Japanese Constitution Amendment Threatens World Peace
Japanese Constitution Amendment Threatens World Peace
  • Lee Seung-yeon
  • 승인 2022.09.07 15:26
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  Recently, Japan has been striving to realize a constitutional amendment to justify the activities of its Self-Defense Forces, which has experienced controversy over its legality. 
  The Japan Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) has consistently tried to make a constitutional amendment. Especially, the LDP emphasized specifying the existence of the Self-Defense Forces in the Japanese Constitution. Why does Japan want to include the Self-Defense Forces in the Constitution? The reason is the Self-Defense Forces has controversy over the legality of article 9 of the Japanese Constitution.
  Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution was enacted shortly after Japan’s defeat in World War Ⅱ, called the ‘Peace Constitution.’ The Peace Constitution specifies Japan’s prohibition of possession of electricity (paragraph 1) and disapproval of the right of belligerency (paragraph 2). In other words, article 9 of the Japanese Constitution promises the world not to have the military and to give up war for world peace. Therefore, there has been constant controversy over Japan’s existence of the Self-Defense Forces.
  The LDP showed a shocking response as the controversy over the Self-Defense Force’s unconstitutionality continued. The LDP claimed they would push for a constitutional amendment to recognize the Self-Defense Forces as a formal Japanese military by specifying them in the Constitution. Such a change could make Japan an ordinary country capable of war.
  Prime Minister Kishida Fumio strongly insisted on pushing for a constitutional amendment, saying, “We will follow Abe’s will and solve the problems that he could not address with his own hands, such as constitutional amendment.” Furthermore, it secured 177 seats, more than two-thirds (166 seats) of the members of the House of Councilors, which is a requirement for proposing the constitutional amendment. This situation means specifying the Self-Defense Forces in the Constitution is possible theoretically.
  Professor Lee Yu-sin of the Department of Political Science at Yeungnam University predicts that China’s opposition will be very severe if the Japanese constitutional amendment is realized. On the contrary, the United States expected Japan to welcome the Japanese constitutional amendment because the U.S expects a particular role for Japan in the Asia-Pacific region. Conclusionally, Professor Lee is worried the resulting arms race in Northeast Asia will be fierce.
  Furthermore, Professor Lee predicted the Japanese constitutional amendment would have a significantly different impact depending on Korea’s regime. Under the current government, which wants to deepen relations with Japan, the effect of the Japanese constitutional amendment on Korea is expected to be limited. In particular, there is a very high possibility that Korea-Japan relations would cool down rapidly.

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