A business think tank proposes allowing Japan to use force abroad

A think tank sponsored by Japan's major business circles has proposed revising the Constitution to enable Japan to use military force abroad.

On July 29, the Japan Economic Research Institute (Nikkeicho) chaired by Hashimoto Toru, an honorary advisor of Mizuho Financial Group, announced a proposal antagonistic toward the war-renouncing Article 9 of the Constitution, stating, "It only helps preserve illusions about peace, ignoring the reality of the international community."

Nikkeicho in its proposal said, "The time has come to fill the gap between the war-renouncing Constitution and the actual situation."

It also proposed that the number of Dietmembers required to submit a proposal on constitutional revision to the Diet should be eased from the present two-thirds majority to a simple majority.

The Nikkeicho is co-sponsored by the Japan Business Federation (Keidanren or JBF), Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Japan Association of Corporate Executives (Keizai Doyukai) and Japan Foreign Trade Council. Its members include Nishioka Takashi (JBF vice-chair), chairman of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd., the largest military industry of Japan, and Toshiba Corporation President Okamura Tadashi. (end)

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