politics

LDP gears up to revise pacifist constitution

29 Comments
By MARI YAMAGUCHI

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Abe’s ruling coalition controls two-thirds of the lower house and hopes to do the same in the upper house by winning elections in summer next year.

Unless Abenomics has a great year between now and next summer, all this discussion may be moot, as the LDP may not be able to get that two-thirds majority it needs. At least in the U.S. "people vote with their pocket books", and revising the Constitution may not even be a factor if the economy does not pick up some of the long-promised steam.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

The LDP and Abe trying to short-circuit the pacifist constitution and hoodwink the Japanese people.

15 ( +15 / -0 )

Nakasone, 96, has long campaigned for a revision and told Friday’s rally that the current constitution is “too abstract” and lacks values and principles based on Japan’s own traditions

It's sufficiently principled to be respected worldwide.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Former Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone, 96, has long campaigned for a revision and told Friday’s rally that the current constitution is “too abstract” and lacks values and principles based on Japan’s own traditions

From Wikipedia about Nakasone:

Nakasone also became known for having a nationalist attitude. He twice visited Yasukuni Shrine, after the controversial decision to enshrine 14 Class A war criminals was made in 1978. During his last term in office, he also gained notoriety among the various non-Japanese ethnic groups in Japan (particularly the sizeable Korean minority) for proclaiming that Japan's success was because it did not have ethnic minorities, like the US. He then clarified his comments, stating that he meant to congratulate the US on its economic success despite the presence of "problematic" minorities.

Can see why Japanese would line up to follow this guy. No wonder Abe loves him.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Another nail in the coffin of Japanese democracy and one step closer to becoming s right-wing Fasciest state!

10 ( +13 / -3 )

The LDP seems determined to destroy the goodwill of the world that's been built up in the last 70 years.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

This is unnecessary and dangerous. The LDP is the enemy with in. This is now a fight for peace against war. Down with the LDP at the polls.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

What on Earth is a 96 years old man still on campaign? He should have been retired since 1985!

2 ( +5 / -3 )

With China and North Korea around plus South Korea becoming an enemy , war is inevitable. You must be prepared at all cost !

-9 ( +1 / -10 )

“The only remaining issue that we need to address is the sovereign people.”

If it goes to the people, it might actually pass because I've seen how apathetic the voters are

3 ( +6 / -3 )

This is really too bad. The world would be better off with more countries under such rules, not fewer.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Funny how the wingers and war mongers claim Japan 'needs' this because of China, but what they really mean by 'because of China' is that they want to emulate and BECOME like China. Because that's exactly what Japan is doing. Farcical elections set up when the candidates they want to win are in place, do whatever they want despite the majority being against it (after promising it depends on the people), claim the people have chosen when said farcical elections go in the predetermined favor, white-wash history (well, to be fair Japan has always done that -- that's not copying China. Vice-versa, perhaps) and replace it with militant propaganda, then ramp up the military and start spending for war while the people suffer, and talk about how it's everyone else's fault.

Great job, Abe!

3 ( +6 / -3 )

A 2012 draft proposed by the Liberal Democrats promoted a conformist Japan with traditional patriarchal values, which place family units above individuals and elevate the emperor to the head of state. It says civil liberties such as freedom of speech and expression can be restricted if considered harmful to public interest. The draft also called for amending the current constitution’s Article 9 to formally upgrade the self-defense forces to a military, while keeping pacifist promises.

I am surprised they aren't also considering revoking suffrage for females and re-establishing Shintoism as the state religion, among other things.

Former Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone, 96, has long campaigned for a revision and told Friday’s rally that the current constitution is “too abstract” and lacks values and principles based on Japan’s own traditions.

Now, which traditions would those be? Those of the post-Meiji Reformation era or those of the Tokugawa Shogun era?

That said, if this all happens, it would be because the Japanese populace is, by and large, apathetic when it comes to politics and would not see the dangers associated with this until too late. Also, it is likely many Japanese would welcome many of the changes... "ware ware Nihonjin" and all of that.

Me thinks we are headed for turbulent times in this part of the world.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

It is unwise to change a Pacifist Constitution that has served the Japanese people and Asians so well in the last 70 years. 70 years of peace, prosperity, development and freedom must not be taken for granted lightly. Provocation and extreme pride of leaders can easily lead to war, if constitutionally not checked for any conforming society or people. Wars will result in many people killed, injured, raped, families broken, hunger, homeliness, severe restriction of freedom, fear, pain, sicknesses, etc day after day especially on the population, the people. Prevent it at as much as possible.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

i don't see anything wrong with the japanese becoming a military power in the current climate. does china or korea respect democratic pacifist ideology ? if its going to be a shit show you need to load your piece.

-9 ( +2 / -11 )

The bottom line is that there is no good reason now why Japan should not have a proper defence force comparable with other developed nations (and many developing ones). With China being in aggressive expansionist mode this is particularly important for the Japanese.The Second World War has been over 70 years; time to move on. After all Germany achieved this decades ago.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

There is a lot of criticism about changing the constitution, but thinking rationally - I don't believe there's a real difference between having a "self-defense" army and a regular army - they're essentially both military forces supposed to effectively kill large amounts of enemy forces - only the context differs. It's just a matter of law, which can unfortunately be completely ignored or reinterpreted in a way that destroys the initial sense. Even invading another country can be explained as "protection of own citizens" - that's one of the rhetorical tricks used by Russia in conflict with Ukraine - "protection of Russian minority in Ukraine".

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

madness utter madness!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Watch out. Mr Nakasone is campaigning to replace Abe while Abe is not in Japan. 96 but don;t forget Japanese live long life

1 ( +1 / -0 )

So Japan should forever be ruled by a constitution created by a foreign government? Because that is what most of you are implying. I actually don't think the referendum will pass, but I hope it does. Each country should be entitled to create their own constitution.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

@ nakanoguy01 MAY. 02, 2015 - 11:36PM JST

I think you are completely missing the point here. The discussion is not about creating a "Japanese" or a "non-Japanese constitution", but about a democratic or non-democratic constitution.

Have you actually thoroughly read through the LDP revision proposal? It is stunning how radically the LDP want's to restrict citizens rights. If the LDP revision goes through anyone could be jailed for expressing an opinion that somehow goes against the public interest, and guess who's going to define what is in the public interest: the ruling party.

There is no constitution of a democratic nation I know of that is even remotely as fuzzy and obscure when defining individual civil rights as the LDP proposal. Someone who believes this kind of constitutional fuzziness is "Japanese tradition" probably also believes that japaneseness and democracy are incompatible, a line of thought I would strongly oppose.

The one thing that is crystal clear about the proposed constitutional revision is that the LDP believes it knows better what is good for the Japanese people then the Japanese people themselves.

And by the way there is a lot of genuinely Japanese input in the current constitution, just that is not the kind of japaneseness the LDP likes.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Nakasone was to Regan what Abe is to Obama.

and the world keeps turning.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Abe’s ruling coalition controls two-thirds of the lower house

Komeito will never agree to fundamentally change article 9

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Go for it Abe. Japan needs to change this. Winter is comming.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

@Bam_boo

Do you have a copy of the drafted amendments in English? Can fine one?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@ Kobe White Bar Owner

I believe I saw a complete english translation somewhere on the net, but lost track of that bookmark... anyway the article at wikipedia is covering the topic quite extensively:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constitution_of_Japan

Then there's a very informative Japan Times article:

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/community/2013/07/02/issues/the-ldp-constitution-a-preview-of-things-to-come/#.VUXI-GTtmko

I would also recommend to read the article by Prof. Lawrence Repeta at Japanfocus:

http://www.japanfocus.org/-Lawrence-Repeta/3969/article.html

For Japanese language resources there's plenty, but I like the very critically commented side by side review on the following site:

http://www.geocities.jp/le_grand_concierge2/_geo_contents_/JaakuAmerika2/Jiminkenpo2012.htm#2012

I find it rather appalling what kind of audacious euphemisms the LDP employes to try to convince people their constitutional revision is about making it "more suitable for Japan", while it so obviously about restricting individual rights and firming up the nationalistic LDP rule.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@bam boo

I'm sorry but what you are saying is complete nonsense. They have already passed a state's secrets law, but that has nothing to do with revising the constitution to allow for a more robust defensive posture. Japan already has a pseudo-army. This would only codify it. And your post says nothing to rebut my claim that every country has a right to create their own constitution.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Chinese bully doesnt want a Japan with Tomahawks

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I'm sorry but what you are saying is complete nonsense.

Could you be a bit more specific?

They have already passed a state's secrets law, but that has nothing to do with revising the constitution to allow for a more robust defensive posture. Japan already has a pseudo-army.

I'm sorry, but I don't get your point. I haven't even mentioned the article 9 so why are you referring to defense in relation to my post when I was mainly talking about democracy and civil rights? I actually agree with you that Japan has an army and that calling it a "self defense force" is an euphemism.

And your post says nothing to rebut my claim that every country has a right to create their own constitution.

I believe Japan has every right to revise its constitution. Please note that I was criticizing the LDP proposal for restricting basic democratic rights, but I don't have a problem with discussing a revision at all.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

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