Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is another step closer to his political goal of allowing Japan to exercise its right to collective self-defense. Last week, it was reported that a government panel is set to submit a report to Abe this week that would recommend reinterpretation of the Constitution to allow Japan to come to the aid of allies. Abe intends to go full blast on a public relations campaign to get the buy-in of the public and other allies that remain hesitant and opposed to the idea.
Because many continue unconvinced that it would be beneficial for Japan to exercise this right, Abe plans to hold a press conference upon receipt of the report to fully explain his plans and made known to the public. Speaking to the senior members of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party last night, Abe reportedly said, “I plan to offer a through explanation to allay any concerns.” While many speculate that the report would outright suggest Japan to reinterpret its Constitution to give way to that right, other details included remain secret at the behest of Abe. Final talks on the report ended in February but Abe wanted its release at the right time, as he tries to gather more supporters to get consensus.
Although majority of the panel members are pro-collective self-defense, his government still expects opposition from the ruling coalition, mainly the New Komeito. Even Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga has maintained that, “gaining the support of everyone in the ruling coalition is the top priority.” To do this, Abe’s side has prepared certain situation and cases when the reinterpretation of the Constitution and legal support is needed. While it may seem limiting to indicate specific cases only, it was enough to appease the New Komeito and 15 case samples will be prepared before further debate on the topic would be finalized. In a recent survey by Nikkei, only 38% of the respondents are in favor of the reinterpretation, showing that Abe still has the majority of the public to convince.
[via Nikkei Asian Review]
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