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

Imperial Japan Rising?

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe escalated tension in the already volatile Asia-Pacific region on December 26 when he made a controversial visit to the Yasukuni shrine. The visit came on the one-year anniversary of his tumultuous presidency. Abe’s leadership has been marked with a forcefulness not seen from Japan since World War II. Continue reading