politics

Pacifist constitution reform at stake in election

35 Comments
By Linda Sieg and Kiyoshi Takenaka

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And yet, the politicians were too cowardly to speak of it at all, with some saying, even, “Oh... we can’t touch on that until after.”

-5 ( +10 / -15 )

Voter Yu Suzuki, 30, in Niigata, northern Japan, said she was worried about pensions but would vote LDP. "Compared to other parties, the LDP feels more secure," she said.

Like everyone else who votes LDP. The opposition is too fractured to make any difference, and the upper house really doesnt have enough clout to enact any change, just stop Abe from getting his wishes.

More than enough that I voted against the LDP today!

1 ( +9 / -8 )

Abe must listen to the voice of peace, for the sake of future generations.

-5 ( +9 / -14 )

The Komeito won't support any changes.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Look at the election board, just faces and names usually written in kana to make them easier to remember. Next to no mention of where they stand on issues like Article 9.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

It's one thing to get a constitutional change through government quite another to get it through the public. An aging population who would have difficulty holding a gun and a youth who are more likely to shoot themselves. As the article says its Abes dream and that's all it is an old man dreaming.

1 ( +8 / -7 )

I don’t think Japan has any idea how a change to their constitution will affect their relationship with neighboring countries and with the US. last week we had Trump going into bat for Japan in Soul. If they change the constitution they can pretty much say goodbye to their US shield. It will also be seen as an act of aggression by the two koreas and by China. Japan does not need to change the constitution. The only thing they will achieve with a change is even more regional instability and hostility.

-1 ( +9 / -10 )

The Article 9 change isn't going to change Japan's pledge to renounce war as a resolution to conflict or allow it to once again be a Imperial Japan type aggressor of the 1930s and 40s.

Isn't the proposed change Abe wants will allows Japan to maintain a more capable military force beyond coastal defense capability and allows JSDF to have a military force capability that can supplement the U.S. military, if not replace the U.S military presence so that Japan to take a more proactive role in defending the Pacific region?

Here's an opportunity to replace the U.S. military presence on Japan mainland and Okinawa.

0 ( +12 / -12 )

 If they change the constitution they can pretty much say goodbye to their US shield. 

You don't seem to understand that it's the US that is pushing for this change.

14 ( +15 / -1 )

Both my wife and I voted against the LDP.  IMO, Japan needs to keep Article 9 as-is.  If only more countries had the same.

0 ( +13 / -13 )

The Komeito won't support any changes

Komeito is like a prostitute, they would support anything so far they are guaranteed a place as ruling coalition partner.

Don't know how soka gakkai members are going to spin the constitution change to appear like it contributing to world peace.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

Akie: ""Abe must listen to the voice of peace, for the sake of future generations."

Abe will listen to Washington's orders. which are going to be delivered by Bolton during his upcoming visit.

-8 ( +7 / -15 )

Fear mongering headline. Japan's "Pacifist" constitution is not at stake. Nobody is trying to change the first paragraph that renounces the use of war. The change is to the second paragraph, to officially recognize the existence of the JSDF. That's all.

1 ( +14 / -13 )

The LDP get back in power with Abe at the helm and they’ll be Japanese warships sailing out to safeguard US ships!

The tax rate will go up to 10% and Japan’s military budget will too.

Then history will slowly begin to repeat..,.

-5 ( +7 / -12 )

Article 9 is a smoke screen, the Nippon Kaige want more sweeping changes limiting women's rights, children rights to be viewed as a human Nippon Kaigi just don't want that the old men feel desperate and threatened by women and children. For them 1930 was a golden time. Not for the rest of us though.

-5 ( +7 / -12 )

Fear mongering headline. Japan's "Pacifist" constitution is not at stake. Nobody is trying to change the first paragraph that renounces the use of war. The change is to the second paragraph, to officially recognize the existence of the JSDF. That's all.

Brilliantly argued, Ossan. As PM Abe has said, all he wishes for is for Japanese to have a Military that everyone can be proud of, just like every other nation. To be able to protect herself and her Allies. To help the USA if their military comes under attack in a foreign battle. When Article 9 is removed, and it will be, it will not make Japan "warlike", or "return to the 1930s" . Japan will continue to be famously peace-loving. Why cannot people understand this?

0 ( +13 / -13 )

I’d like to know how Abe is going to ‘restart the economy and bolster the defense’ by raising the consumption tax. Another dose of voodoo economy could send consumer spending into a tailspin.

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

Germany has a normal military again and they were involved in 2 world wars.

Who would benefit most by a weak Japan especially militarily. It's not Japanese, it's outsiders with a double agenda.

1 ( +10 / -9 )

If Japan is squared away about being peace loving there is no need for killing Article 9. Wishing for a military that Japan can be "proud out" is a sneaky way of saying a military that scares people.

-9 ( +5 / -14 )

Ganbare Japan!: "To be able to protect herself and her Allies. To help the USA if their military comes under attack in a foreign battle."

But the Japanese so-called ally, the US, has been at war for the past 70 years and continues to be at war. So Japan will also be in a continuous war supporting is ally the US. For the past 70 years it has been the US that has attacked, not that has come under attack. Japan, prepare yourself for never ending war .

-6 ( +6 / -12 )

Japan "must" do away with Art. 9, if not with the whole Constitution; no other State, anywhere in the World has a foreign imposed Constitution as a Bible.

Germany, an equally aggressive State (back then), yet much more "barbarous" has its own Constitution. Howz dat?

Why shouldn't Japan do the same??? Is it because JT "experts" disapprove of it? Sod them I say.

"So many people were implicated in Nazi crimes that comprehensive justice could never command democratic assent. The price of democratic assent was to pretend that the crimes were the work of a tiny minority, of which the majority had no idea. “Democracy had to be built on a shaky foundation of justice delayed—hence denied …” The historian Joachim Fest quoted his own father’s answer to questions about Nazi crimes: “I did not want to talk about it then and I don’t want to talk about it now.”

"The hypocrisies and limits of postwar de-Nazification are minutely examined. And it’s true: For decades after 1945, ex-Nazis held dominant roles in German medicine, law, and academia; the civil service; and even the military. (Erich von Manstein, who planned the attack through the Ardennes that smashed the French army in 1940, helped organize the new West German army after serving only four years of his 18-year sentence for war crimes in the Eastern Front.)"https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2019/05/its-70th-anniversary-germany-democracy-alive/588955/"

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2019/05/its-70th-anniversary-germany-democracy-alive/588955/

No equivalence to Art. 9 was ever imposed by the victors.

Plain good old racism.

Simples!

1 ( +11 / -10 )

The world is not pacifist, in fact their investing more and more in their military. If you believe its a good thing to be in Japan's position, than have your countries renounce war and follow in Japan's foot steps. We won't need a military if you don't have one too. We wouldn't need to change the constitution if N Korea was not aggressive, shooting missiles over Japan and threating to use their nukes.

3 ( +10 / -7 )

With today's election results. Constitutional reform is possible. The pro-reform Faction obtains 186 seats. Far above the 163 seats that make up the qualified majority of the 2/3.

With these results the consultation process can be activated in referendum.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Err the proposal has to pass a referendum and it's not just Artical 9 there are other attachments one of which is making a referendum redundant. Giving the government the power to do anything.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

OmachiToday  05:05 pm JST

Both my wife and I voted against the LDP. IMO, Japan needs to keep Article 9 as-is. If only more countries had the same.

Good for you. Hope you both feel proud when you need to rely on the JSDF to help you in those frequent one-a-month natural disasters in Japan. But yes, if other nations like China adopted the first paragraph of Art.9 that renouces war, the people of Taiwan would sleep better at night.

4 ( +9 / -5 )

If they really wanted better relations with their neighbors, they would keep article 9. Japan can defend itself and help allies if need be in its current state. That law was put in place for a reason and I can see why. I think U.S. presence there now is a good thing. Changing it is clearly an ego thing and is going to be a very bad, and on a global scale, especially if an all out war breaks loose.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

John RichardsonToday  01:43 am JST

If they really wanted better relations with their neighbors, they would keep article 9. Japan can defend itself and help allies if need be in its current state. 

That's exactly what they're doing. All that they want to change is the second paragraph that says Japan can not have a military. And Japan already does have a military. It's just to remove the contradiction.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

I would really want would to ask Shinzo Abe and the LDP to stop being the American government's lapdog and to not risk the lives of Japanese soldiers to help America gain control of Earth's natural resources in the Middle East and other regions in order to take away China's number one spot.

The "Make America Great Again" policy doesn NOT concern Japan and America must fight that unethical battle alone.

I do think that Japan must expand it's military so that we can gradually close all US military bases in Japan, after 70 years it becomes time that Japan can take care of its own defense without the "help" of the American military presence.

The Japanese army should only come in to action to defend Japan when its under direct attack and to defend their allies, amongst whom America, when their borders are being attacked and they should never be send to die in some far off region just because Washington says so.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

The American 'elite' cares not at all about Japan except as a potential sacrificial shield between us and China, and turning Japan into the kind of toady, do-what-they're-told-to-do country which the UK has become to our psychopaths. And America will use Japan's children like they mean nothing to anyone, will spend them instead of Americans as the conscienceless British generals did to the Anzac at Gallipolli... There are two kinds of mentalities in this discussion, 'pacifists' who simply abhor us monkeys mass murdering each other, and 'mass murderers' who see such horror as 'business as usual' because they acquire much wealth and power from mass murder and it is other people's children who die brutal deaths and not their own. This last is the one thing we should change if we want to keep our own children safe from these monsters. And the Japanese 'elite' for whom Abe works are as monstrous as the American 'eiite' as the first half of the 20th Century made clear beyond all doubt. NIHONJIN! DO YOU WANT THE GENERALS BACK? THAT IS THE QUESTION OF ARTICLE NINE.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Abe's coalition failed to reach 2/3rd number needed to start the process of crossing out the Article 9.

The Article 9 stands as is, Japan's future is secured.

Now, what Japan needs is a Nobel Peace Prize on the Article 9 to kill any attempt to cross it out.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

@OssanJapan

All that they want to change is the second paragraph that says Japan can not have a military.

Absolutely not.

The list of proposed changes to constitution.

1.Deletes Japan's renunciation of the right to declare war.

2.Places the burden of defending Japan on each Japanese citizen.(To enable conscription of Japanese youth)

3.Establishes in the constitution by name "Japanese National Defense Military"(日本国防軍). No more SDF.

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

Shame the US would never let Japan go all the way and become not pacifist but neutral by constitution, like Switzerland etc.

What's not to want about it, and yet I never hear it being discussed as an option.

Of course, with neighbours like China and Korea perhaps the question is, unlike Europe, would they recognize it, or just treat it like weakness?

@Peeping_Tom

Plain good old racism.

Yup, over 100 years of it so far and all part of the US elite's desire to politically and economicall dominate the Pacific-Asian region. An extension of the old "Manifest Destiny" theory.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Japan will continue to be famously peace-loving. Why cannot people understand this?

Because people like you keep repeating it, and with your history here, it's easy to understand their lack of trust!

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Samit BasuToday  05:02 am JST

@OssanJapan

All that they want to change is the second paragraph that says Japan can not have a military.

Absolutely not.

The list of proposed changes to constitution.

1.Deletes Japan's renunciation of the right to declare war.

2.Places the burden of defending Japan on each Japanese citizen.(To enable conscription of Japanese youth)

3.Establishes in the constitution by name "Japanese National Defense Military"(日本国防軍). No more SDF.

Can you provide a link to support this claim?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

@Yubaru

Japan will continue to be famously peace-loving. Why cannot people understand this?

Because people like you keep repeating it, and with your history here, it's easy to understand their lack of trust!

Don't know the history between you guys but it's true. In world terms, Japan's history really does tend to the pacifist.

Which other nation, for example, had a period like Edo?

Which other nation renounced foreign aggression and imperialism back in the 1600s?

Had Japanese nature been aggressive, like the British/Anglo-Saxons, it's Empire would have been larger.

Taking that further, it's also worth study the nature of its internal wars and warring which were well ordered and largely symbolic. Again, compare Japanese castles to European castles or Chinese wall cities to understand the difference.

Having said that, I'd say the nation should be truly independent and agree with those who argue that the US imposition is based on a history of racism and self-interest within its policies, that has required Japan to be represented falsely as "the bad guy".

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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