Taro Aso, deputy prime minister and minister of finance, is candid enough a character to openly acknowledge that North Korea helped the LDP win the Oct. 22 general election by landslide. Before the election and during the electioneering period, Abe kept saying North Korea’s test-firing of missiles as well as nuclear tests were grave national crises. Activation of the J-alert system, warning the nation of North Korean missiles flying over Japan, intensified North Korean phobia like never before.

The LDP had already published its campaign promises on various issues, including a constitutional amendment. They say constitutional revision has been the party’s fervent wish since its foundation in 1955.

They mustn’t forget, however, that the most important issue the government must tackle is what to do about the perennial U.S. military presence that is a seamless carryover from the postwar Occupation era. The pro-revision camp seems not to realize the Occupation is still continuing to this day, albeit in disguised form. Okinawa embodies this state of affairs most conspicuously. Lawmakers must discuss, before anything else, how to address this aberrant situation and find a way for Japan to recover its genuine sovereignty.

Lawmakers must know that it is the U.S. that is eagerly waiting for Article 9 of the Constitution to be done away with so that the SDF may have unrestrained strike capability against North Korean missiles flying over Japan or can fight global wars along with U.S. forces. Revision of the Constitution would undoubtedly foment a situation where Japan would be a subservient U.S. vassal for good, both in name and substance. Constitutional revision is thus like summer bugs plunging into the fire of their own choice. Looking at the LDP and conservative politicians making a big fuss over a constitutional amendment, one cannot help but feel that they are like monkey kings dancing on the Buddha’s palm.


The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.

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