Japan Bids Farewell to Pacifism


China Today: English Version 今日中国:英文版, “Japan Bids Farewell to Pacifism.” China Today: English Version 今日中国:英文版, 2014, 16-17.


ON July 1, 2o14, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's l administration adopted a cabinet resolution to "reinterpret" the constitution and so al- low the country to exercise collective self-defense. Since Abe took office in December 2012, his administration has consistently sought to break with the restrictions of Article 9 of Japan's pacifist constitution, which renounces"the threat or use of force as a means of settling international disputes." The resolution in effect reflects Abe's ultimate aim. Although the Abe administration has issued specific restrictions on the right to collective self-defense, and there are constraints on Japan's use of military force, this reinterpretation nonetheless marks a turning point in Japan's historical course since WWII. The removal of the ban on the right of collective self-defense implies abandonment of Japan's anti-war defense system and therefore reclamation of its right to use military force, not only domestically but also internationally. Marine territorial disputes, historical issues, notably that of the socalled comfort women in Japan-occupied Asian countries forced to work in military brothels, and not least Japan's rampant political right deviation, have created serious tensions between Japan and its Asian neighbors. The removal of the ban on the right of collective self-defense is a political shot in the arm for the Abe administration, and endorses enhancement of Japan's military function within the Japan-U.S. alliance. But as regards peace and stability in Asia, it confirms Japan's propensity to be a trouble maker in the region.
Last updated on 01/24/2019