No matter what people may say, it just seems impossible for Japan to strengthen security alliances with other nations without lifting its decades-old ban on collective self-defense, according to a senior adviser to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. The premier has been pushing for a reinterpretation of the Constitution to allow the right to exercise collective self-defense in light of the growing threat and aggressiveness by China.
Shinichi Kitaoka, adviser to Abe said, “If the Komeito or opposition parties can improve our legal system without touching today’s interpretation, that’s very welcome. But I think that would be magic. That a miracle that you cannot do.” While the ruling Liberal Democratic Party seems open to consider the reinterpretation, New Komeito has called for restraint. Kitaoka added, “If you are trying to defend Japan by individual self-defense alone, Japan has to become a big nuclear power. Relying on right of collective self-defense, relying on a reliable partner, is better than becoming a military monster.” However, not all are convinced with that argument, with many locals opposing it as a way for Japan to be involved in wars it should not be included in the first place.
Japan’s post-war Constitution has prevented the nation to exercise its right to collective self-defense. But Kitaoka recognizes that the nation still has that right, which it must exercise under certain laws and parameters set by the Diet. He added that, “A right is OK or not OK,” further explaining that it would only be a matter of what legislators would outline as situations in which it could be exercised. He noted that, “The constitution is not a Bible. It is something human- made that should be recreated, reinterpreted and revised to make better.” The next step then for Abe’s administration is to push the Diet to come up with guidelines in which the right could be used.
Comments Off on JDP Startup Corner: Pros & Cons of Working with a Partner in Japan