World / Asia-Pacific

Japan warned of revision of pacifist constitution

By Zhang Yunbi (China Daily) Updated: 2012-12-19 08:08

China warned against rising right-wing inclinations on Tuesday in response to the overwhelming support shown by newly elected Japanese lawmakers for the revision of Japan's pacifist constitution, indicated by a recent poll.

A trend toward getting rid of the post-war system and denying peaceful development has been emerging in Japan in recent years and fueling concerns in Asian countries, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said in Beijing on Tuesday.

Shinzo Abe, Japan's hawkish incoming prime minister, has vowed to push for the revision of the relevant article in the constitution and may even seek collaboration from radical right-wing parties, including the Japan Restoration Party.

Given its militarist past, experts said Tokyo should think twice about the proposed revision, which would ease the grip on the country's access to normalized armed forces.

Wang Xinsheng, a professor of Japanese studies at Peking University, said the new lawmakers' overwhelming support of the sensitive revision reflects their popular belief that "all the internal conditions have been put in place" for breaking the ice. "Japan has seen flared territorial disputes with its neighbors, and the United States needs Japan's assistance in its pivot to Asia. As long as the US does not directly lodge an objection, the conditions are all there," Wang said.

The majority of the 454 new members of Japan's lower house who won seats on Sunday support a revision of Japan's pacifist constitution, according to a survey released by Kyodo News Agency on Tuesday. Eighty-one percent of the respondents called for lifting the ban on using collective self-defense.

Xinhua contributed to this story.

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