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HOME  > Past issues  > 2017 May 10 - 16  > Many newspapers criticize Abe’s declaration regarding a new constitution
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2017 May 10 - 16 [POLITICS]

Many newspapers criticize Abe’s declaration regarding a new constitution

May 10, 2017
Many national and local daily newspapers on May 9 ran critical editorials of Prime Minister Abe declaring that he hopes to have a new constitution take effect in 2020.

The Asahi Shimbun criticized the notion of a revised constitution Abe pushed on May 3 as unacceptable as it “could fundamentally change Japan’s identity as a pacifist nation”. It pointed out, “What needs to be revised is not Article 9, but the Abe administration’s unilateral reinterpretation of Article 9.”

The Mainichi Shimbun took up the incident in which Abe at a Lower House committee meeting on May 8 refused to answer a question by an opposition lawmaker and blatantly said, “Regarding my thoughts as the LDP president, read the Yomiuri Shimbun thoroughly.” The Yomiuri’s May 3 issue carried an interview with Abe and reported on his plan for constitutional amendments in detail. It was he himself who announced that he aims to make 2020 the year to introduce a revised constitution. The Mainichi editorial criticized Abe for taking advantage of his position as the LDP president and as the Prime Minister when questioned in the Diet.

The major local papers of Tokyo and Chunichi expressed opposition to any modifications that nullify the constitutional principles of “renunciation of war” and “non-possession of war potential”.

The Okinawa Times regarded Abe’s “read the Yomiuri Shimbun thoroughly” remarks as “exceptionally arrogant”. It suggested that Abe recognize that opposition parties are key to a soundly functioning parliamentary democracy.

The Miyazaki Nichinichi Shimbun, predicting that whether to amend the Constitution will be the most important issue in future elections, called on opposition parties to make clear their positions in regard to constitutional revision.

The Kobe Shimbun wrote that many people oppose Abe’s constitutional change agenda because they are worried that the present regime would undermine Japan’s standing as a pacifist nation.

Past related article:
> JCP Koike denounces Abe’s call for legitimizing SDF [May 5, 2017]

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