The Japanese prime minister addressed on Wednesday the issue constantly hurled at him over his administration’s intent to change the interpretation of the Constitution in order to give Japan the right to collective self-defense. Shinzo Abe brushed off those who call him ‘a right-wing militarist’ and assured the U.N. Assembly that Japan will be a “proactive contributor to peace” in global arena.
The Abe administration has been questioned, if not criticized, for seeking the right to collective self-defense. Comparing themselves to China, Abe claimed that Japan’s spending for defense purposes are nowhere near that of their neighbour’s. “The country has increased its military expenditures, hardly transparent, by more than 10 percent annually for more than 20 years since 1989. And then my government has increased its defense budget only by 0.8 percent,” he said.
According to Abe, they do not want to be the “weak link” in terms of the regional and global security framework where their closest ally, the United States, has “a leading role.” He further emphasized the current situation of Japan with regards to security, implying the possibility for the need to have the country and its Self-Defense Forces step up and assert its contribution to peace in the global stage. “Is Japan up to its task in this world where threats see no borders?,” he asked.
At the assembly in New York, the Liberal Democratic Party leader also reminded the UN that his top priority is the renaissance of the Japanese economy. Abe hopes that through his “Abenomics” policy, the Japanese will have a paradigm shift and develop “the inward-looking mindset” in order to become bolder in taking risks.
[ via Kyodo News ]
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