Japan taking a hard look at its “peace constitution”

At the conclusion of World War II, Japan had to accept the terms of total surrender from the Allied Forces. Under the leadership of General Douglas MacArthur, Japan was allowed to keep their Emperor but had to create a constitution that prohibited them from ever making war again. As time passed, Japan was allowed to create a national self-defense force to lessen the burden of their defense by the Allies. The times are still changing and with the North Korean threat, Japan sees that it will need a military that can function on the offense. This is causing a great national debate.

As Written By Kelly OLSEN for Yahoo! News:

Tokyo (AFP) – Japan’s American-written “peace constitution” has survived unchanged for 70 years, but nationalists seeking an overhaul are gearing up for a major new push as concerns grow over North Korean belligerence.

Conservatives have long called for the document they see as a national humiliation to be amended, but current political alignments and growing security concerns suggest they now have their best chance of success.

“The time is ripe,” Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Monday in a speech to supporters of change. “We will take a historic step towards the major goal of revising the constitution in this milestone year.”

The constitution, which took effect 70 years ago on Wednesday, renounced Japan’s sovereign right to wage war. It has been championed by progressives as a pacifist symbol born out of the country’s World War II defeat.

Supporters argue the document is a bulwark against any repeat of Japan’s World War II aggression, and warn attempts to revise it risk whitewashing the country’s modern history.

But nationalists deride it as an alien charter forced on the country by an occupying power — the United States — bent on imposing its own Western values.

And they see those who defend its emphasis on peace as dangerously out of tune with geopolitical realities, such as North Korea’s nuclear and missile programmes.

“The fault lines of Japanese politics very much run through the constitution,” said Kenneth Ruoff, professor of modern Japanese history at Portland State University in the United States.

CONTINUE READING ABOUT JAPAN HERE:  Japan’s ‘peace constitution’ under pressure at 70

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