Japan to change post-war constitution: PM

Comment on this story
JapanPM Reuters. Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Tokyo -

Japan's hawkish Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told parliament on Thursday that he intends to change the country's post-World War II constitution, lowering the bar for further amendments.

“I will start with amending Article 96 of the constitution, a move that many factions (inside his Liberal Democratic Party) support “ Abe told upper house lawmakers, referring to the clause stipulating amendments require a two-thirds majority in parliament.

In the run-up to his landslide election victory in December, Abe said he wanted to study the possibility of altering the definition of Japan's armed forces contained in the document.

The country's well-funded and well-equipped military is referred to as the Self-Defence Forces, and barred from taking aggressive action. Its role is limited to defence of the nation.

Abe has said he would like to look into making the SDF into a full-fledged military, a plan that sets alarm bells ringing in Asian countries subject to Japan's sometimes-brutal occupation in the first half of the 20th century.

US occupying forces imposed the constitution in the aftermath of World War II, but its war-renouncing Article Nine is held dear by many Japanese. - Sapa-AFP

sign up

Comment Guidelines

  1. Please read our comment guidelines.
  2. Login and register, if you haven’ t already.
  3. Write your comment in the block below and click (Post As)
  4. Has a comment offended you? Hover your mouse over the comment and wait until a small triangle appears on the right-hand side. Click triangle () and select "Flag as inappropriate". Our moderators will take action if need be.

  5. Verified email addresses: All users on Independent Media news sites are now required to have a verified email address before being allowed to comment on articles. You are only required to verify your email address once to have full access to commenting on articles. For more information please read our comment guidelines