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Japan, Constitution Amendment for Military Power Overseas

Japan, Constitution Amendment for Military Power Overseas

Posted November. 17, 2004 23:03,   


Japan’s draft proposal for a revised constitution presented by the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), which has first been released, suggests the name change of its military from “Self Defense Forces (SDF)” to “Self Defense Army” and authorizes the use of military power overseas.

This draft proposal abolishes the principles of “ban on possession of war potential” and “renunciation of war” under the current “Peace Constitution,” and therefore the implementation of constitutional amendment is expected to trigger the “militarization” of Japan.

According to the Yomiuri Shimbun on November 17, the LDP’ research commission on the constitution confirmed the ground-breaking draft proposal. The ruling party is planning to decide on its own version of a draft of the constitutional amendment by November next year, marking the 50th anniversary of the party.

The recently revealed draft proposal specifies the deployment of the “Self Defense Army,” which possesses the necessary military power for individual and collective right to self defense, and the authorization of military action overseas for international contribution.

Also, it stipulates the emperor as “head of Japan,” Japanese flag as “national flag,” and “Kimikayo” as its “national anthem,” those of which had not been mentioned under the current constitution, representing the symbol of Japanese militarism.

This draft proposal devised by the right-wing forces within the LDP is likely to become the source of controversy since it fully denies the cornerstones of the current constitution, the ban on war potential retention, and the collective right to self defense.

Won-Jae Park parkwj@donga.com