In October 2005, the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) approved draft proposals whose main thrust is to revise the Preamble and Article 9 of Japan’s Constitution. The new preamble includes “the obligation to support ourselves . . . with love for the country and society to which we belong,” a veiled reference to patriotism, a word that was dropped from an earlier version to appease the opposition.

Since coming to power in September last year, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has made instilling patriotism — in schools as well as through the Constitution — a key feature of his political agenda. The actual procedure for constitutional revision takes time, but the plans are very much alive.

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