politics

S Korea urges Japan to abide by spirit of its Pacifist Constitution

30 Comments

The South Korean government on Thursday called for Japan to abide by the spirit of its Pacifist Constitution after the cabinet approved a set of bills bolstering the role and scope of its military.

South Korea sees the bills as a move by the government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to redefine its position in the increasingly roiled Asia-Pacific region.

"We expect discussions on Japan's defense policy to proceed in the direction of contributing to peace and stability in the region while sticking to the spirit of the Pacifist Constitution," foreign ministry spokesman Noh Kwang-il said at a press briefing, Yonhap News reported.

Meanwhile, South Korean President Park Geun-hye said she hopes to have a summit with Abe in the near future.

Park made the remarks Wednesday after meeting with a visiting Japanese delegation that included Sadayuki Sakakibara, chairman of the Japan Business Federation (Keidanren) and Mikio Sasaki, chairman of the Japan-Korea Economic Association, at the presidential Blue House in Seoul.

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30 Comments
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It's difficult to contemplate what South Korea means by Japan maintaining peace and stabilitiy in the region when China is behaving the way it is. South Korea should be more concerned with what China's doing.

11 ( +14 / -3 )

stormcrow: I have no doubt they are concerned about that. They are likely so concerned, in fact, that they are fully aware that Japan's changing the constitution would mean things are further exacerbated between China and Japan and the region would become more unstable. Being concerned about China is not exclusive, and they can also be fully aware that Japan should not change the good points of its constitution. SK is 100% correct in this, regardless of whether people like the nation or not.

-12 ( +4 / -16 )

Why only South Korea? A crazy far right government who lie through their teeth, with a history of war crimes on a mass scale, every govt should be worried, even ones on the other side of the world who have never harmed Japan.

-13 ( +3 / -16 )

South Korea wants attention from Japan 24 hours everyday.

12 ( +16 / -4 )

South Korea is a member of an alliance with the US and Japan.

Yet, they don't want Japan to be a more effective member? Imagine NATO being like this.

It would be easy say SK is hypocritical but then you have to wonder if their government has the country's best interests at heart (better cooperation with Japan with regards to defense and trade), or they are just trying to score political points. In the case of Park, I'm not alone in suspecting the latter.

9 ( +12 / -3 )

Tinawatanabe: "South Korea wants attention from Japan 24 hours everyday."

And here you are, giving it and worrying about it.

-10 ( +3 / -13 )

Just bad luck with Japan who has such neighbors.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Give anything to SK, it wants more and you get in trouble.

South Korea is lucky that Japan now ignores them rather than retaliates.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

South Korea is lucky that Japan now ignores them rather than retaliates.

South Korea has a number of vocal right-wingers that consistently are vocal about Japan. Japan has a number of right wingers that consistently are vocal about South Korea.

Your premise that Japan isn't retaliating is incorrect. You are retaliating in the exact same manner that they are criticizing Japan with.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

Tinawatanabe: japan ignores them? so far you've commented TWICE on something you "ignore", and have yet to even address the topic of changes to the constitution. What does that say about a person who spends her waking hours complaining about something she says she doesn't care about?

Some of you just hate SK so much it doesn't if you agree that Japan shouldn't revise article 9, you just whine because it's SK saying it.

-10 ( +3 / -13 )

Curious to see how much SK can formally complain on this, considering that their constitution makes no restriction on their own military, which has well more than double the personnel of the current Japan SDF. (not to mention NK's nearly triple size and China's ten times size).

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Japan should have issued an ultimatum for SK to remove its troops from Takeshima (or Dokdo) within 72 hours of them being dispatched there, and been prepared to back it up with military force. Instead look what has happened: appeasing SK just emboldened them, and now they are provoking Japan every chance they get. True, the provocations are mainly annoyances (like the "comfort woman" statue across from the Japanese embassy in Seoul), but until Japan puts its foot down in an unambiguous manner this sort of stuff will go on indefinitely. As a start, Japan should downgrade its Seoul embassy and move it into a suite in an office building or hotel with good security. And instead of leaving the Zaitokukai and Yukan Fuji as surrogates to do its dirty work, the government should unequivocally denounce SK, paint over hangul signs at rail stations and ban weepy, artless Korean melodramas from its TV airwaves. Maybe that will get their attention.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Galapagos: "Japan should have issued an ultimatum for SK to remove its troops from Takeshima (or Dokdo) within 72 hours of them being dispatched there, and been prepared to back it up with military force."

Stupid suggestion, and one that would never have happened, nor will, for good reason. First, there's no dispute. Second, SK would swat Japan's military down like it was nothing. Third, he US would not allow Japan to do it, and would not help if they did, having interests in both. Fourth, SK is not "provoking" Japan here at all, they are giving sage advice. As for our rant about painting over hangul signs and taking much-loved dramas off he air out of flat out hatred, well, your pettiness is just that; petty. You would rather destroy Japan and its reputation out of insecurity than listen to reason. Shame on you.

-10 ( +3 / -13 )

tinawatanabeMay. 15, 2015 - 10:16AM JST

South Korea is lucky that Japan now ignores them rather than retaliates.

What are you going to do, stop making money off them?

I really get tired of the arrogance and ignorance of some Japanese centric posters - 'stop doing business with China', 'retaliate against South Korea', 'if the US doesn't allow us to protect our agriculture, don't sign the TPP'.

PEOPLE, JAPAN IS TOTALLY DEPENDENT ON HAVING ACCESS TO THE MARKETS OF OTHER COUNTRIES. WITHOUT THAT ACCESS, JAPAN COULDN'T SUBSIDIZE ITS DECREPID DOMESTIC ECONOMY. THAT ACCESS IS DEPENDENT ON JAPAN PLAYING BALL WITH OTHER COUNTRIES.

Now can we all go on and take our heads out of the make believe sands that Japan has any power to retaliate against anyone. To withdraw something, you have to give something in the first place. Japan runs a $10 billion direct current account surplus with South Korea, as well as an indirect current account surplus, through electronic parts, of $20 billion.

It seems that Korea is one with the power to retaliate and Japan's lucky she hasn't done so far.

-6 ( +4 / -10 )

"Chief log the time and date!" I actually agree with the Republic of Korea's government. Japan needs to be a pacifist government. Learning from our past that intervening in other countries problems leads Japan down the dark road. Look at what happened 100 years ago and tell me Japan did not follow the wrong chart. Look at all of the war crimes committed by Japan. From Seoul to Nanking and beyond. I believe that Japan must show by example the road to peace. Increasing our military beyond self defense is a reason for the arms race. While I have my disagreements with the Republic of Korea they are right this time!

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

YuriOtani: I totally agree with you on this. You make some good points.

-5 ( +5 / -10 )

South Korea should think rather than protest against Japan in knee jerk reaction.

The issue here is "collective self-defense" which means defending a friendly nation when it is attacked by a 3rd party nation.

Without collective self-defense, Japan must stay neutral, unless UN Security Council calls all of its members to engage in the war against aggression. If South Korea is attacked by North or China, Japan does nothing and stays neutral. Staying neutral, in strict sense, means that Japan does not allow its ports and air bases to be used for forces engaging in war. If US joins the war in Korea, a neutral nation must ask US forces to leave from its port within 24 hours.

http://avalon.law.yale.edu/20th_century/hague13.asp

CONVENTION CONCERNING THE RIGHTS AND DUTIES OF NEUTRAL POWERS IN NAVAL WAR

Art. 12

In the absence of special provisions to the contrary in the legislation of a neutral Power, belligerent war-ships are not permitted to remain in the ports, roadsteads, or territorial waters of the said Power for more than twenty-four hours, except in the cases covered by the present Convention.

Last time the war broke out in Korea, UN Security Council called for help and American forces took part in the war as UN forces. Japan helped the UN forces, which is not against neutrality. But next time, UN Security Council may not work, and in that case, Japan, without collective self-defense, must stay neutral.

That said, I am against collective self-defense. If a war breaks out in Korean peninsula, Japan should stay neutral because Japan has no national interest in there.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

@Gary RaynorMay

I really get tired of the arrogance and ignorance of some Japanese centric posters

Nothing is more arrogance than interfering in another country's sovereign issues such as laws.

JAPAN IS TOTALLY DEPENDENT ON HAVING ACCESS TO THE MARKETS OF OTHER COUNTRIES

Japan's dependency on trade is the lowest in the world. South Korea depends on trade 96% of its GDP.

www.sekaikeizai.or.jp/active/article/130603kojima_akira.html

3 ( +9 / -6 )

S Korea urges Japan to abide by spirit of its Pacifist Constitution

In view of the fact Japan doesn't teach its history properly - ie 1931-1945, no argument there. Japan isn't responsible enough to be let off the leash yet

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

tinawatanabeMay. 15, 2015 - 01:39PM JST

Japan's dependency on trade is the lowest in the world. South Korea depends on trade 96% of its GDP.

Ignorance of the facts. I give up after this post.

Japan’s economy is $3 trillion. Korea’s economy is $1.5 trillion. 40% of Japan’s economy is exports. 60% of Korea’s economy is exports. 40% of $3 trillion is larger than 60% of $1.5 trillion.

Japan has a trade surplus with Korea of over $10 billion. Korea has a balance of payments deficit with South Korea of around $15 billion.

Again, how are you going to retaliate against South Korea, against anyone, by not making money off them?

Japan is in position to do anything

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

Precisely

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Gary RaynorMay. 15, 2015 - 02:20PM JST

Japan's economy is $3 trillion. Korea's economy is $1.5 trillion. 40% of Japan's economy is exports. 60% of Korea's economy is exports. 40% of $3 trillion is larger than 60% of $1.5 trillion.

Why do not we get the data straight?

http://www.esri.cao.go.jp/jp/sna/data/data_list/sokuhou/files/2014/qe144_2/__icsFiles/afieldfile/2015/03/04/gaku-mcy1442.csv

2014 Japan

GDP 488 trillion yen, or 4 trillion USD @120 yen / dollar

Exports 86 trillion yen, or 0.7 trillion USD @120 yen / dollar

Japanese Export / GDP = 18%

4 ( +6 / -2 )

And how is South Korea's economy relevant to Japan changing its consitution?

0 ( +4 / -4 )

smithinjapan

SK would swat Japan's military down like it was nothing.

That is some of the most delusional bs i have ever heard. If Japan really wanted those islands, they would have them. SK needs to get it's collective head out of it's butt and start worrying about what the north will do...

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Yes think you South Korea for reminding us to stay true to the pacifist constitution now keep an close eye on your nears neighbor in the North.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

If China ever moved on Korea, S Korea would be the first to run to Japan asking for help ... and can you imagine how much it would complain if Japan refused it?

Park Chung-hee's daughter is merely repeating the tired old rhetoric aimed at portraying Japan as an evil militarist society and damage it's international brand value to benefit the chaebols.

It's shameful ... and ungrateful, considering how much Japan gave to build them up.

I suspect that much of this rhetoric, in the English language, is aimed at weakening American support for Japan.

You need to ask whose interest that would be in?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

"SK would swat Japan's military down like it was nothing"

Spoken like only a clueless somebody would do.

Japan's navy is Asia's strongest, barring the USA's.

It's even stronger than our British Royal Navy, themselves no pushovers.

Not even China can mess about with Japan's navy.

http://www.businessinsider.com/japans-smaller-military-could-match-china-2014-5?IR=T

Japan would have SK for breakfast were their respective navies to have a go at it!

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

I bet a lot of neighbours would like Japan castrated, as until now, and get rather scared by seeing a pair of balls growing back... I'm pretty sure, if there's a war it won't be Japan starting it, but Japan might well win it.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

BREAKING: South Korea wants Japan-senpai to notice her.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

South Korea is like that jilted ex that always demand alimony, always have to be involved in your life, can never move on, and hates for you to move on as well. Worst yet, it would frequently trying to gain attention.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

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