Japanese proposal to shift military outlook
(China Daily)
Updated: 2005-08-03 05:47

New developments concerning Japan's Constitution and observation of the 60th anniversary of the end of World War II will have far-reaching implications.

Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi (L) is led by a Shinto priest (R) as he visits the controversial Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo in this January 1, 2004 file photo. [Reuters]
The country's ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) released its first full-text draft of constitutional amendments on Monday. A final version is due at the LDP convention in November to mark its 50th anniversary.

The proposal sets out drastic changes that would give the new constitution an entirely new look.

New clauses have been designed to clear the way for Japan to exercise the right of collective "self-defence," or coming to the military aid of an ally.

Japan is entertaining the idea of playing a greater role in global affairs in a military sense.

The Constitution of Japan, known as a pacifist document, renounces Japan's right to wage war or maintain military forces in Article 9.

The wording, however, has been interpreted in a way that allows self-defence forces, enabling the country to build up the 240,000-strong Self-Defence Forces (SDF).

In the draft, the LDP proposes changing the Constitution's Chapter 2, entitled "Renunciation of War," to focus on national security.
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