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HOME  > Past issues  > 2017 December 20 - 2018 January 9  > Local dailies in their New Year editorials criticize Abe’s ambition to undermine Constitution
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2017 December 20 - 2018 January 9 [POLITICS]

Local dailies in their New Year editorials criticize Abe’s ambition to undermine Constitution

January 6, 2018
With Prime Minister Abe Shinzo renewing his determination to revise the Constitution at the start of the year, many local newspapers ran editorials critical of Abe’s intent to amend the pacifist Article 9.

Kumamoto Nichinichi Shimbun on January 1 expressed its concern that Abe’s attack against Article 9 would undermine the Constitution’s pacifist principle, Japan’s treasure, which was established through the tragedy of war.

The Shinano Mainichi Shimbun on January 3 in its editorial pointed out that under the national security legislation (the so-called war laws), the Self-Defense Forces “go beyond the accepted parameters of self-defense”. The paper stressed that if the SDF obtains constitutional grounds of legitimation as Abe proposes, the constitution’s war-renouncing principle will be turned into a dead letter.

Ehime Shimbun on the same day feared that an inclusion of the SDF into the supreme law would change the constitutional ban on Japan’s possession of war potential into an empty shell and lead to an unlimited military buildup. The paper went on to say that the Abe government, which distains the Constitution, is not qualified to objectively discuss the supreme law in the first place.

Kochi Shimbun also on January 3 noted that it is highly likely that the war laws are unconstitutional. The paper argued that given that the SDF is stepping up collaboration with the U.S. military under the war laws, to insert the SDF in the Constitution is tantamount to endorsing and legitimizing the controversial legislation. It stated that such a way of legitimating the laws is unacceptable.

Referring to the recent opinion poll results which indicated that more than half of the respondents are opposed to a constitutional change by the Abe regime, To-o Nippo Press said that the general public is far less enthusiastic about a constitutional change than the prime minister may expect them to be (Jan. 4). Minami-Nippon Shimbun on January 4 said that Abe’s push for a revised constitution is egocentric. It said that the prime minister should first obtain popular consensus on why a revision is necessary.
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