Japanese Prime Minister Wants to Revise Pacifist Constitution to Create Military Force

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Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and wife Akie Abe arrive at Marka international airport on April 30, 2018 in Amman, Jordan. Abe is on a Middle East tour visiting the UAE, Jordan, Israel and the Palestinian territories. (Getty Images)

 

Prime Minister Shinzō Abe steps up efforts to change Japan’s constitution to allow the creation of a military force by 2020.

“Let’s fulfill our mission by clearly writing in the constitution the Self-Defense Forces that protect peace and independence of Japan,” Prime Minister Shinzō Abe said on September 9, reiterating his support for changing Japan’s constitution to allow for a military.

The second clause of Article 9 of Japan’s constitution says that “Land, sea and air forces, as well as other war potential, will never be maintained.” Nonetheless, Article 9 allowed Japan to create its own military strictly for the purpose of defending its own borders. This de facto military is known as Japan’s Self-Defense Forces (sdf).

Prime Minister Abe wants to officially change this policy. And he wants to do it by next year. Continue reading

Japan Watches Russian Military Bases on Kurils

Russia has announced plans to build five military bases, including one on the Kuril Islands. The Soviet Union seized the islands from Japan at the end of World War II. The proposed bases are a small part of Russian efforts to increase and protect trade with Asian economies.

Both Japan and Russia know the importance of the Kurils. The islands are near waters commonly used by trade ships. Underground reserves of oil and natural gas increase the value of the islands. The fishing grounds are also good. Continue reading