Prime Minister Shinzo Abe conveyed his strong desire to lift Japan’s self-imposed ban on collective self-defense by saying that the nation is at a disadvantage from refraining to do so. The premier said that the right can be exercised if a new interpretation of the Constitution can be provided.
Speaking to the House of Councillor’s Budget Committee, Abe addressed the nations’ drawback. “We have faced disadvantages through being unable to exercise the right,” referring to the nation’s post-war ban on collective self-defense. He said that while Japan has the right to defend an ally under attack, its arms are tied and unable to do so because of the limitations set by the pacifist Constitution prohibiting the government to use force to settle an international dispute. However, it can be done provided a new interpretation of the Constitution is given. He also emphasized that lifting the self-imposed ban “does not necessarily require Japan to revise the Constitution.”
With security threats in the region increasing due to North Korea’s continued nuclear and missile tests, and China’s overt maritime activities, Abe emphasized stronger alliance with the United States to intensify Japan’s defense capabilities. A panel of experts from the government is now discussing Abe’s stand and is believed to decide that collective self-defense does not go beyond the nation’s right to defend itself. The decision is expected to be made in April.
[via Global Post]
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