The Japan Business Federation (Nippon Keidanren), the nation’s most powerful business lobby, released a package of constitutional amendment proposals Tuesday that would allow Japan to exercise the right to collective defense and formally recognize the Self-Defense Forces.

The current ban on exercising the right to collective defense is “acting as a drag” on Japan’s efforts to become a trusted nation in the international community, the federation said.

The federation also called for early enactment of a national referendum law needed to amend the Constitution.

Last July, Nippon Keidanren began studies on amendments at its Committee on Constitutional Policy.

Studies on Japan’s “basic framework” are needed to overcome “the age of turmoil,” said Nippon Keidanren Vice Chairman Shigemitsu Miki, head of the committee.

Businesses are a part of the country’s support base, and changes in the framework will exert a great deal of influence, Miki added, explaining why the committee began deliberating constitutional amendments.

In the package, Nippon Keidanren puts priority on amending Clause 2, Article 9 of the Constitution, which bans Japan’s possession of a military.

While Japan should adhere to the war-renouncing Clause 1, the second clause should be revised to recognize the SDF and specify the range of their activities, including disaster prevention and maintenance of safety and health, from the viewpoint of contributing to the international community, the federation said.

To engage in collective defense, a basic law for national security should be enacted to set restrictions on it, such as advance approval from the Diet, it said.

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