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Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced at the beginning of April that the government was establishing a “panel of experts” to examine the question of whether to “revise the current interpretation of the Constitution,” in order to permit Japan to engage in collective self-defense activities.

This is an outrageous proposition from the perspective of constitutional law, and yet the announcement appears to have been met with little more than a murmur. Regardless of whether one may feel strongly that Japan ought to participate in collective self-defense operations, or that Article 9 should be amended, this latest step in the emasculation of Article 9 seriously endangers the normative power and integrity of the entire Constitution.

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