Seoul once again reiterated that if Japan wants to exercise collective self-defense, they have to make sure to stay away from South Korean territory especially if they have not received any approval. Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s administration is pushing for the reinterpretation of the Constitution‘s war-renouncing Article 9 to allow it to have a more active participation in global peacekeeping efforts.
But South Korea, a former Japanese colony, is adamant that their neighbour has to stay away from their territories if they are uninvited. “Japanese self-defense forces cannot exercise their right on our territory or on anything related to South Korea’s national interest without our explicit consent,” stressed Foreign Ministry spokesman Cho Tai-young. Likewise, Defense Ministry spokesman Kim Min-seok said they are keeping a close eye on how things are progressing with regards to this issue as they are wary of any move that would harken to Japan’s militaristic past, given that South Korea probably suffered most from it.
But Abe’s government is seemingly bent on pursuing the reinterpretation of Article 9, which has prevented Japan from using force to settle international disputes. They believe that the right of collective defense should be exercised as it is endorsed by the United Nations. Their closest ally, the United States, has said they are backing up this move by the world’s 3rd largest economy as it will benefit its allies and the region. But not everyone is convinced of the wisdom of this move, including the ruling Liberal Democratic Party’s junior coalition partner New Komeito. A poll by a leading newspaper also showed that 63% of respondents are against the idea of collective self-defense, a higher figure than the 56% from the previous year.
[ via Korea Times ]
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