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Abe: Japan must revise Constitution to engage in U.N. security campaigns

JIJI

The war-renouncing Article 9 of the Constitution should be revised so that Japan can participate in collective military action authorized by the U.N. Charter, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe declared Saturday.

“I doubt whether Japan would be able to fulfill its obligations (to its allies) if the United Nations engages in collective security” operations, Abe said during a satellite TV program. “Japan had better have room to take part.”

Article 9 stipulates that “the Japanese people forever renounce war as a sovereign right of the nation and the threat or use of force as means of settling international disputes.” A draft amendment compiled by Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party administration limits the renunciation to war, and only says that Japan does not exercise force as a means of settling cross-border rows.

Abe’s remark about the nation’s participation in collective security campaigns under the auspices of the U.N. apparently indicates that, in his mind, this differs from the use of force prohibited in the LDP’s draft constitutional amendment.

The prime minister also reaffirmed his intention to prioritize a revision of Article 96 to ease the current requirements for enacting constitutional amendments. The article stipulates that revisions of the Constitution must be initiated by a two-thirds or more majority in both chambers of the Diet.

“After revising Article 96, I hope to start with areas in which national debate has deepened,” Abe said, indicating he does not intend to rush through an amendment of Article 9.

On the economic front, he pointed to recent rises in the prices of imported goods due to the yen’s decline and said his government will remain vigilant to prevent other businesses from jumping on a price hike bandwagon.

To cope with increasing prices for imported fuel, Abe said the government will expedite negotiations with the United States, Russia and Middle Eastern nations, stressing Japan will “purchase energy from as low-priced sources as possible.”

Regarding the Trans-Pacific Partnership free-trade talks, Abe, who is expected to announce Japan’s entry into the multilateral initiative soon, said his administration would strongly negotiate to safeguard the nation’s interests.

He further said it is no surprise that countries that joined the ongoing negotiations at a much earlier stage are concerned that latecomers like Japan might thwart measures that have already been settled.

  • StevenStreets

    Why the hurry to throw away Japans Greatest Victory of staying out of war 68 years?
    There are more productive ways to depreciate currency than military deficit spending for its own sake.

  • http://www.sheldonthinks.com/ andrew Sheldon

    I find the entire wording of the Japanese constitution as interesting in terms of what it says about American leaders confidence in democracy in the post-war period. It conveys that ‘because we believe representative democracy gives Japan the capacity to engage in illegitimate war-mongering we are going to constitute dogma as a basis for preserving the defencelessness of the Japanese’; because better Japanese vulnerability than for Western Allies. The lack of confidence with Japan is not its politics; its the values underlying that constitution. I hope I have sufficiently conveyed that the US offers no better system of values, conveyed by these flaws in Article 9 (Japanese constitution); which apply to the US, Australian, Philippines constitutions, and every other country that accepts representative democracy in less dogmatic (albeit still rationalised) terms. We ought to realise that statutory laws are just a more parochial form of dogmatism.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/David-Rothauser/692189125 David Rothauser

    What may be of interest to all readers is that
    there is a movement in the U.S. to bring a version of Article 9 as an amendment
    to the U.S. Constitution. The Women’s International League for Peace and
    Freedom is now sponsoring a project to make this a reality.
    WWII is over, but should never be forgotten, in fact should be learned in great
    detail – but more importantly people from all nations and cultures should
    realize that we are all living in the nuclear age. Our survival is at stake.
    The future of all generations demands that we deal with war making in the
    nuclear age as the greatest threat to our survival. Article 9 is a proven
    document in action. Japan has lived in peace for 67 years because of Article 9.
    She has not attacked another nation, no soldiers or civilians have been lost to
    war. With Article 9 in the U.S. Constitution both Japan and the U.S. have a
    golden opportunity to form an international coalition to support the United
    Nations in abolishing war making as a political/economic tool. The end of war
    making is in sight!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/David-Rothauser/692189125 David Rothauser

    What may be of interest to all readers is that
    there is a movement in the U.S. to bring a version of Article 9 as an amendment
    to the U.S. Constitution. The Women’s International League for Peace and
    Freedom is now sponsoring a project to make this a reality.
    WWII is over, but should never be forgotten, in fact should be learned in great
    detail – but more importantly people from all nations and cultures should
    realize that we are all living in the nuclear age. Our survival is at stake.
    The future of all generations demands that we deal with war making in the
    nuclear age as the greatest threat to our survival. Article 9 is a proven
    document in action. Japan has lived in peace for 67 years because of Article 9.
    She has not attacked another nation, no soldiers or civilians have been lost to
    war. With Article 9 in the U.S. Constitution both Japan and the U.S. have a
    golden opportunity to form an international coalition to support the United
    Nations in abolishing war making as a political/economic tool. The end of war
    making is in sight!

  • seetell

    Japan should prepare for an expanded “War on Terror” on Japanese soil if it intends to join US oil and bank wars in the Middle East and Africa. Decades of relative peace from foreign actors in bound to change once this Pandora’s Box is opened.