Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has been attempting to find more allies in his bid to revise the pacifist Article 9 of the Constitution, but instead has found himself facing a barrage of criticism, which could make his long-held ambition a more difficult task to achieve.

During the annual convention of his Liberal Democratic Party on Sunday, Abe reiterated his mantra calling for constitutional revision to formalize the legal status of the Self-Defense Forces and thereby put an end to the academic debate over its constitutionality.

In delivering the speech, Abe claimed that "more than 60 percent" of the 1,741 local governments across the country "have refused to cooperate in recruiting" new young members for the SDF.