Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has been working hard and pushing for a re-interpretation of Japan’s post-war Constitution, especially of the country’s self-imposed ban on the right to exercise collective self-defense. Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party has supported Abe’s efforts, and they are now close to drafting what could become Abe’s biggest – and probably most controversial – legacy. Under the proposed draft, the LDP’s No. 2 official, Shigeru Ishiba, said that Japan could potentially exercise the right of collective self-defense “on the other side of the globe” if national security required it.
“We don’t expect we will go to the other side of the globe,” Ishiba, the LDP’s secretary-general, said. “But if we face a situation that has a great impact on Japan, we do not completely rule out” deploying the Self-Defense Forces abroad. Abe had recently proposed that the SDF would most likely be allowed to engage in collective self-defense in Japanese territorial waters, but he also said that Japanese troops would not be sent to other countries to do so. Ishiba’s suggestions show that under LDP’s re-interpretation of the principle of collective self-defense, Japan would most likely come to the aid of countries if they were attacked, or if such a need is deemed worthy of deployment by the Japanese government.
It would be good to see how these remarks by the LDP’s No. 2 would be taken by their relatively conservative coalition partner – the New Komeito – which from the beginning has been wary of the government’s plan to lift the band on collective self-defense. Abe has made it clear that he wants the current interpretation of the Constitution changed before the current Diet session ends in June. But some members of ruling LDP and the New Komeito remain unconvinced, are calling for more time to discuss this drastic shift in Japan’s local and international policy.
[via Global Post]
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