While Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe continues to push for a more active military, the number of people opposed to the idea has been growing. To publicly protest Abe’s plan of revising Japan’s pacifist Constitution, some 3,000 people headed to central Tokyo on Tuesday to rally against it.
Abe has repeatedly called for the reinterpretation of its post-war pacifist Constitution to allow its military to exercise its right to collective self-defense, and in turn support allies who come under attack. However, a provision in the Article 9 of the Constitution, where Japan forever abandons the use of force in settling international disputes, prevents the nation from doing so. Demonstrators believe that Article 9 of the current Constitution has helped the nation promote peace in recent years. Nobel Literature laureate Kenzaburo Oe, who was present at the rally, said, “By exercising the collective self-defense, Japan will directly participate in war.” He added that reinterpreting the provision would bring the nation to a dangerous path it has sought to avoid after World War II.
In a survey conducted by the Asahi Shimbun newspaper participated by 2,000 people, 63 percent said they are not in favor of collective self-defense, while 64 percent oppose the idea of revising Article 9 of the Constitution. Both numbers are higher than last year’s results, where only more than half of those who participated in the poll disagreed with collective self-defense and reinterpretation of the Constitution.
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