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Japan's Abe manipulating a dangerous coup against pacifist Constitution

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is manipulating a dangerous coup to overturn the country's post- war pacifism and democratic ideals, as he hones in on releasing the shackles of the nation's legally tethered military and war will from its war-renouncing Constitution.

It is no coincidence that the prime minister is seeking the green light to Japan's military being able to exercise the right to collective self-defense on July 1, the 60th anniversary of the establishment of Japan's Self-Defense Forces (SDF), as the move will drastically change Japan's defense stance since the end of World War II and possibly see the country dragged back into bloody conflict in the future.

Apparently, fighting for countries that have close ties with Japan can not be accounted for under the auspices of self-defense, but for the SDF to be potentially deployed to every corner of the globe to engage in battle, surely means that Abe has "upgraded" Japan's SDF to a national military.

Japan's new collective self-defence stance, flies in the face of Japan's internationally-recognized anti-war constitution, whose Article 9 reads "the Japanese people forever renounce war as a sovereign right of the nation and the threat or use of force as means of settling international disputes. To accomplish the aim of the preceding paragraph, land, sea, and air forces, as well as other war potential, will never be maintained. The right of belligerency of the state will not be recognized."

Just because of the very existence of Article 9, previous Japanese governments' interpretation strictly defined items of " self-defense" and "use of force," as well as "self-defense forces" and "national defense army" and therefore, thanks to the supreme law, Japan finally eked out legislative space for the legal existence of hundreds of thousands of SDF members.

Abe, however, has shunned the normal procedures to amend the Constitution and bungled a broad "conditions to the use of force" instead of the original "conditions to launch self-defense", brutally violating the spirit of Japan's current Constitution.

Abe's coup against the Constitution also exposed his scorn over public opinion as many surveys conducted by Japanese mainstream media have shown nearly 70 percent of Japanese oppose Abe's plot to exercising collective defense through reinterpreting the constitution and over 60 percent said they were against allowing the SDF to engage war outside Japan through any means.

It is ironic that "rule of law" and "democracy" are seemingly pet phrases of the prime minister used for international discourse, but what the leader is doing is trampling on the country's supreme law and abandoning Japan's basic democratic fundamentals.

Abe's trusted follower, deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso talked earlier about changing the constitution, suggesting Japan should do it quietly. "Just as in one day the Weimar constitution changed to the Nazi constitution, without anyone realizing it, why don't we learn from that sort of tactic?" Aso suggested.

Now, Abe is very close to his goal through such "Nazi tactics" and his move has already hollowed the Constitution's Article 9 and fundamentally overthrown the country's peaceful path in the postwar era.

Abe's anti-constitution plot poses a great challenge to the seven-decade-old postwar international order, which was based on a series of international treaties and declarations, including the Cairo Declaration and the Potsdam Proclamation.

Abe's visit to the war-linked Yasukuni Shrine, which honors 14 convicted Japanese war criminals during WWII, also challenges the judgments of the International Military Tribunal for the Far East, and his claim to islands disputed with neighbors, challenges the essence of both the Cairo Declaration and the Potsdam Proclamation.

Now, Abe's final volume of his "postwar remilitarization trilogy" will be completed -- tearing up Japan's peaceful commitment to the international community -- if the resolution on collective defense is approved Tuesday.

For his own "ambitions" stemming from a singular history of wishing to leave such a militarized legacy, Abe has hijacked the nation on his way to combat and has cast a gloomy shadow over security in the Asia-Pacific region and the entire world.

A Japanese lawmaker bemoaned that the "dusk of the Weimar Constitution" will be repeated in Japan. One can only hope that the dusk of Japan's pacifist constitution will not lead to the entire collapse of the postwar international system.

[Source: By Liu Tian, Feng Wuyong, Xinhua, 30Jun14]

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