Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Wednesday that he intends to revise its pacifist Constitution and introduce a new version which will be ready by 2020.
For the first time Abe has set a clear timeframe for the revision of the Constitution, which contains language that prohibits Japan to maintain military forces. The Japanese military known as the self-defense Forces, but Abe said there is a contradiction between the Constitution and the existence of SDF.
"I think we should clearly establish the status of the SDF in the Constitution," said Abe in a video message to the Tokyo forum, dedicated to the 70th anniversary of the Constitution , "I strongly want to make 2020 the year of rebirth of Japan, which will begin a new start".
The current Constitution of Japan came into effect in 1947 after the defeat of the allied forces in world war II. In article 9 of the document States that "land, sea and air forces and other military capabilities will not be saved". The proposed changes Abe is essentially symbolic, said Corey Wallace, an expert on Japanese security at the Freie University in Berlin. "It will be a cosmetic change from the point of view of the actual effects of the Japanese defense," he said.
But amending the Constitution "may symbolically represent Japan, which is ready to adapt to the events around her," said Wallace. According to analysts, despite its Constitution, Japan is one of the strongest armed forces in the world.
Abe's comments come at a time when the forces of Japan participate in exercises with the United States and other allies in response to the threat of North Korea. "The security situation in our country is becoming more serious," said Abe in mid-April, referring to the North Korean threat.
Before you amend the Constitution, the revision must be approved by two thirds of the members of each chamber of Japan's Parliament and must be approved by a majority of voters in a referendum.
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