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

Thousands Rally to Remove U.S. Military Base From Okinawa

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Protesters stage a sit-in to block construction vehicles working on the expansion of Camp Schwab, a U.S. military base, on May 31 in Nago, Okinawa, Japan. (Carl Court/Getty Images)

 

The latest deterioration of a fading trans-Pacific alliance

Some 70,000 protesters rallied in Okinawa, Japan, on August 11 against the planned relocation of a United States military base. Rather than see U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma moved from a heavily populated part of the island to the remote Henoko Bay, the protesters want it to be removed from the island entirely. Continue reading