Abe says Japan’s pacifist constitution may be revised by 2020

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. Continue reading

Japan eyes defending allies under attack

TOKYO – A government panel on security issues will propose that Japan defend not only the United States but also other allied nations under attack by exercising its right of collective self-defense, the panel’s acting chairman said Tuesday.

Shinichi Kitaoka, who also serves as president of the International University of Japan, said in an interview with Kyodo News the panel will state in its report that Japan can exercise the right when “countries with close ties (with it)” are under attack and it is deemed to do harm to Japan.

Kitaoka indicated the panel will not specify which country to defend in the upcoming report as withholding such details would be helpful in maintaining deterrence. Continue reading