Sunday, October 14, 2018

Shinzo Abe's Article 9 Challenge

This week, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe renewed his pledge to revise the country's pacifist constitution drafted by the Americans after Japan's catastrophic defeat in WWII. While speaking to some 4000 Japanese SDF troops in Asaka, Saitama Prefecture, he announced his plan to specifically mention it's military's right to exist. Abe was quoted as saying: "You have gained public trust with your own hands. Now it's time to fulfill our responsibility as politicians to accommodate an environment where all Self-Defense Force can accomplish their duties with sense of pride."
Abe's political opponents say this is not necessary. It will take a two-thirds majority in both houses of government to pass. This push to revise Article 9 which called for Japan to renounce the use of force to settle international disputes forever has been ongoing since 2015. In the face of tensions with North Korea and the PRC on the high seas, the revision would allow Japan to come to the aid of its allies in the event of an attack. The American drafted provision hamstrings Japan's ability top respond to a crisis. PM Abe seeks to change that to adjust Japan to the growing threats in an ever destabilizing world. While some will see this as a license to engage in war, we see this as a geopolitical reality particularly with what is happening in the South China Seas and the temporary lack of leadership from Washington D.C. Enough time has passed since the end of WWII. Japan's Self-Defense Forces has proven it can be a force for good. We will wish for their continued success.

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