World / Asia-Pacific

Majority of Japanese oppose collective self-defense: polls

(Xinhua) Updated: 2014-06-30 15:02

TOKYO - Polls conducted by major Japanese newspapers showed that more than half of Japanese oppose Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's attempt to lift the country's ban on collective self-defense rights.

According to a latest survey conducted through June 27 to 29 by Japan's Nikkei News, half of Japanese oppose dropping the ban on exercising collective self-defense as the rights may drag Japan into war.

The survey result came after a protester on Sunday set himself on fire in a move to oppose Abe's administration and its efforts to lift the self-imposed ban on collective defense.

The survey also showed that 54 percent of respondents say no to reinterpretation of Japan's anti-war constitution as the prime minister is trying to change the interpretation of the Japanese pacifist supreme law to achieve the goal of collective defense. Only 29 percent of the respondents support the move.

The Japanese constitution bans Japan's Self-Defense Forces (SDF) from engaging war overseas but the collective defense goes contrary to the spirit and will allow the SDF to combat outside Japan.

Another poll showed Sunday that 58 percent of respondents are against the way Abe uses to give green light to the collective defense, while 38 percent voted for Abe's efforts.

According to the survey by Mainichi Shimbun, among the opposition, about 83 percent said the collective defense rights will drag Japan into war.

The poll also said that support rate for Abe's Cabinet fell to 45 percent, the lowest since Abe took office in December 2012.

The Japanese government on Friday submitted the final version of the resolutions of exercising the defense rights to the ruling coalition.

The Abe administration plans to approve the resolutions on July 1 at the earliest date if the ruling bloc gives green light to the final version.

Exercising the collective self-defense is a dramatic change of Japan's defense stance and has triggered concerns at home and overseas as Japan, under Abe's administration, is running fast on a right-leaning trail featured by denying wartime history and beefing up military muscles.

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