October 27, 2016
Contact Person: Fidel Fababier, National Vice Chairperson
Abe’s Constitutional Revision Will Restore Japan’s Capability as an Aggressor
Shinzo Abe and his Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) are trying to deceive the Japanese people in saying they propose constitutional revisions to “better reflect Japan’s history and culture that values harmony.” The essential change they put forward focuses on restoring the aggressive capability of Japan’s military.
The Kilusan sa Pambansang Demokrasya (KILUSAN), an anti-imperialist and democratic movement in the Philippines joins the big number of Japanese oppositionists to this LDP ploy. KILUSAN believes that this, along with the United States’ military strategies will worsen the security situation in the region and in the whole world.
While Prime Minister Shinzo Abe admitted on July 10, 2016 that changing Japan’s Constitution has been the LDP’s goal since its foundation in 1955 and that they have incorporated this goal in their platform of governance, the LDP started to work most vigorously for this charter change after Obama announced its rebalance to Asia-Pacific in 2011.
While it has economic and diplomatic components, the US’s rebalance is primarily a war strategy aimed at preventing the rise of any rival to US’s dominance. Hence, it is positioning 60% of its naval and air forces in Asia and the Pacific. At present, the US is deploying its most modern weapons, aircraft and warships in the region.
The US has been clear on making allied states carry some burden of the rebalance. It rationalized that “the US and its allies are facing common threats and challenges.” Along this objective the US is also pursuing “inter-operability” with allied forces.
Along this line, the Japanese Diet, urged by Abe, passed security legislations last year that extended the interpretation of self-defense to mean “collective self-defense.” These security laws allow Japan Self-Defense Forces (JSDF) to be directly involved in the wars that its allies are into, a different involvement from the JSDF’s minesweeping in the Persian Gulf in 1991 and giving logistical support to US troops in the Indian Ocean and Arabian Gulf during the “War on Terror.”
The LDP, however is taking advantage of its supermajority in the Japanese Diet in order to further lead Japan away from its pacifist orientation by pushing changes in the constitution through a constituent assembly. These changes center on Article 9.
The draft constitution that the LDP prepared in 2012 removes the emphatic “forever” in the Constitution’s renunciation of war “as a sovereign right of the nation and the threat or use of force as a means of settling international disputes.” It wants to delete the portion of Article 9 that bans “land, sea, and air forces as well as other war potential.”
The draft devotes three paragraphs to Article 9–2, on the National Defense Military. The LDP wants the Constitution to provide that “The National Defense Military, in addition to the activities for performing the duties in the first paragraph, shall conduct international cooperative activities in order to secure the peace and safety of the international society and maintain public order, or conduct activities in order to defend the lives or freedoms of the people, as provided by law.”
This proposal draws a picture of Japan’s National Defense Military being another world police like the US Armed Forces. Japan will involve again in, the Japanese people will spend for, and the Japanese youth that will be recruited as soldiers, will offer their lives in wars of aggression in the name of cooperation with the US and other allies.
Japan is once more treading the road it once walked before the end of WWII. Aside from the rush to change Article 9, the appointment of the Tomomi Inada, a woman who denies the existence of “comfort women,” questions the authenticity of the Nanjing Massacre and advocates nuclear weapons for Japan, and Abe’s position on the “no first use” policy, point to this direction.
KILUSAN, as it campaigns against wars that serve to widen imperialist spheres of influence and earn profits for the imperialist war industry, calls on its members, allies and friends in the Philippines and around the world to support the Japanese people in opposing the LDP-US scheme to revise the pacifist Constitution.
We should oppose US and Japanese collaboration in a war strategy in Asia and the Pacific and frustrate Japanese capitalists’ dream of rebuilding their fortunes in the war industry. ###
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