A realistic approach to issues in Japan

A realistic approach to issues in Japan

ST ILLUSTRATION: MANNY FRANCISCO

RPI Author Narushige Michishita recently wrote in The Straits Times:

Since Mr Shinzo Abe was elected Prime Minister in December, observers both in Japan and overseas have predicted that he will take the country “to the right”. Will he? My short answer is yes and no. Here is what I mean.

Mr Abe is trying to break away from some traditions of a post- war “pacifist” Japan. He seeks to revise the Constitution drafted by American occupiers after Japan was defeated in the Pacific War. He likes to put a new name, the “National Defence Force”, to Japan’s technically non-military defence organisation – the Self-Defence Force (SDF), and give it a full-fledged military status.

He also wishes to make it possible for Japan to start exercising the “right of collective self-defence”, which is prohibited under the Constitution.

However, true right-wing hardliners would be disappointed to learn what these changes might mean in practice.

Read the full story here.

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