Many conservatives in Japan see the U.S.-drafted pacifist constitution as a humiliating imposition.
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Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has achieved much of his conservative security agenda since taking office in 2012 but unless he can revive his flagging popularity, his goal of revising the pacifist constitution is likely to elude his grasp. Failure to achieve that goal by the 2020 target he announced three months ago would erode Abe's already weakened clout, dimming his chances of becoming Japan's longest-serving prime minister, lawmakers in his own Liberal Democratic Party said.That is the lowest since Abe returned to power almost five years ago with a conservative agenda of reviving traditional values and loosening limits on the military that centered on amending the pacifist postwar constitution.Abe's proposal to clarify the military's ambiguous status by revising the constitution's war-renouncing Article 9 would be hugely symbolic in Japan.Abe hopes to revive his flagging ratings with a Cabinet reshuffle this week.Earlier this year, Abe had been expected to comfortably win a third three-year term as LDP leader, setting him on track to become Japan's longest-serving premier.Abe may cling to his the long-held goal in public but let it quietly drop in reality.
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