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Abe unveils plan to amend Constitution, put it into force in 2020

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Once again to coincide with the Olympics.....oh, besides the SDF, I want to see what other changes he has in mind.

Also, Abe is thumbing his nose at the Japanese people. He EXPECTS the constitutional amendments will be ratified by the people, I hope that they shoot him down!

5 ( +12 / -7 )

If this is just an aim at clarifying a constitutional paradox, ie the existence of the SDF and its relation to the existing Article 9, then in all honesty I don't see a problem with it. However what could be alarming would be how the SDF is defined within the constitution itself after a successful amendment to have it incorporated within it.  

It is likely that if Article 9 is amended to clarify the SDF's role, then a new Article or amendment will need to be outline what that role is! This is where the problems will start, the SDF's role not the fact that it exists.

If it is defined as a preventative force an not an offensive one then in theory this is in keeping with the spirit of the Constitution and Article 9 as original defined. However, should Abe decide to change how the SDF works and its role in any future military operations, thereby turning it from a defensive force into an operational  and deployable army  then that is where he will come up against domestic and potentially international opposition.

This is of course all hypothetical, everything will hinge on the referendum and on how much fear and paranoia the conservatives can instil in people between now and then over North Korea, China and other rouge states. If they are successful in frightening the nation into voting for. What ever the outcome expect a bitter and divisive campaign that will neither be pretty or honourable!

6 ( +8 / -2 )

The coward couldn't even do it in front of a live audience of Constituents, but by video message to a group that approves of his actions. This is likely why the idiots in the black trucks were driving around Osaka City this afternoon -- IJA music at full blast while hiding behind black windows and curtains, and with a personal police escort.

This moment in the photo -- Abe's dream come true. Notice how once again he just sprung his plans on everyone? The Emperor -- the living god to Abe and his ilk -- wants to retire? Oh... that's IMPORTANT and takes time, effort, panels, discussion, debate, and years to come into effect. Changing the war-renouncing Constitution into one that gives Japan permission to have an army and attack others? Abe's personal decision that he can VERY quickly put into effect. Japan is the new North Korea.

4 ( +14 / -10 )

Seeing any change to the constitution has to have a national referendum , a sign of arrogance from Abe and his buddies once again .

5 ( +10 / -5 )

Abe government and LDP's "new Constitution" expand political authority and restrict Individual Freedom or Press Freedom.

It is equal to the way to autocracy.

11 ( +15 / -4 )

He looks like a penguin in that picture, not very flattering.

I would love to have that picture all by itself on a thread; "Caption this!"

4 ( +8 / -4 )

What a frightening photo. I've only ever seen dictators riding around like this. A google image search of 'inspecting troops in convertible' seems to confirm this.

9 ( +13 / -4 )

M3M3M3: "I've only ever seen dictators riding around like this."

Why do you think he's so happy and pleased with himself? I honestly think if he could, he would declare himself Emperor and make the Emperor in control again.

6 ( +12 / -6 )

The constitution is easy to read, easy to understand and does not need any changes, especially to article 9.

http://japan.kantei.go.jp/constitution_and_government_of_japan/constitution_e.html

Any amendments could need a majority of both houses of the Diet and a majority vote in a referendum.

10 ( +15 / -5 )

As we discuss the future shape of our country, education is an extremely important topic.

Double speak for 'grab them while they're young'

Abe, a strong proponent of constitutional amendments who returned as prime minister in December 2012, could serve as LDP president until September 2021 if he wins a third consecutive term as party leader in the next leadership vote in the fall of next year.

Yes dear leader, come back for another fourth, fifth even sixth term. Please continue making a mockery of the democratic process. Let your true colors come shining through!!

4 ( +8 / -4 )

"Order" from US thinktank to Japan.(2012)

https://csis-prod.s3.amazonaws.com/s3fs-public/legacy_files/files/publication/120810_Armitage_USJapanAlliance_Web.pdf

0 ( +2 / -2 )

From 2012......Amendment by amendment with contrasts to the original.....Changes to Articles 13 individuals to persons and 97 refers to obligations are of interest,  plus Chapter IX: State of Emergency this provided government with total authority....   Lots to wade through.  

Draft for the Amendment of the Constitution of Japan.....

https://www.voyce-jpn.com/ldp-draft-constitution

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Yes This image sure tell a story, It reeks of imperialism. I have lost any respect for Abe, The sooner this elite ultra right conservative government get the boot the better for Japan.

7 ( +12 / -5 )

Present constitution has prevented war for 72 years.  It is the best one as a result. It seems that its amendments would get close to war somehow in the future.

10 ( +13 / -3 )

Love the Jyūrokujō-Kyokujitsu-ki

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Any amendments could need a majority of both houses of the Diet and a majority vote in a referendum.

No actually it needs a 2/3rd's majority in the Diet and a simple majority in a public referendum

Hence Abe's desire to change this as well, to make constitutional changes in the diet a simple rather than 2/3rds majority.

A constitution SHOULD be hard to change, and the people of Japan should wake the "f" up and realize that their freedoms and future are tied to all of this.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

TRUE democracy means holding a referendum but that is not the way that things work in Japan.....

5 ( +8 / -3 )

TRUE democracy means holding a referendum but that is not the way that things work in Japan.....

But the constitution demands it.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

@zichi

so far, the constitution hasn't put much of a brake on escorting US warships with orders to use force if the mission is hampered.....

3 ( +4 / -1 )

An Imperial education again, an Imperial army again. None of this is a positive development for Japan. By the time the 2030's roll around it'll be shades of the 1930's again?

2 ( +5 / -3 )

The second step to the rise of Imperialism and rise of the new Emperor of Japan.  The losers are the sheeple people who love to pay tax to an outdated system and have no voice.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Will the Kempei Ordinance be reinstated as well? Kempeitai loyalty oaths, part two?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

@kurisupisu 

so far, the constitution hasn't put much of a brake on escorting US warships with orders to use force if the mission is hampered.....

But the constitution is clear if and how amendments can be made otherwise it wouldn't be legal and could be challenged in the courts.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

So 2020 is the time to dust off the suitcase and get on my toes. Noted.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

It was an American that wrote the Japanese constitution and mirrors in large part the US constitution yet successive American presidents have invaded successive countries and recently Trump, without a congressional vote was able to have Syria bombed!

My point is that would it not be possible for Abe to do similar ?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Shinzo Abe, could well become Japan's longest serving Prime Minister. His legacy to the people of Japan will be a debt burden equivalent to 250+ % GDP, depopulation close to one million alone in the past five years. An culture of death from overwork, yet one of the poorest levels of productivity.

Today Abe san top principal policy, in Abe san own words, "I strongly desire that 2020 will be the year a new Constitution goes into force".

Consti-abe-tion and prune juice will not provide the electorate any sort term relief.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Not cool there is a military Japanese flag in this photo

0 ( +4 / -4 )

The government says, however, that the provision does not prohibit the country from maintaining its ability to defend itself, and thus allows Japan to possess defense forces.

What part of "land, sea, and air forces, as well as other war potential, will never be maintained." does the LDP not understand ?

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

every morning i wake up and think, what is the worst thing Abe inc. can do for the wonderful citizens of japan. then it happens.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

They can do a military parade during the Olympics to show that "Japan is back and normal again".

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Maybe they can also start handing out special identification, but only to minorities, make it mandatory to carry under pain of jail or even death. They could also have secret police officers who can accost minorities at any moment and perform questioning on them without reason, whether it be outside on the street or in their own homes.

They could also make some new laws that clamp down on media that does not conform to the government's desires, under pain of jail time or worse.

What, wait a minute...

Wasn't Grampa Abe part of a nasty little clique that did all this 70-80 years ago?

3 ( +6 / -3 )

JT commenters blow my mind.

The DPRK spends a better part of a century kidnapping and murdering people, they constantly threaten countries and defy international law. But everyone is willing to dismiss mention of the danger they pose as fear mongering.

The Prime Minister says he would like to add verbiage to Article 9 that legitimizes the SDF, not remove the war renouncing article, just make the SDF legitimate. Commenters act like Japan is going to role into Manchuria tomorrow.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

It was an American that wrote the Japanese constitution and mirrors in large part the US constitution

It was 25 GHQ Americans who wrote the Japan's constitution in 9 days.  It aimed to weaken and control Japan, so it is hard to believe it mirros the US constitution.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

@tinawatanabe

what is it about the constitution that you don't like? Is it that you just hate America?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

"If it ain't broke don't fix it," Mr Abe. We've had seventy years of peace, but you want to change that.

Why?

1 ( +5 / -4 )

How 1936 abe!!

And please lose that flag, it represents Japan's barbarity of WWII!!

2020, same year as the olympics...you've got to be kidding!!

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

GW

That is the Navy flag as anyone in Japan knows.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Citizen2012 May. 3 09:19 pm JST

The government says, however, that the provision does not prohibit the country from maintaining its ability to defend itself, and thus allows Japan to possess defense forces.

What part of "land, sea, and air forces, as well as other war potential, will never be maintained." does the LDP not understand ?

The question you should be asking should be directed at the United States. The U.S. forced Article 9 onto Japan, then some 4-5 years later FORCED Japan to create the JSDF. Has nothing to do with the LDP.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

That is the Navy flag as anyone in Japan knows.

Its MUCH more than that!

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

The US tiptoes around like an elephant in a china shop when having to deal with political issues in Japan. Far from weakening or controlling. The Japan Government has done all the weakening and controlling of the country and people of Japan. Hereditary positions instead of experience counting for anything has weakened the country. Example PM Abe.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

A father of Japan is born! A macaber one with imperialistic views toward China and North Korea! Allowing him to control both houses perpetually with 2/3 majority is dangerous! Democracy is dwindling ahead of Abe`s rising aspirations for a new despotic rule of Japan!

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Isn't that interesting so many countries want to change their constitutions recently ? I think we have entered in era of global tensions that force every country to rethink about their position and value.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Periodic reapportionment must be introduced. Due to over-representation, conservative country bumpkins are ruling/ruining the country. The huge post-WWII population shifts must be reflected in politics. The Supreme Court has ruled several elections unconstitutional, but never had the nerve to invalidate them.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

A major flaw to Prime Minsters Shinzo Abe's campaign to revise Japan pacifist constitution, announced significantly and without any hint of irony on its 70th anniversary is a rather arrogant presumption that public opinion will be swayed by offering or hold out the prospect of free education initiatives,  a modern day  equivalent of bread and circuses.

It a classic Prime Minster Abe pledge, a carrot dangling on a very long stick. A stick that can be extended in a manner that for economic reasons would require the Hubble telescope to catch sight of, however flexible enough to engage warp drive to bring back into view on essential politically expedient occasions when the electorate need encouragement to horsey horsey, gee up neddy to remain on message.   

The flaw to the agenda is, neither the advocated changes to the constitution or that promise of free education for all, have been costed out for J taxpayer to review . The trip-up point is Japans sovereign debt, exasperated through stagnate wage growth, blighted by irregular employment for some 40% plus of the workforce and a declining ageing population. Free education in a ruling government that cannot provide afforded preschool child care.

A smoke and mirrors illusion to cynically manipulate public opinion to adopt a ideology irrelevant in 21st century Japan.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

smoke and mirrors is dead right.

All this fuss is being made over altering Article 9, when Abe has already demonstrated that he can 'interpret' it whichever way suits him to get the JSDF overseas and in the action.

There are other changes to the Constitution being proposed that are much more dangerous and, I think, the main target of Abe's machinations.

Like the requirement for change to be a 2/3rds majority in the Diet followed by a straight majority in a national referendum; once Abe gets that one weakened, he will have a clear path through to making more insidious changes to the protections on free speech, freedom of employment/movement etc. Turning Japan back to the land of his grandaddy. (Shades of 'Make Japan great again?')

I think he will allow the debate to centre on Article 9 and at the last moment, before it goes to the country, declare that there will be no change to Article 9; and all the anti-war voters will heave a sign of relief, miss what's behind the smoke and mirrors, and vote in favour of the 'protect Article 9' constitution which will have the very real potential of drastically reducing the freedom of the average Japanese citizen.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

@zichi

what is it about the constitution that you don't like? Is it that you just hate America?

I told you above. The Constitution is meant to weaken Japan.  It is because of the Constitution that Japan's neighbors are constantly bullying Japan.  I don't hate America.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

@tinawatanabe

I told you above. The Constitution is meant to weaken Japan. It is because of the Constitution that Japan's neighbors are constantly bullying Japan.  I don't hate America.

I disagree. The constitution made the country strong and introduced democratic rights which didn't previously exist. It allowed the country to rebuild itself after the terrible destruction from the war. It allowed the country to develop into the strongest country and economy while being protected by America. It allowed the country to live in peace for 70 peace.

Japan was fortunate it was America which won the war with Japan and not the Soviet Union instead which would have led to the Soviet Union invading Japan and who really knows what would have happened after that.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

If Abe wants to introduce free public education he can do that now, without revising the constitution. If that's what he wants why isn't it an LDP policy? Why isn't Abe drawing up the legislation and apportioning a budget for it? Because Abe is talking nonsense, that's why.

Free education is not one of the LDP's proposed constitutional revisions and the media should ask Abe why he is mentioning it at all. Perhaps this is why he sent a video message: so nobody can ask him why he is talking rubbish.

What Abe does want is the power to impose a state of emergency, a measure beloved by dictators the world over. Why didn't he mention that?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

gokai_wo_maneku Today  06:21 am JST

Periodic reapportionment must be introduced.

Absolutely right, but it either won't happen or it won't be implemented properly.

Due to over-representation, conservative country bumpkins are ruling/ruining the country.

They want to keep things that way, which is exactly why any attempts to fix the system have been, at best, half-hearted.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

constitution made the country strong and introduced democratic rights which didn't previously exist.

The Constitution and American influence did introduce democratic rights (though to be fair, some democratic rights were being introduced during the Taisho era, too) beyond what Japanese would have been able to imagine for themselves. On the other hand, to say there was no side goal to weaken Japan would probably be overstating the case.

A Japan without article 9 would probably be a better balanced country, while not being warmongering and more secure. If anything, it is possible a more aggressive early response to China's territorial expansion will actually make for a better behaved China today. It might even make Japan a more rule of law country than it is, simply because it would not have a constitutional article it can't realistically fulfill.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Japanese Prime Minister : "Stop me if you can"

1 ( +2 / -1 )

so to speak,

Japan's "New Constitution" of the politicians,by the politicians,for the politicians.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I think many people should keep in mind how war is good for the elite who own the war machine as it were. Also offers endless chances to restrict freedoms,change future generations and the course of said country. History repeats itself if we do not learn from it.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

The constitution made the country strong and introduced democratic rights which didn't previously exist.

Japan was peaceful democratic country until the West started meddling in Japan before Meiji era by selling weapons and causing Meiji revolution.  Even with Meiji Constitution, Japan was a strong country.

 It allowed the country to rebuild itself after the terrible destruction from the war.

Rebuilding from the war does not require US made constitution.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

GW May. 4 02:28 am JST

That is the Navy flag as anyone in Japan knows.

Its MUCH more than that!

Only in the mind of the biased and uneducated. The IJA never used that flag in WWII, only the IJN. Today that flag flies proudly alongside the Stars and Stripes as allies in the face of mutual threats and security concerns.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

"Japan was peaceful democratic country until the West started meddling in Japan before Meiji era by selling weapons and causing Meiji revolution. Even with Meiji Constitution, Japan was a strong country."

(1) Peaceful? Yes, but more along the lines of Tacitus' Romans: Live under our peace as subjects and you might prosper. Oppose our will and be slaughtered or enslaved.

(2) Democratic? See (1).

2 ( +4 / -2 )

"Live under our peace as subjects and you might prosper. Oppose our will and be slaughtered or enslaved."

Sounds more like present Japan than Edo era.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

According to an Asahi poll, there's isn't not much difference between those who would amend and those who wouldn't amend the constitution. But first it would require the two thirds majority of both Diet Houses and then a referendum majority.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The Japan Navy still flies the Japan Imperialistic "Himawari flag" upon their Ships. The same Flag symbol used by Right wingers across Japan, to Symbolise their desire for going back to the old days of the Empire with Allegiance to the Emperor.

:-(

So, apart from some Legalise, there's not much difference between now and then in the views of some here.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

mmwkdw May. 5 09:47 pm JST

The Japan Navy still flies the Japan Imperialistic "Himawari flag" upon their Ships. The same Flag symbol used by Right wingers across Japan, to Symbolise their desire for going back to the old days of the Empire with Allegiance to the Emperor.

So, apart from some Legalise, there's not much difference between now and then in the views of some here.

There s no such thing as a "himawari flag". That would be a flag with a  sunflower on it. The JMSDF naval ensign was readopted in 1968. Rightwingers use both the regular "hinomaru" flag as well as the "kyokujitsuki" which was used by the IJN till 1945.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Might I add that the Kyokujitsuki is as related to Imperial Japan as the Prussian Cross is to Nazi Germany... Both symbols' tradition and history far outdate the dark times those nation's had. We need to stop linking something that actually has deep historical and cultural roots and meaning to the that dark period of time.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

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