Half of the respondents in a survey released Monday believe Japan needs to amend the war-renouncing Article 9 of its Constitution to clarify the legal status of the Self-Defense Forces, with the level of support almost unchanged from a year ago despite growing concerns over regional security.

Against a backdrop of increasing calls for an amendment among lawmakers of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party and some other parties following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, 50% said it is necessary to revise Article 9 while 48% said it was not.

The figures compared with 51% in favor of an amendment and 45% against in a similar poll conducted last year.