National

69% oppose change to Japanese Constitution's war-renouncing Article 9, poll shows

Jiji

A Jiji Press public opinion poll has found 69 percent of all respondents oppose a revision to war-renouncing Article 9 of the Constitution.

Those opposing such a change outpaced those in favor even among supporters of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Cabinet, according to the survey, conducted by mail in May on 2,000 people aged 18 or older nationwide. Valid responses came from 51.3 percent.

Of all respondents, 29.9 percent supported a revision to Article 9.

Those opposing such an amendment accounted for 56.9 percent among the male respondents. The share was far higher at 80 percent among women.

Abe has expressed his eagerness to revise the article to add a provision that recognizes the Self-Defense Forces.

Among the respondents who do not support his Cabinet, those opposing a revision to the article totaled 77.1 percent, against 22.1 percent who said the article should be amended.

Opponents accounted for 56.8 percent among the supporters of the Abe Cabinet, exceeding 41.9 percent who backed a change to Article 9.

Asked to choose reasons for opposing a revision to the article, with multiple answers allowed, the biggest percentage, at 76.2 percent, selected the answer that the article significantly contributed to the peace and stability after the end of World War II.

The second most popular answer, which drew 56 percent, was that the article stops the country from becoming a military power.

Meanwhile, 26.9 percent chose the answer that a revision to the article is unnecessary because the government can change its interpretation of the Constitution, while 17.5 percent picked the answer that such an amendment would damage international relations, particularly ties with other Asian countries.

Asked about a revision to the Constitution, 46 percent expressed support while 52.4 percent opposed.

Among the advocates, the most popular answer on reasons for their selection was that the top charter is outdated, while opponents’ most popular answer was that pacifism embraced in the Constitution stops Japan from becoming a military power.

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