politics

Abe says he is aiming for constitution change by 2020

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ABe knows damn well he can push this through anytime he wants.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

new supreme law take effect by 2020.

Communism Abe?

-6 ( +4 / -10 )

Wait a minute, I'm still waiting for him to explain why? And get my understanding as to why it's necessary at all? There are bigger more urgent problems than this. Seems to be a personal crusade and as a PM he should really be more concerned about citizens work life balance. Minimum wage, he seems to have forgotten his pledge for child care, his urge for wage rises....pathetic.

1 ( +13 / -12 )

Ultimately Japan must be a fully self governed nation.

At the moment, if you look at post WWII till present, I would say that Japan has gradually regained much of its sovereignty, but is still a dependant on the USA. I don’t think Japan could have talked about changing the constitution 20 years ago innmore peaceful times.

The USA cannot tell us what to do forever, and Japan 2.0 will emerge.

-4 ( +9 / -13 )

. I don’t think Japan could have talked about changing the constitution 20 years ago in more peaceful times.

In the late 50's Abe's maternal grandfather Nobusuke Kishi wanted to rewrite the constitution and specifically Article 9.

Abe's push for revising it, comes from his grandfather's perceived failure to accomplish it! Kishi wanted to rewrite the 1952 security treaty, with the ultimate goal of erasing Article 9. He also wanted to create an economic version of the "Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere" which Japan used during WWII to turn the "east" against the "white devils" of the west!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nobusuke_Kishi#Post-WWII_political_career

7 ( +14 / -7 )

The USA cannot tell us what to do forever, and Japan 2.0 will emerge.

I don't disagree with this but given who would be assuming full control bothers me a bit, you know the spiritual and literal heirs of the goons who brought this nation to the brink of apocalypse, not to mention the path of destruction the left across the Greater East-Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere. The irony being their path to their rehabilitation was OKed and later funded by the guys who defeated them.

7 ( +14 / -7 )

Change the constitution and defend the country by ourselves and then Okinawa will be free from foreign military bases. Japan is half occupied by U.S. Tamaki and voicesofokinawa will be supporting Abe in that context.

-2 ( +8 / -10 )

Japan is half occupied by U.S. Tamaki and will be supporting Abe in that context.

You are so far off the mark that it amazes me that you even live here in Japan! Okinawa is staunchly against the LDP and in recent elections is the only prefecture that did not have any LDP representatives in the government.

These folks are anti-(anything)-military, and think we live in Utopia!

8 ( +13 / -5 )

LDP will not win the next election in summer 2019.

Game over Abe, no one believes in your lies anymore.

-4 ( +6 / -10 )

Tamaki and voicesofokinawa will be supporting Abe in that context.

The Okinawa will support Abe? The Okinawa that had protests numbering 50 000 people + against LDP and Abe?? I don't even live in Japan, but you my friend are delusional. Just because Okinawan's hate the US bases does not mean they will immediately side with LDP and Abe..

I just wish that Abe would step down and young Koizumi takes over. Then we'd see a real change in Japan and for the better. But unfortunately Japan being the old boys club ain't gonna allow that to happen for at least 15 more years.. Shame.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

All nations should have their own strong militaries AND an Article 9. Ban war. Military is only for defense, just like a gun in a nightstand ready to help you defend yourself. Furthermore, if the US can have bases in Japan, let Japan have bases in the US. How about a Honolulu Japanese Naval base?

8 ( +11 / -3 )

The Japanese constitution is more than 70 years old. And many articles are very obsolete for the present times. Not just article 9.

And in this particular case, Abe has a small part of the reason. Only a small part. 

The problem here is the lack of consensus. The Left parties is that they do not admit the obsolescence of the constitution. And they refuse to engage in dialogue at a negotiating table. This is absolutely necessary in a constitutional amendment process in any democratic country. It's something everyone has to learn. Komeito is a party willing to dialogue and negotiation. Unfortunately Edano's PDCJ and its partners live in a changing world that they fail to understand. That's why they fail electorally.

For this to work well. You should learn from my country Spain. Choose constitutionalist delegates from the most important parties in Japan. Take them to a resort isolated from the outside world. So that their decision is not influenced. And leave them alone for a reasonable period of 8 months. While they are writing a consensual draft. From time to time they present that draft to the Diet. For the parliamentary committee to verify or retract the successive drafts until a final text is implemented that satisfies all parties in a minimum consensus. So that the Japanese can then ratify or reject in a referendum.

One thing is clear. No one will know for sure whether or not people want to change the constitution until they are consulted. Everything else is a hypothesis.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

LDP will not win the next election in summer 2019.

Game over Abe, no one believes in your lies anymore.

I wish! LDP will rule this country for the next decade unless some friggin miracle happens and Abe is going to change the law that gives him another 3 years to be PM first and then run the country deeper into the ground.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

Let us hope that by 2020 Abe will be out of office and Article 9 remains unchanged.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

It should be overturned. Japan can't be hamstrung by law that is 70 years old. This is 2018 and Japan is surrounded by neighbors that it has not particularly great ties with - China, Russia, South Korea, North Korea.

What a wonderful position to be in...not.

In fact it would be hard to imagine a worse position to be in, in terms of geographic realities. The only saving grace is that Japan is an island chain. Thank god there is no land border.

3 ( +12 / -9 )

Michael G Today 08:38 am JST

All nations should have their own strong militaries AND an Article 9. Ban war. Military is only for defense, just like a gun in a nightstand ready to help you defend yourself. Furthermore, if the US can have bases in Japan, let Japan have bases in the US. How about a Honolulu Japanese Naval base?

The Italian constitution also has a pacifist article similar to Japanese article 9. It forbids him to wage war except to defend himself. And that's what the Italian armed forces have to do. It does recognize its constitution.

They could copy the Italian pacifist clause to apply in Japan. As a suggestion.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Japan has great relationships with neighbors, tolerant and resilient, not only closest in space but also closest in time. If one there would be a war in Northeast Asia, it would not be among neighbors.

-14 ( +1 / -15 )

Japan has great relationships with neighbors, tolerant and resilient

Ahem, what? Since when? Last time I checked China and Japan can't stand each other more than 5 minutes to do necessary trade for both countries. Japanese look down on Chinese as filthy pigs and Chinese look at Japanese as warmongers. Also South Korea and Japan strong dislike especially recently over the comfort women issue and other war time crimes... North Korea hates everyone equally I guess, except for China and Russia... South East Asian countries can't even do anything by themselves these days without relying on either China or Japan... Most Asian countries have not forgotten what Japan did in WW2 they just put it aside because Japan is a great market and they need the Japanese money... I don't know in what world you live in but Japan most certainly doesn't have "great relationships".

4 ( +8 / -4 )

Lol

A nation whose biggest problem is the death of a third of its population within 30 years wants to protect itself against a nation whose biggest problem is overpopulation, and the best solution it comes up with is to change the laws so they can send its few remaining young people out to die in a war with a country producing enough children per day to fill a city. Let's not even get started on the disparity of equipment and the fact that China has nuclear weapons.

Comedy. He just hates the Chinese and that is what this is all about.

The non-computer using cyber security minister appointed by Abe dealio made me understand perfectly about Abe. He just doesn't know what he is doing, especially in military matters. He really doesn't.

Abe's passing of this law is going to be handled exactly how Japan under his and his successor is going to handle an armed confrontation. Ineptly. The people will obey whatever he says and they'll be cut down in enemy action for their efforts.

If you have kids in Japan you have a duty to protect them against his madness and ineptitude. The Chinese army is the largest in the world with over 2 million active members, with plenty more on tap. Japan is going to have a little under 8 million boys between the age of 0 and 14 in 2020.

Do you really want to send your kids out to face those odds, all because of a corrupt lunatic and his vanity?

Send this guy to a deserted island somewhere already.

0 ( +9 / -9 )

Still waiting exactly why?

0 ( +6 / -6 )

He also wanted to create an economic version of the "Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere" which Japan used during WWII to turn the "east" against the "white devils" of the west!

I take it, you are not a fan of the EU

Btw what's the point of repealing article 9 when Japan has already got some of the best warsips, combat aircraft and battle tanks? If anything, following the provision to the letter should mean Japan ought to capitulate to invaders, which is not a bad thing, afterall, France is still a respectable world power innit?

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Matt HartwellToday  09:01 am JST

It should be overturned. Japan can't be hamstrung by law that is 70 years old. This is 2018 and Japan is surrounded by neighbors that it has not particularly great ties with - China, Russia, South Korea, North Korea.

But Japan has been surrounded by those same territories for time immemorial. And in decades gone by those same territories ties were at considerable odds with Japan.

Particularly  so as China was devoutly tyrranical under Mao, Russia was the psuedo-communist military machine of USSR, North Korea was(is) a despotic Kingdom and South Korea was under Military rule.

I'd suggest below the bluster of public face and local politics, those countries (NK???) have a far stronger working relationship economically, socially and diplomatically than we mere numbers are privy to.

Sure there are huge issues to discuss, huge - but jumping on the "Lets be a normal country and scrap the peace bits for an armed to the teeth pose, you know -  to protect our citizens" bandwagon, is primarily to fulfill Abe's vision of the world as an extension of his grandpappy's desire. And appease Nippon Kaigi acolytes.

The constitutional change is of low priority when one considers the enormous social / economic problems facing the country and it's citizens.

Marrying a 2020 constitutional change to the Olympic "Feel Good" movement ( let's just be happy) is surely in the forefront of Abe's PR machinations.

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

Why bother changing the Constitution, the government ignores most of the time anyway.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

I’m all for an amendment if that’s what they want so badly, it’s just I’d like to know the core values that Japan stands for and is willing to go to war for if necessary. It’s all talk about details without the meat and the veg!

How does Japan envision itself in the future and the region? Did they consult their citizens about this vision? Is it the rule of law, tradition, sovereignty, a calm voice of reason in turbulent times that stand at its core? Do these values apply to individual citizens too across the social strata , or is it the collective notion of the nation?

Get these core values right and I’m sure the rest of the world will be supportive, the free world at least. Right now, I just don’t feel they are clearly defined, if they are they aren’t translating well.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

In theory I have no problem IF JAPNESE want to reform their constitution...……..but is that really the case??!!??

I DONT think so, this is about abe more interested in the past(ie his grandfather, he wants him to be shown in better light than the darker light he is RIGHTFULLY under!). abe doesn't care about Japan's future, just pretends too!

07:37 & 07:50 posts NAIL what abe is up to, don't be fooled!

0 ( +4 / -4 )

A strong Military is good for Japan, able to defend herself and come to the aid of USA if they come under attack in a foreign conflict. A strong Japan is good for Asia Pacific, showing the way for Democracy. As PM Abe had stated many times, change is vital so Japanese people can be proud of their Military, and respect them.

Stay the course, PM Abe, ignore the opponents. Change that constitution.

-3 ( +6 / -9 )

Marrying a 2020 constitutional change to the Olympic "Feel Good" movement ( let's just be happy) is surely in the forefront of Abe's PR machinations.

I don't think it will make any difference. This change has been coming for a while. It wont come as a shock to anyone, including Japans neighbours. After all, what right does any country, including the United States, have to dictate that Japan can't have a proper military? None.

A strong Military is good for Japan, able to defend herself and come to the aid of USA if they come under attack in a foreign conflict.

As long as Japan does not get involved in any more ridiculous Middle East wars instigated by the U.S.

Japan should not spend a single drop of blood or a single yen on any country that is not a democracy or that is governed by religious extremists.

The most important task for Japan is keeping the peace with its neighbors while being prepared to push back on aggression in its territorial waters. Second to that, building the Quad to be a deterrent and a counter to any Chinese and Russian expansionism.

Also, and this is coming a bit from left field, but I want to see Japan apply severe pressure on Australia when the Labor party comes to power to make sure we don't turn our backs on India again, like that traitor Kevin Rudd did. Set our relations back with India by a decade at least. That cannot happen again. Japan and the U.S have to gang up on Australia if Labor even slightly moves in that direction, if they so much as air a few syllables in that direction.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Ganbare Japan!, if a strong Japan means a war, then it is not good for Asia. If a strong Japan means a lapdog, then it is not good for Japan.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

@Akie. Relax and drink some tea. Japan even with a strong military won't invade your country or colognize you. Again

It's time to change the constitution, circumstances on mainland from a stronger China with a 3x the military budget, to poor North Korea equipped with Nukes threating Japan with Nuclear destruction. That's why we need to do it Kim.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

The USA cannot tell us what to do forever, and Japan 2.0 will emerge.

That's what those who know Japan's history fear...

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Schopenhauer,

In the past. the U.S. was very eager for Japan to revise its war-renouncing constitution. Right-wingers and conservative politicians probably gained momentum from this strong backup by the U.S. It seems, however, the initial U.S. enthusiasm is petering out rapidly these days.

What counts most for the U.S. is how to maintain U.S. bases securely in Japan, whereby they may be beginning to make a hedge between Japan revising the constitution and otherwise for its own benefit.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

That's what those who know Japan's history fear...

Again, its 2018. Japan 2018 is not Imperial Japan.

Japan does not have anything like the strength needed to be some 21st century colonizer

China on the other hand....

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Matt, I believe that you don't understand the true character of Japan's leaders, and why it is a danger to take the muzzle off. From an outside perspective, your points ring true - and there was a time I would have agreed with you.

If you have the chance to view Japan from the inside (of the nationalist breeding chambers) for long enough, you would know that Japan's nationalism is only contained by its connections with the US and by the Japanese constitution.

Japan wouldn't have to attempt to colonize again to destabilize the area, with ramifications reaching beyond. There are many other ways they can (and will) cause damage again - I'm sure you could extrapolate some of the many ways this might happen...

I'm no fan of US foreign policy (indeed, they have created a huge mess throughout the world), but I do believe it would be a terrible mistake for the US to pull its interests out of Japan until Japan can truly reform itself. It hasn't even attempted serious reform since those imposed on them after the war, and a lot of pre-war attitudes are alive and well under the surface of the people who call the shots in Japan. Don't be fooled!

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Yubaru

And how did that go? I’m not being sarcastic, I’m asking.

What I meant, was that imo there was no way the USA would allow it before, but now its promoted as a concept.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Make Japan great again!!!Go!Go!Go!Shinzo Abe,the hero of japan!!!Nihon,banzai!!!!!!!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Agent X

I guess we will just have to agree to disagree.

I see a Japan with a declining population, a static economy, surrounded by countries with historical grievances and growing military capabilities, that, when combined, far exceed anything Japan can muster its own defense.

Under what circumstances can Japan go on a rampage throughout Asia? It just doesn't add up. It doesn't hold up to any scrutiny from a strategic perspective. The numbers are so far against to be kinda unreal tbh.

Regardless of whether there are full-on nationalists in Japan, which there is, its just an impossibility.

 I'm sure you could extrapolate some of the many ways this might happen...

No I can't really. All I can imagine Japan doing is defending its territories, which is fair enough and perhaps helping to defend their close allies, which again, is fair enough.

I can tell you as an Australian in a country that has experienced historical aggression against it by Japan, the number of Aussies that think Japan is gonna come rampaging down the Pacific Ocean and takeover Sydney is 0 out of 25 million, but a great many are very fearful of China and, to a much lesser extent, Indonesia.

And the numbers, not to mention the politics, back those fears up, unlike this Japan as aggressor scenario.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

What I meant, was that imo there was no way the USA would allow it before, but now its promoted as a concept.

Actually Kishi was the PM that was considered the most friendly to the US and managed to get the initial 1952 treaty changed over great public dissatisfaction, he wasted so much political capital on pushing the changes to the security treaty through that he could not get his dream of amending the constitution through the Diet and was forced to resign.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

In the beginning of WWII Japan had a military that could fight almost anyone. But its main problem was its almost complete lack of resources. Even with its large military it could not hold on to what it had taken as its lack of resources was it doom.

Today in 2018 it still lacks natural resources and relies on trade to survive. It still can not protect its fragile trade routes against regionally superior forces. Altering article 9 will do nothing to change that. It just can not keep trade routes open and would again be strangled without oil, steel, coal and other commodities required to live let alone to wage war.

What altering the constitution will do is allow it to join coalitions to defend allies and uphold freedom when and where required. When the government and peoples agree it needs to be done.

Japan will never in the foreseeable future be in a position to wage aggressive war on its own against anyone. Nor does it wish to.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Many years ago I told people that Japanese are not really peaceful people. Scratch just a little under the surface you see a nation that’s anything but peaceful. Among a social class there may be harmony but there’s also so much insecurity among people. Is Japan truly threatened or is it just a perception? Is it a perception our Dear PM is capitalizing on? I have barely seen diplomacy taking place. It seems we’ve gone from peace straight to aggressive remilitarization, including changing the constitution, which will happen the moment the opposition takes its eyes off the ball. In this sense I see it not as if but sadly a when.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Great change would be a competent and new pm, hopefully Koike or koizumis son

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Abe has no right to put future generation at the risk of wars. To minimize the danger of a war, all excuses that potentially could lead to wars should be eliminated from all legal documents, including the constitution.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Not Akie. This is only the consequence of China's warmongering attitude. Which is what is giving the perfect excuse for Abe to be right. As hard as it may seem.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I have barely seen diplomacy taking place.

Exactly this.

And for all those who throw out the 'how is Japan gonna rampage through Asia' strawman argument - you are just totally simplifying this complex situation. They don't have to be an aggressor, they only have to be an agitator to destabilize the area. Having an offensive military (as opposed to their massive defensive military) would give them influence that they would abuse - post-war history as our witness. Once the spark catches, things would deteriorate rapidly and become increasingly complex in the area.

Riddle me this: Japan has been a 'peaceful nation' since the war. Bound by its constitution and protected by the US and its own vast DEFENSIVE military. How many times has Japan been invaded by neighboring armies? Why fix it if it's not broken? The US has China surrounded with a superior military and Russia placated , if that's your reasoning. NK is clearly no threat (perhaps unless provoked), even Trump was able to cool that one off...

If you are wrong, and don't know Japan and its playbook like you think you do - in decades to come, will you be the ones to deal with the fallout? Are you stakeholders in the future of J-society? Why not err on the side of caution? After all, Japan is an 'economic miracle'... so what's the problem?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

akie/ and why should Japan be forced to subjecate itself into submission for the ridiculous notion that by displaying its passivity you create peace and stability in the region? If anything that would make its potential foes even more belligerent. Is the rest of the world to do this too, and bow down to the omnipotent waking dragon? Youre having a laugh mate.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

The US has China surrounded with a superior military and Russia placated , if that's your reasoning.

Both of those factors no longer exist.

The U.S military is arguably no longer superior or at least soon won't be.

Russia has rebuilt its conventional forces and its nuclear power is second to none.

The U.S has weakened itself on nuclear dramatically by not keeping up.

And it can't afford to keep up on the conventional front either.

Combined with a fact you have Europe that does nothing to ensure its own security or provide others with security and is only now waking up to the fact that Uncle Sam can't save them. About 2 decades too late.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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