politics

Japan should lift ban on collective defense, says gov't panel

24 Comments
By MARI YAMAGUCHI

The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.

© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

24 Comments
Login to comment

Government panels say what the PM wants them to say, same as NHK. Why would this be news? Abe changing the constitution based on fear politics. There is money in it for someone so I expect the US to fall in behind this.

1 ( +5 / -5 )

uh oh, here we go

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Abe changing the constitution based on fear politics.

This isn't fear politics but real politics. Speaking from Japanese perspective, like it or not, China will continue it's military growth and will surely want to play a part of political power if not around the world then around Pacific region for sure. Under nowadays constitution Japan is unable to move finger and make any kind of movement in creating alliances with other military powers in the region.

Let's take a look for a well known US-Japan alliance. Under currently biding Constitution (Article 9 I mean) if US forces had been attacked by Chinese (or anyone else - it might be North Korea or any other country in ASEAN region) Japan CAN NOT help them by any means of military backing up!

This means that Japan can't create any kind of defence alliance on equal rights with any country around the world. Therefore Japan can't help anyone in case of war and coming from that reasoning it can't be considered as serious partner in talks about safety in the region.

I must say that it seems like US fully 'thumbs up' for the change of Constitution and PR of China is entirely 'thumbs down' for the move as it could even lead to formation of something like South-East Asian NATO (with India, US, Autralia, Japan, Taiwan and ASEAN group's countries as participants) in the future which would tamper greatly it's political ambitions over Pacific and Indian Ocean regions.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

It is about 30 years late but thanks to China's belligerence it will finally happen. The United States has been pushing for this for as long as I can remember. Xie xie! Oh and Gung Ha Fa Choi!

6 ( +8 / -2 )

If approved, it will be very good to Japan!

7 ( +10 / -3 )

According Reuters, “But with collective self-defense already on his agenda, Abe appears unlikely to devote political capital now to a cause that would be viewed as provocative by China and might not be fully welcomed by Washington. U.S. officials have not made clear if they want Japan to acquire greater offensive capability.” It appears that Japan may be isolated and alone in this pursuit.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

@Chenchan

Ok, fair enough. If China or N Korea went after the US you're saying Japan couldn't assist. That is true, but it is also extremely unlikely N Korea or China or any other nation would even contemplate such a suicidal move. No serious analyst considers N Korea a threat. Why you do is beyond me. As to China, this is even less likely, though accidental encounters could conceivably occur.

What Abe is talking about is not "defence." He's using this as an excuse to argue Japan should be allowed to deploy in war zones. Do you really think any of the wars the US has fought in the last few decades could be construed as "defence"? Those are the conflicts Abe wants to get involved in. All this will do is add tit for tat and further anger China and increase the perception (real or imagined) that the US and its allies work directly Chinese interests. It's a bad move.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

If Japan does lift the ban on collective defense, it should strictly be intended to enhance its cooperation with the U.S. military, not to overshadow it. The idea of military activity in Asia is a sensitive one among neighboring countries invaded by the wartime Imperial Army.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

flowersFeb. 05, 2014 - 09:18AM JST According Reuters, “But with collective self-defense already on his agenda, Abe appears unlikely to devote political >capital now to a cause that would be viewed as provocative by China and might not be fully welcomed by Washington. >U.S. officials have not made clear if they want Japan to acquire greater offensive capability.” It appears that Japan >may be isolated and alone in this pursuit.

Obviously written by a young writer who wasn't around in the 1980s when Ronald Reagan pushed hard to get Japan to help defend Guam and PM Zenko Suzuki refused, or is aware of current US strategy in the Pacific. I'm afraid that's wishful Chinese thinking.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

This isn't fear politics but real politics. Speaking from Japanese perspective, like it or not, China will continue it's military growth and will surely want to play a part of political power if not around the world then around Pacific region for sure.

A thoughtful post but based on fear nonetheless. Fact, economically powerful states have more influence regionally than weaker states. Japan is losing influence due to a population decline and China is raising theirs through economic growth. Desperate times call for desperate measures and Abe is getting desperate. Rather than calming things down like a smart diplomat he is ratcheting up the tension to achieve his nationalistic goals. Using fear as a motivator.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

Any nation has the right to defend its territory. China has created disputes with all it's neighbors, so naturally everyone is taking up arms to defend themselves - look what happened to Tibet.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Support their allies? They have managed to p-off just about every nation they have ties with. Do they mean the US? They've also been trying to get the US out of the country for years. Who are these 'allies' they are referring to?

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

I do believe that Japan should modify its constitution and to be allowed to have its independent defense forces as a normal country does. (Forget about “collective defense”, that does not sound very convincing in the first place.)

However, Washington has not made its mind if it wants Japan to acquire greater offensive capability under current environment.

Another thing that Japanese people may need to keep it in mind is that increasing military capability will surely cost you; Japan may get more than it bargained for in long run when the US finally brings its troops home.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

This is a very bad move.

The US is the only military ally of Japan. If collective defense is approved, Japan is to defend the US and the US military wherever it goes. That means the area of operation of JSDF becomes everywhere in the world. What is the benefit for Japan?

0 ( +3 / -4 )

If they give more power to the J-Military than they should get rid of the US forces at least most of them. No reason to pay them a "warm hard budged" and pay for there own military too. Also what benefit has japan when joining not winnable military missions like Afghanistan or some new "war on terror", I can see military fatality and an outrages budged fatality. After all nothing to be desired.

Japan particular under Abes lead is and most likely always will be the dog of the USA and run after the stick following all the requests.

It's just sad!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

It's about time that this should happen. Japanese support would have been greatly appreciated during the Vietnam and Korean Wars, and in the defence of Guam. Every country should and indeed must assist their allies when they need it. If South Korea could stop following in China's shadow and criticizing Japan as China does, they might just benefit from this ban lift. Undoubtedly, China seek to expand its territory, and with South Korea sucking up to China on the Japan issue, they wouldn't see the red invasion until it was too late. If they were definitive allies of Japan, then the JASDF and JMSDF could drive the Chinese military back to China. But that won't happen while SK aggrevates Japan. Other allies of Japan can stand to benefit from this as well, so the ban really needs to be lifted.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Well it will be interesting to see what the official plan will contain. This is going to be a hot potato for Abe so Im guessing there is a need for some kind of incident with the Chinese soon again.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

DisillusionedFeb. 05, 2014 - 10:27AM JST Support their allies? They have managed to p-off just about every nation they have ties with. Do they mean the US? >They've also been trying to get the US out of the country for years. Who are these 'allies' they are referring to?

You really do live up to your name. There are only three countries on the planet that hate Japan, and the third (NKorea) barely counts. The US-Japan Mutual Defense Treaty went into effect in 1960 and allows either side to terminate it by simply giving notice. Japan has never asked the US to terminate the treaty and thereby "leave". Japan is allied with the United States which is allied with Australia which is allied with Britain, as well as with NATO. So Japan has many allies both direct and by extension.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Abe yet again citing "tensions" with North Korea and China - tensions which he played his part in heightening - as an excuse to rebuild the military - ahem defence forces

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Time for the U.S. to close down its bases in Japan since Shinzo Abe is pushing for self reliance.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The amount of willful delusion here is staggering. It cannot be denied that a primary motivation here is to sell Japanese arms and make a bunch of money. As if what the world needs now is more weapons floating around. Please don't over-look this point. There is a lot of money--and death--on the table here. It makes me wonder who posts and votes here in the sick hopes of making money off of exporting death machines.

Next, America has been poking at China for decades. Decades! China and China's neighbors have been poking at each other for a long time as well, and that includes Russia, a nation I think a lot of people like to overlook when talking about disputes. And now the Chinese finally start building a navy, after all this time and all this poking, and its all "Look at those imperialists! They are coming to get us!" Its outrageous.

Its also pretty obvious that this collective defense business is a ploy to gain more potential for offense, and further violate the constitution that clearly does not allow Japan to hold any war potential in the first place.

If Japan wants collective defense, they should make a deal to allow Japanese to join the U.S. military. America has enough hardware to take on and defeat the entire rest of the world combined in any conventional battle. But last I heard, they were short hands to push the buttons and pull the triggers.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

I would certainly recommend that PM Abe, and the Diet, do this asap. Many individual American citizens like me will surely also agree, given awareness and comprehension of the facts of life in a dangerous world.

This is a very prudent thing to do, being realistic about the world around us. I am not worried that Japan is a threat to my interests. Nor to my home country's interests, nor the interests of fellow democracies worldwide.

The democracies of the world need to help each other with combined defense and humanitarian support cooperation on all levels.

The fact of democracy - that there are opposing powers that are absolutely anti-democratic and hostile to greater human liberty and self determination - the "fact" that democracies can survive is not a given and needs muscle. Some self determined nations, like Tibet. lost their freedom to a brutal conqueror. They had no muscle to defend, only flee or suffer unending punishment and terrible abuse.

The Freely Elected Government that exists in Taiwan ROC - allowed it to reach out and to help Japan when it was important to do so after 3/11. That was an excellent thing.

Nations with Allies with similar values, democracies, should come to each others aid, without snares and outdated unnecessary and no-longer-suitable restrictions on a nations sovereign defense. One less string to hold down Gulliver, when he may need to rise in defense of live and liberty.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Nobody's Fool: Your post is spot on. This is all about allowing the JSDF to follow a certain country in its misadventures around the world. I wonder what the reaction of the Japanese people will be when those body bags containing young men and women start coming home and when sons and daughters return home with an arm or a leg blown off. What are they going to do with those veterans suffering from PTSD? The Japanese people need to be very careful about allowing this current government to lead them down a path that will only end in pain and suffering.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Japan should first genuinely denounced its fascist past and educate their citizens about the the crimes committed against the people of the Asian nations, including their own people.

After you do that, you can do anything you want just like any other nation. You can be proud, be righteous, and pursue the aspirations of a strong nation. No one would have a problem with that. But you must first come clean about the past.

Otherwise, the wounds of the past will not heel, will remain sensitive and will get in the way of anything you do.

You see, it's not good enough if only you forget the past, you need to help the others to forget the past too. So far Japan has been trying its best to do the former but not the latter.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites