Last month Japan marked the first anniversary of its August 1945 surrender in World War II since the Abe administration made a Cabinet decision in July to enable the country to engage in collective self-defense.

Nearly 70 years have passed and this year many elderly people who experienced the war spoke about the increasing difficulty in passing their experience of its cruelties on to younger generations. At the same time, a sense of humiliation over Japan's defeat in the war and frustration with the nation's postwar pacifism have been handed down from generation to generation.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is the flag bearer of people with such sentiments. He inherited the deep-seated grudge against the postwar political system held by his grandfather, Prime Minister Nobusuke Kishi, and effectively rewrote Article 9 of the Constitution — the symbol of the postwar regime — with the July 1 Cabinet decision.