doing that.

Also Japan's military should have been changing along with a constitution that changed over time the PROPER way as allowed in the constitution, Japan still isn't doing that.

Fast forward to the present & we have abe totally disregarding the constitution, holding its people in UTTER contempt! And totally abusing the UN-changed constitution, nasty nasty stuff, very bad precedent for Japan & its people!

The truth is japans relationship with the Us has been an immature once since the end of WWII, certainly by the 80s Japan should have to starting to stand on its own 2 feet again but instead Japan has sat with hands in pocket, heads DEEP in sand!

And now abe is trying to change something that would take decades in a year or two in total disregard to the constitution, very bad.

Sadly as usual Japan KEEPS doing more wrong than right!

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Wait wait... now all of the sudden if Japanese people follow a major "trend" that is the demonstrations against the policy change, they are not anymore "lemmings"??? As I see this "demos" are mostly a trend and a very shallow planned opposition from people with a utopical view of Pacifism and most people joining those movements are... in short only following the lead... a very common label that Japanese get.

How convenient that in this case, no one accuse them of "lemmings"...

I see this policy change as a necessity and though it is harsh in some parts of how it is being approved, I think that is some how unavoidable since we (Japanese) have that idea and pride in being a "pacifist country with no army", an idea that is is noble but dumb

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Please don't pass the bill, Abe. It is time Japan should stand tough against any violence without resorting to arms. Only then, Japan can be the pioneer of peaceful world.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Is Japan an oligarchy or dictatorship? That line is sure beginning to blur... No matter the outrage or protests in numbers, the government continues to do whatever the hell it wants. Just look how easily bills have passed through parliament (many slipping under the media radar) over the past few years... Passing a security bill like this with the Olympics only a number of years away - what's going on?! How much are increased security measures going to cost now?!

5 ( +5 / -0 )

@cevin7

So... when a third nations decides to attack Japan, and the allies countries of Japan say that "they are not going to help, because Japan never helped"... Japan will only "peacefully" surrender to the aggressor?

Thank you but that kind of peace, is not welcomed.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Japanese constitution post Abe

sorry type, I meant "pre" , not "post"

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It looks to me that in Japan, the enthusiasm for protesting against these security bills is higher than that of supporting it and wanting to be sent somewhere to fight a conflict.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@cevin7 So... when a third nations decides to attack Japan, and the allies countries of Japan say that "they are not going to help, because Japan never helped"... Japan will only "peacefully" surrender to the aggressor?

'''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''

Where you got idea fd surrender??? Haven't you read reticle 9/ Haven't you ever heard Self Defence?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@Toshiko

Nuclear warhead missiles and long range weapons... there is a great limitation on what the Self Defense forces can do with the current Article 9... (which I also hope that should be changed)

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Is all down hill now

2 ( +3 / -1 )

At that pace and trend, who knows how will be Japan by 2020.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Everyone seems to be against this and I understand the reasoning but there needs to be more balance in Asia. America has singled to Japan if can't protect the country forever and China has become more aggressive in island conflicts.

On the constitutional issues: yes this does send an unprecedented step in the wrong direction but one question. .. How many times have Japan amended the constitution since its birth. 0. Unfortunately America made it so hard for them to do anything to change it leaving Japan's hands tied to do anything different. It's hard to say do it the constitutional way when it is extremely difficult to do any changes to it.

Japan can't just sit by and and be pointed out as the bad country from ww2 forever. No matter what Japan does in the eyes of China and South Korea it will be frowned upon. It's ok for those countries to have armies but not Japan. What hypocracy.

Either way none of this would have happened if Obama didn't look weak in the eyes of China.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

sighclops: "Is Japan an oligarchy or dictatorship? That line is sure beginning to blur... No matter the outrage or protests in numbers, the government continues to do whatever the hell it wants."

Exactly! Some on here are saying Japan is not a dictatorship, but Abe sure seems hell bent on making it that way. Don't want a secrets law? TOO BAD, I DO! Don't want the NPPs turned back on? (majority don't), TOO BAD, I (and my vested interests do)! Don't want this policy change? TOO BAD, I DO. As for them not being a dictatorship because they had an election and Abe was chosen, that's utter hogwash, too. Hong Kong has been set for an election for a while, too, but the government says who will run in it, who will when, and when it will be held. It's no different from Abe holding a snap election when he knows he will be chosen again, and not later when there would be more of a say based on extended debate. Likewise here he does not want the legislation going back for further signing or debate, he wants to ram it through without listening to the people, plain and simple. Add to this the aforementioned other bills they've rammed through, and things like My Number (if you want refunds, or basic services, you MUST enroll!), and you can see where the control is headed. Dictatorship.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

@whatsnext

Either way none of this would have happened if Obama didn't look weak in the eyes of China

Please elaborate on what China would consider strong.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Wait, don't you know that Abe-chan has re-interpreted the constitution to fit his desires for more power?

Exactly ! Prime minister Abe is showing the world that constitution can be re-interpreted by any ruling power as long as you have the full concentration of power, destroying on the way all the purpose of having a constitution in the first place. A very sad historical precedent and it will be remember as such.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Japan and ally the United States can start making plans for a possible conflict with China after the expected enactment of defense legislation this week, but Japan will not be sending troops to back up U.S.-led operations against Islamic State.

This comment comes the day after Japan begged China to stop being provocative? Personally, I think there are bigger threats to Japan's security than China. These two countries have been going tit-for-tat for a thousand years, yet they still have very strong economical and cultural ties. Japan should be more worried about that little-Kim psycho in North Korea and the Islamic extremists States forcing Japan's hand into conflict due to their hard stance against accepting refugees. This mass-exodus of Islamic people seeking asylum throughout the world is only spreading the oppression they are escaping. The countries being targeted as asylum need to stop accepting refugees and band together to wipe out these tyrants the asylum seekers are fleeing. They are fleeing from 'man's inhumanity to man'. I think it's time to do the same to these tyrants forcing all the refugees to flee their Islam nations. Fight fire with fire! The human cost will be great, but at least it will be confined to those regions. As it is now, they are only spreading the unrest they are fleeing from.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

nigelboySEP. 16, 2015 - 10:34AM JST

Nope. The courts ruled that in some voting districts, the voter disparity number was unconstitutional but did not rule that the entire election itself was unconstitutional.

Can you make this sound a little better than a mumble-jumble excuse to not invalidate the election?

There are real reasons of pragmaticitiy to not invalidate the election, but make no mistake, that is not the court declaring the election was constitutional.

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Abe must go! Like father like son.

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@Peter MantelloSEP. 1 6, 2015 - 02:27PM JST Abe must go! Like father like son.

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What his father who was just one of many Diet members did?

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Don't worry! All it will take is for one JSDF soldier to be killed in battle, or one terrorist attack on Japanese soil to make people storm government offices and literally kick Abe and his cronies out of office.

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Japan and ally the United States can start making plans for a possible conflict with China after the expected enactment of defense legislation this week, but Japan will not be sending troops to back up U.S.-led operations against Islamic State.

Read that first paragraph folks, particularly the part I've highlighted... I keep pointing this out, and it's been in the legislation since it was proposed... and people either don't see that part, or choose not to. Japan will not send troops to fight in American-led wars.

Abe, in response, has in principle ruled out sending troops to fight in foreign territory and said Japan would not even provide logistical support for U.S-led operations against Islamic State.

“Japan is not going to be like Australia, the UK or Germany in that those countries have been providing all sorts of human assets to war zones, Afghanistan, Iraq. That is not going to be a thing that Japan can do,” a Japanese government source told Reuters.

I don't agree with the changes at all, but it's certainly not a green light to send Japanese forces to the Middle East.

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@ Daniel Neagari

First, I'm not denying Japan of the right of SD.

I think I have to admit that it's unfair for allies that Japan can't exercise the right of collective self defense while they help Japan when it faces danger, but virtual declaration of relinquishment of waging war is still appealing to me.

The world might need something little aggressive to maintain peace, but at the same time, it needs something remind us how cruel wars can be, and I believe Japan can play that role by sticking to the article 9.

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@Thunderbird2 You don't see the point, the US wants to continue to be a super power, one way to do this is attack or start a war with china at some point, but right now the US can't, the missile shield they are talking about all the time works with active missiles, found in air at least 4 hours before impact. That means it does not work on orbital dead drop missiles. So the US need a "wall" which is going to be Japan.

I have said it before, its not Japan but the US that wants this bill to be passed, the US needs a wall between China and the US. When ((if)) it gets passed Japan will be no more than a bombardment area for China and US. But no worries, Japan as so many other countries has a great deal with the US, when they start bombarding, the prime minister and all his closest followers will be on the first flight out, and will get a compensated lifestyle in the US to mourn the "ooh so sad big losses of human life in their own country".

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A triangular marriage among politicians, media and bureaucracy, regarding the masses, be on the mute and just pay taxes, this is the order of the present set up.

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@Daniel NeagariSEP. 16, 2015 - 12:39PM JST @Toshiko

Nuclear warhead missiles and long range weapons... there is a great limitation on what the Self Defense forces can do with the current Article 9... (which I also hope that should be changed)

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JSDF have more advanced IFBM than cash poor NK

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Exactly! Some on here are saying Japan is not a dictatorship, but Abe sure seems hell bent on making it that way. Don't want a secrets law? TOO BAD, I DO! Don't want the NPPs turned back on? (majority don't), TOO BAD, I (and my vested interests do)! Don't want this policy change? TOO BAD, I DO. As for them not being a dictatorship because they had an election and Abe was chosen, that's utter hogwash, too.

It's a parliamentary democracy not caving in to mobile rule crowd. Just as the secrecy law (remember the fear of people getting jailed as a result?), this is yet another fear mongering attempt using emotions and rhetoric to derail a resonable legislation and policies. As I mentioned earlier, the 1960 ANPO accomplished by Kish proved this.

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mobile rule

Changed that to mob rule.

It's no different from Abe holding a snap election when he knows he will be chosen again, and not later when there would be more of a say based on extended debate.

This is another thing that the detractors often ignore. Where was the back lash of ramming through the Secrecy bill (though the idea to tighten was initiated by DPJ)? Surely with all those protests, the election that came after reflected it, don't you think?

Add to this the aforementioned other bills they've rammed through, and things like My Number (if you want refunds, or basic services, you MUST enroll!), and you can see where the control is headed.

The bill was initially introduced during the Kan administration. Abe reintroduced the bill using the DPJ framework to pass through the legislation.

Dictatorship

Yep. Like I said, using rhetoric and ignorance to appeal a crowd.

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Othr@Alex80SEP. 16, 2015 - 07:58AM JST I'd like to know American reaction, if Japan didn't make this change that the U.S. want. Japan would be included in American black list? You know, it's not nice being included in that list.

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There is no American reaction. They are too busy watching Trump who mentioned Japan and China once. Like bring American job back from Japan and China. Maybe some of you do like American TV anchors who said Abe visited Japan's flooded area pronouncing Abe same as Lincoln's first name. Otherwise, there is nothing about Japan. But people sure know USA can't borrow money from China right now. Obama last month promised he will make USA as a country that does not have to beg to borrow money from China.

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I support revising the constitution. This back door way to accomplish a needed change is not the way to do it.

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I support revising the constitution. This back door way to accomplish a needed change is not the way to do it.

There in lies the problem for the current population is content on the status quo(post war peace and prosperity) failing to realize that such status was achieved through legislation and policies such as these throughout post war Japanese cabinets.

To put it simply, the only way the current people of Japan would move toward revising the constitution is when despite these measures, it wasn't enough where it resulted in mass civilian casualties.

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We in America totally support Japan in her quest to take her rightful place among nations. I especially love the fact that it was China's belligerence on the Senkaku issue that now has the Chinese military trembling in their marionette boots.

As for the demographic disparity between the two countries (meaning who can raise the largest military force in human assets), Japan has developed a technological superiority with highly expendable drones. After a massive airstrike against any Chinese city, these solar-powered drones will then be deployed in the thousands over every city to keep the populace trapped indoors for weeks, if not months, thus starving the city in an unrelenting siege. These human-perceptive, software-directive drones fly well above early detection limits and then swoop down with deadly fire on scavenging individuals in the impact zone. These new war drones replace snipers and occupation forces without the need for an operator on the ground.

Yes, the Chinese are surely trembling at the thought of a resurgent militaristic Japan, as well they should be.

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These new war drones replace snipers and occupation forces without the need for an operator on the ground.

Wha. . . ? Replace snipers?

Japan has developed a technological superiority with highly expendable drones.

Wha. . . ? How is their performance in actual combat?

Yes, the Chinese are surely trembling at the thought of a resurgent militaristic Japan, as well they should be.

Obviously you have never ever been to Japan. They're pacifist. Military recruitment is low. According to a recent poll, many young men are unwilling to fight- even in self defense of japan. Drones??

Trust me friend, the Chinese ain't trembling. That same poll suggested a complete opposite for China, in fact, majority of young chinese men are willing to fight for their country.

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