Keidanren states Article 9 should be thrown away -- Akahata editorial, January 20 (abridged)

The Japan Business Federation (JBF or Nippon Keidanren) is calling for the Constitution to be revised, insisting on the need to sort out any provision that should be abandoned, in particular the clauses stating that Japan will not maintain military forces.

Keidanren calls for procedural requirements for constitutional revisions (Article 96 of the Constitution) to be eased in order to enable Japan to exercise the right of collective self-defense instead of continuing to prohibit itself from having war potential.

Taking part in U.S. wars

In its position paper, Keidanren states that it stands for "democracy, freedom, and peace," while pressing the government to review its foreign policy as well as its supreme law in a bid to proactively work with the international community.

If Keidanren stands for the maintenance of "democracy, freedom, and peace", it must defend the Constitution as the foundation on which to earn international trust.

Remember that Japan was accepted as part of international society after WWII by establishing the constitutional principles of peace based on deep remorse for the war of aggression during WWII, and that people in Asia and the Pacific found it safe to resume diplomatic, economic relations with Japan because of Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution which renounces war and offensive military capabilities.

In Keidanren's mind, the international community means only the United States, and exercising the right of collective self-defense means taking part in U.S. wars as an ally even though Japan is not being attacked.

The United States launched the Iraq War in disregard of the U.N. Charter rules for peace. Japan's participation in U.S. wars as a means of gaining international trust runs counter to maintaining world peace.

Keidanren also calls for the use of space for peaceful purposes and for restrictions on arms exports to be reviewed or eased in the interests of the military industry.

Demand of 'merchants of death'

The sugar-coated demand of "merchants of death" who make a great deal of money from war and preparation for war reveals that their talk of "peace and democracy" is only a lip service. (end)

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