Japan’s ‘peace constitution’ on the brink as NE Asia braces for war

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the LDP headquarters in Tokyo, on Oct. 22. Isse Kato / Reuters

 

TOKYO ― The overwhelming success of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in the latest elections for members of the Japanese “Diet” ― the peculiar word for Japan’s parliament or national assembly ― portends hardening of tensions and priorities in Northeast Asia.

Yes, Abe would dearly like to revise Japan’s post-war “peace constitution” whose Article 9 declares “land, sea and air force will never be maintained” and “belligerency of the state will not be recognized” (hence the term “self-defense forces” for Japan’s military establishment). In fact, one reason Abe called the snap election was to shore up his popularity, to show he was in charge after his ratings fell to 30 percent a few months ago. Continue reading

Giving Japan a military

Air Self-Defense Force F-15 fighters fly over the U.S. Navy aircraft carrier Carl Vinson during a Japan-U.S. joint training drill exercise in the Sea of Japan on June 1. | AP

 

After 70 years, Japan may finally be on the cusp of acquiring its own military. Legally, that is. Last month, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe indicated his desire to change the Constitution by 2020 to include a clause to give legal standing to the Self-Defense Forces. The revision, while historically controversial domestically, is long overdue. Continue reading

New era for Japan: allowing overseas combat role for military

It’s Japan’s most assertive military stance in decades. If necessary, Japan could also go nuclear within three months and only needs to snap together components already being made. Those in Japan that remember history are likely now thankful towards Mr. Kishi as China shows it isn’t rising peacefully, but wants to subjugate Asia.

 

Lawmakers passed bills Saturday that significantly shift defense policy. But debates over Prime Minister Abe’s ‘jackhammer’ approach are not over. 

Japanese awoke Saturday to the news that their nation had undergone its most significant shift in defense policy since the revision of the Japan-US Security Treaty in 1960.

In the very early hours of the morning, security bills that reinterpret the pacifist Article 9 of Japan’s Constitution – and that allow its military to engage in fighting abroad even if Japan is not attacked – had finally passed. Continue reading

How Japan Fell in Love With America’s Drones

For decades Japan has been the world’s playground for design innovation. But now it may become ground zero for the future of something far more hostile: military drones.

Japan is not so quietly building a huge drone fleet

The country will invest ¥3 billion (approx $372 million) in the coming decade to drastically expand its virtually non-existent military unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) program, according to a senior analyst at IHS Jane’s, the leading defense and security agency. Continue reading

Japan set for landmark easing of constitutional limits on military

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan is poised for a historic shift in its defense policy by ending a ban that has kept the military from fighting abroad since World War Two, a major step away from post-war pacifism and a big political victory for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

The change will significantly widen Japan’s military options by ending the ban on exercising “collective self-defense”, or aiding a friendly country under attack. It will also relax limits on activities in U.N.-led peace-keeping operations and “grey zone” incidents short of full-scale war, according to a draft government proposal made available to reporters. Continue reading

Abe Takes 1st Step in Allowing Japan to Go to War Again

The Japanese government will take steps to exercise its right to so-called collective self-defense, allowing it to attack a third country when an ally is in some way under threat.

The move is at odds with Japan’ pacifist postwar constitution and has alarmed neighbors who recall the country’s wartime aggression.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is widely expected to amend the constitution so Japanese troops can once again operate overseas. Article 9 of the constitution says Japan forever renounces the use of force as a means of settling international disputes, unless the country comes under attack. Continue reading

Japan drops ‘no-war’ pledge

JAPAN- A longtime no-war pledge has disappeared from Japan’s Liberal Democratic Party’s annual working policy revealed on Sunday, while the ruling party vowed to continue visits to the controversial Yasukuni Shrine and push ahead constitutional revision, in another move leading the country in a far-right direction, observers said.

At its 81st LDP annual convention in Tokyo, the party removed the pledge that Japan would “never wage a war”, China Central Television reported on Sunday.

In another change from last year’s policy, the party added a phrase saying it will “bolster veneration for the war dead” – referring to continued shrine visits – and also made clear it will amend the country’s constitution. The changes show that Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who is also the party chief, will intensify efforts step by step to push Japan further into animosity with neighbouring countries, analysts said. Continue reading