Japan’s ruling party, led by Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and its alliance partner, scored a significant victory in a recent election. At a press conference on Monday, Kishida said that he wants a smooth parliamentary debate in the short moment over four constitutional amendments suggested by the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), including writing the amendment for Self-Defence Forces into article 9 of the Constitution. Many experts think the barriers for Tokyo to change its Constitution have been cleared, and the likelihood of constitutional changes is more than ever before.
The current Constitution of Japan was implemented in 1947, and its ninth article clearly stated that “land, sea, and air forces, and another war potential, will never be formed” and “the right of the belligerence of the state will not be recognized.” Hence the name “pacifist Constitution.” This was not only a requirement for Japan’s return to the global community after the war but also one of the edges for lasting peace in East Asia.
But, the action of constitutional amendments is still facing aggressive controversy in Tokyo and has also caused wide-ranging concern throughout Asia-Pacific neighbors and the global community. If armed forces are included in Article 9 of the pacifist Constitution, Tokyo will send a dangerous signal to its neighbors.PM Kishida mentioned on Monday that Tokyo is now facing one of the most challenging times in the post-war period. The depressed economy, high prices, and uncontrolled COVID-19 pandemic have challenged the Japanese people’s lives. The pacifist Constitution restricts Tokyo’s aggressive impulse, and it has never held back the energy of the country’s peaceful progress- It greatly ensures improvement. It is needless for the Japanese right-wing to purposely implement the sense of insecurity.
Over the last ten years, Tokyo’s right-wing leaders have been using crises to announce that the pacifist Constitution has expired and indicated the need to find “another way” to make it a trivial piece of paper. Previously, there was a forcible push for a new security law. Now, there is the introduction of NATO and QUAD into the Asia-Pacific and the utilization of the Russia-Ukraine dispute to make a deal over the Taiwan question.
But suppose Tokyo spends tremendous money to increase its militia power and even improve the Self-Defense armed forces to be an army and reclaim the right to start a war. In that case, the conclusion will be that Japan will move from its peaceful life to dangerous or even desperate energy, and the entire East Asia area will enter a new round of dispute.
Now Japan is no longer shy about its impulse to amend its Constitution. It is entirely focused on being a military power, even a little being carried away under the encouragement of the US. But peace-loving forces inside and outside Japan can never sit idle. They should do their maximum to prevent Tokyo from opening the magic box of constitutional amendments. The Japanese administration should know that the end of militarism is the root. History has proved it once. It doesn’t need to be established twice.