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S.Korean media harshly criticizes Abe's attempt to revise pacifist constitution

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-05-04 19:50

SEOUL -- South Korean media outlets on Thursday harshly criticized Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's attempts to revise the so-called pacifist constitution, demanding a complete renunciation of war.

As Japan marked the 70th anniversary of its constitution on Wednesday, Abe said he planned to amend the constitution by 2020 to make clear the status of its military, known as Self-Defense Forces (SDF).

The constitution was enacted in 1947 by the United States to force Japan to fully renounce war, as the militarist Japan waged the Pacific War and committed numerous war crimes against humanity.

Abe's attempts to revise the pacifist constitution was denounced by South Korean media as an attempt to make Japan a county capable of waging a war on the poor excuse of rising security threats from the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK).

Kookmin Ilbo newspaper described the Abe cabinet as extreme rightists who dream of creating a country capable of waging a war without repentance over its World War II atrocities.

The newspaper said the SDF "pretended to be a military" though the forces have no right to attack any country but only right to defend itself.

Japan has recently sent two naval destroyers to join the exercises with the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier in waters off the Korean Peninsula.

Newsis news agency reported a growing number of people in Japan who are in favor of the revised constitution, though opponents to the amendment are still larger than proponents.

The news agency attributed the change in public opinion to Abe who "recently fanned the Korean Peninsula crisis" of security amid escalating tensions on the peninsula following the dispatch of the U.S. super-carrier and warships.

Yonhap news agency also pointed out Abe's politicization of security issues, saying his use of the DPRK for a political purpose increased public consent to the constitution amendment.

Criticism of Abe's pursuit for re-militarization was conducted by both conservative and progressive media outlets.

Conservative Donga Ilbo newspaper said the pacifist constitution represents Japan's repentance over the past aggression, which has been positively evaluated in the world as a symbol of pacifism.

The Korean Peninsula was colonized by the imperialist Japan from 1910 to 1945. Abe has yet to sincerely apologize for comfort women victims, or women who were forced into sexual slavery for Japan's military brothels before and during World War II.

The newspaper said nine out of 10 Japanese also positively see their current constitution, criticizing Abe's attempts to emphasize the tensions on the peninsula to make frightened people being more in favor of the constitutional revision.

Recently, increased moves of the SDF were described by the newspaper as a unitization of militaries of the U.S. and Japan.

Liberal Kyunghyang Shinmun newspaper elaborated on Japanese extreme-rightist civic groups' support to Abe's attempts to amend the constitution.

The newspaper quoted a Japanese attending an event hosted by extreme-rightist groups as saying it is high time to rearm Japan as the issue on the DPRK's nuclear and missile programs came into focus.

Such events were also attended by Japanese rightist lawmakers, according to the newspaper.

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