from Nick Mele, Pax Christi USA National Council member
Japan’s Liberal Democratic Party under the leadership of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, has already, only two months after its return to to power in December 2012, increased tensions in Northeast Asia. China, North and South Korea, and Russia are all wary of Japanese rearmament in light of the past but the Abe government seeks to weaken or revoke altogether constitutional restrictions <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Article_9_of_the_Japanese_Constitution> on expanding the Japanese military. On Friday, February 22, President Obama will meet with Prime Minister Abe for what the White House described as “in-depth discussions with Prime Minister Abe on a range of bilateral, regional and global issues, including the U.S,-Japan Security Alliance, economic and trade issues and deepening bilateral cooperation.”
The government of the United States has encouraged Japanese rearmament for over twenty years; the policy of support for an expanded role for Japan’s Self Defense Forces has been a consistent feature of Democratic and Republican administrations since the Reagan presidency. In view of the close security relationship between Japan and the United States, it is critically important that U.S. public opinion mobilize to oppose further militarization of Japan and especially to protect the Japanese Constitution’s Article 9, which renounces the right to wage war and relinquishes the use of military power as a tool of national policy.
Please contact the White House and urge President Obama to ask Prime Minister Abe to strengthen, not weaken, Article 9 of Japan’s Constitution. Submit comments online here <http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/submit-questions-and-comments> or call at 202-456-1111.
3 thoughts on “TAKE ACTION: Tell President Obama to encourage Japan to strengthen Article 9”
I’m not trying to stir the pot – far from it – but I am confused about this issue. If Japan weakens its military, wouldn’t that mean a continuation of our 67-year presence there?
It’s a good question. I wish it were the case that more Japanese military spending would result in U.S. troop withdrawals but that is not the case, unfortunately. Our forces will stay in Japan for the foreseeable future whether or not Article 9 is preserved. If the Japanese Constitution is amended to permit war-making, the result will be additional arms purchases and it is not out of the question for Japan, which has the technical capacity, to develop nuclear weapons in a short time.
Thanks for the explanation!