Japan's Militarization and Awkward Media Silence

The reinterpretation of Japan's pacifist constitution, typified by Article 9 that has kept the use of force to the minimum over 60 years, now allows the state to defend its allies under armed attack in collective self-defense even when Japan itself is not. The sudden departure from its post-war security policy amid awkward media silence caused a stir across the nation due to the fact that the drastic change would leave room for further reinterpretation of the Constitution and expand the use of force without clear limits.

The strong trend toward militarism has been pushed forward by notorious Prime Minister Shinzo Abe who strictly believes the state must be a proactive contributer to global peace and security and enforce the defense capabilities of Self-Defense Force (SDF). He added that this is an expected response to the regional security threats Japan faces, especially for deteriorated relationship with its neighbors, including China, South and North Korea and Russia. It, however, was partly Japan's responsibility that the states has not been dealt with the post-war foreign issues so far. Because of it, the state has prolonged regional dispute with the neighbors.

"Making preparations for any contingencies will be instrumental in thwarting attempts (by foreign countries) to wage a war against Japan. And that is deterrence," said the Prime Minister Abe to ease public concerns. "No country can protect peace alone anymore." That is how the government justified the reinterpretation of the Constitution. Bu wait, there are lots of contradictions in his statements. "There is a misconception that Japan would be dragged into a war to defend other countries. That's not true," Abe said. "We are not going to send SDF members overseas for combat."So what does the nation protect itself and allies from armed attack? If they won't send SDF to overseas, why is there a need for the change in the Constitution? Why?

Some argue that its new policy is nothing more than a reminiscent of its pre-war militarism that caused millions of deaths both in home and abroad, especially for those who experienced WWII half a century ago. How do you think?



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