Overlooking Japan’s rearmament is unlikely to happen in South Korea and other countries according to the foreign minister of the East Asian republic on Monday. It is also not unusual for countries, especially South Korea and China, to become wary as the Abe Administration is leaning for amending the Constitution of Japan to give permission for its Self-Defense Forces (SDF) to exercise beyond the scope of self-defense.
“There are many countries including us that are worried about Japan’s rearmament,” South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-Se said. “A situation where [they] overlook Japan’s rearmament will not come.” The Japanese Constitution, drafted by the United States in 1947, gives no provision for Japan to carry out military duties except for defensive purposes. With the growing tensions and possible threats, in East Asia, the Shinzo Abe-led ruling bloc is seeking for a collective self-defense provision for the SDF.
The Korean foreign minister also reminded that the no-stern response of the U.S., as Secretary of State John Kerry and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel agreed to allow Japan modernize the SDF, does not mean a green light has been granted for Japan to carry out military moves with all liberty. “It means that [the military build-up plan] will be pursued within the scope of the U.S.-Japan Security Treaty, rather than that the U.S. will give Japan a blank check,” Yun said. The two U.S. diplomats met their Japanese counterparts in Tokyo early this month as part of the U.S.-Japan Security Consultative Committee meeting.