The Deputy Secretary-General of the opposition Democratic Party of Japan, Akihisa Nagashima, said this week that his party should support Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s move to revise the country’s ban on collective self-defense. Nagashima was an advisor on matters of defense during Yoshihiko Noda’s term as premier, and was the one who called for increased use of Self-Defense Forces in patrolling the disputed islands.
Nagashima said on Wednesday that the DPJ should support the proposal by the ruling Liberal Democratic Party to have a “limited” use of the right to collective self-defense, especially in light of security concerns of late. He said that the proposal from the LDP’s deputy head, Masahiko Komura, has been deemed “acceptable” by several DPJ members. He also used the example of China expanding its military might in the region as reason enough to support the passage of such a plan.
However, despite Nagashima’s endorsement, this doesn’t reflect the DPJ’s official stand on the matter, as there is still much opposition to the collective self-defense plan. Many opposition leaders see this move by the administration as fuel for countries like China and South Korea, who are already suspicious of anything Japan does, accusing their neighbour of harking back to its past militarism. Media surveys also show that the public is still undecided whether to support or oppose the collective self-defense proposal, with some expressing concern that revising the post-World War II constitution would send a wrong message to the world. But Abe’s administration is working on just revising the interpretation, and not the constitution itself, which states that Japan will “forever renounce war as a sovereign right of the nation.”
[ via The Diplomat ]
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