Mobile  |  About us  |  Photos  |  Videos  |  Subscriptions  |  RSS Feeds  |  Today's Paper  |  Classifieds  |  Contact Us
The Daily Star
MONDAY, 21 APR 2014
09:21 AM Beirut time
20 °C
Blom Index
Follow this story Print RSS Feed ePaper share this
Abe says Japan's pacifist constitution may be revised by 2020
Agence France Presse
Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe poses before he rings a bell during a ceremony marking the end of trading in 2013 at the Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE) in Tokyo December 30, 2013. REUTERS/Yuya Shino
Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe poses before he rings a bell during a ceremony marking the end of trading in 2013 at the Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE) in Tokyo December 30, 2013. REUTERS/Yuya Shino
A+ A-

TOKYO: Japan's nationalist Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has said the country's pacifist post-World War II constitution which limits its military to self-defence could be amended by 2020.

In a New Year comment published in the conservative daily Sankei Shimbun on Wednesday, Abe predicted the constitution "will have been revised" by 2020 when Tokyo hosts the Summer Olympics.

His comments come days after he enraged Asian neighbours and disappointed Washington by visiting a Tokyo shrine honouring the country's war dead, including World War II leaders, and been seen abroad as a symbol of Japan's militaristic past.

"(By 2020), I think Japan will have completely restored its status and been making great contributions to peace and stability in the region and the world," he said.

He added that Japan's elevated status could possibly help Asia become a "balanced and stable region".

Abe took power a year ago in an election landslide as Japan faced China's increasingly assertive military posture amid a fierce territorial dispute with Beijing over Tokyo-controlled islands.

He initially focused on improving the economy with stimulus packages, mixing big-spending and easy money policies.

In recent months, he has turned to his more conservative agenda, passing a state secrecy law which critics say is a threat to democracy in Japan.

In a New Year message, Abe reaffirmed his resolve to change the pacifist constitution imposed by the US after Japan's defeat.

"As it has been 68 years since its enactment now, national debate should be further deepened toward a revision (of the constitution) to grasp the changing times," he said.

"Now is the time for Japan to take a big step forward toward a new nation-building effort."

On his security policy, Abe said, "We will resolutely protect to the end Japan's territorial land, sea and air."

The premier has long agitated for the amendment of a key article in the constitution that limits its military to self-defence and bans the use of force in settling international disputes.

The country's well-funded and well-equipped military is referred to as the Self-Defence Forces (SDF).

Abe has said he would like to look into making the SDF a full-fledged military, a plan that sets alarm bells ringing in Asian countries subject to Japan's occupation in the first half of the 20th century.

In his first policy as premier last year, Abe said he would look to change a provision which requires a two-thirds majority in parliament to amend the basic law.

In his New Year message, Abe said the launch of a US-style National Security Council in December would help promote his "proactive pacifism" as a "'signboard of the 21st century' which should be borne by our country."


Home International

Your feedback is important to us!

We invite all our readers to share with us their views and comments about this article.

Disclaimer: Comments submitted by third parties on this site are the sole responsibility of the individual(s) whose content is submitted. The Daily Star accepts no responsibility for the content of comment(s), including, without limitation, any error, omission or inaccuracy therein. Please note that your email address will NOT appear on the site.

comments powered by Disqus

Baabda 2014
Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Follow us on Linked In Follow us on Google+ Subscribe to our Live Feed
Pictures of the day
A selection of images from around the world- Saturday April 19, 2014
View all view all
Rami G. Khouri
Rami G. Khouri
Why Israeli-Palestinian talks fail
Michael Young
Michael Young
Why confuse gibberish with knowledge?
David Ignatius
David Ignatius
Echoes of 1914 characterize the Ukraine crisis
View all view all
Click to View Articles
Privacy Policy | Anti-Spamming Policy | Disclaimer | Copyright Notice
© 2014 The Daily Star - All Rights Reserved - Designed and Developed By IDS