News » International
Japan PM says to change post-war constitution
  • | AFP | January 31, 2013 11:02 AM
Japan's hawkish Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told parliament Thursday that he intends to change the country's post-World War II constitution, lowering the bar for further amendments.
 Japanese premier Shinzo Abe delivers his first policy speech at the parliament in Tokyo on January 28, 2013.
"I will start with amending Article 96 of the constitution, a move that many factions (inside his Liberal Democratic Party) support," Abe told upper house lawmakers, referring to the clause stipulating amendments require a two-thirds majority in parliament.

In the run-up to his landslide election victory in December, Abe said he wanted to study the possibility of altering the definition of Japan's armed forces contained in the document.

The country's well-funded and well-equipped military is referred to as the Self-Defense Forces, and barred from taking aggressive action. Its role is limited to defence of the nation.

Abe has said he would like to look into making the SDF into a full-fledged military, a plan that sets alarm bells ringing in Asian countries subject to Japan's sometimes-brutal occupation in the first half of the 20th century.

US occupying forces imposed the constitution in the aftermath of World War II, but its war-renouncing Article Nine is held dear by many Japanese.

Leave your comment on this story