I’ll add my two pence worth on Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, the Liberal Democratic Party and LDP coalition ally New Komeito changing the interpretation of the Constitution’s Article 9 so that the ban on collective self-defense is dropped.
In theory, scrapping a ban on overseas military action should be a positive step for a modern society, although Japan has participated logistically in the Persian Gulf and other wars since 1991. The United States has long pressured Japan to foot more of the burden for protecting itself. Relaxing the ban on collective self defense will allow Japan to shoot down any North Korean missiles bound for the U.S. — in the unlikely event North Korea develops such a capability.
On paper, this looks to be a positive step, until one looks at the nature of the leader in charge of Japan today — a man with a history of whitewashing war crimes and atrocities, denying that Japan committed a war of aggression or forcibly coerced thousands of women to serve as sex slaves for the Imperial Army. Never mind the visits to Yasukuni Shrine, where Class A war criminals are enshrined, even in the face of U.S. protests.
China and South Korea have every right to be wary of Abe’s Article 9 initiative in view of his background and what he represents. After all, both countries suffered greatly from Japanese military aggression. One positive thing to come out of all this is that large numbers of Japanese people have now demonstrated their opposition to an Abe initiative.
The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.