Both LDP and DPJ want Japan to exercise right of collective self-defense

The ruling Liberal Democratic Party and the opposition Democratic Party of Japan are planning to unveil their proposals for a new constitution that would enable Japan to send troops abroad to exercise the right of collective self-defense, by scrapping the present war-renouncing Article 9 of the Constitution.

The Liberal Democratic Party intends to write a preliminary draft of a new constitution by late April after major issues, including the "emperor" and "national security", are discussed in 10 sub-committees of its drafting committee.

In the biggest opposition party, the Democratic Party of Japan, its former president on February 3 published a draft for constitutional revision. The DPJ's proposal for revision is expected to be announced soon.

It is clear that these two parties are arguing that the present provision prohibiting the maintenance of war potential (Article 9 (2)) should be deleted in order to pave the way for exercising the right of collective self-defense.

There are only minor differences between the two parties regarding this issue. While the LDP argues that a United Nations resolution is not a condition for Japan's deployment of the armed forces overseas in the name of "international contribution." The DPJ seeks to restrict military deployment abroad to activities connected with the U.N. and other established international bodies.

Former Prime Minister Mori Yoshiro, who chairs the LDP drafting committee, revealed the true aim of constitutional revision in his February 9 statement: "If Japan is to be trusted in the international community, it must not remain a spectator just because it is barred from combat. To clear this hurdle is the test for a new constitution." (end)

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