A senior United States military officer, speaking to South Korean reporters under the condition of anonymity, said that the plan to revise certain aspects of Japan’s 1947 Constitution can lead to the worsening diplomatic relations it has, particularly with its neighbors China and South Korea. Apart from that, it would also not be good for the region.
The officer said that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s drive to revise Article 9 of the constitution, which prevents Japan from using war or military force to settle international disputes, will be counter-productive to the development of Asia and can even increase tensions in the region. A statement from US Defense Department spokesman George Little said that the American government “sees great promise” in the formation and strengthening of the bilateral relation between the US, Japan and South Korea. Chances are, if the constitutional revision does go through, this promise cannot be delivered as fears of a return to Japan’s militaristic past will most likely affect South Korea’s participation in such a relationship.
Meanwhile, Admiral Samuel Locklear, head of the U.S. Pacific Command, said that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government might need to really revise the constitution, in light of the threat of countries like North Korea, because not preparing for that eventuality will become a bigger threat to the region. The government is looking into upgrading the Self Defense Forces to a full-blown military that can move alongside those of its allies, including the United States.They are also looking into establishing Japan’s version of a National Security Council, patterned after that of the US. Abe has also said he is open to a public debate about constitutional change since there are a lot of strong opinions for and against it.
[ via Kyodo News ]
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