Japan Today article examines debate over Japan’s defense strategy


May 3, 2018

Brittney Washington, Program Assistant for Sasakawa USA, and Kangkyu “David” Lee, former Program Assistant for Sasakawa USA, have published an article in Japan Today about Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s efforts to constitutionally redefine Japan’s national defense strategy. Published on April 30, “Abe’s push to change Japan’s defense strategy” considers the current debate over the topic as “a clash between Japan’s decades-long identity as a pacifist nation and Abe’s current dream to make Japan a normal, democratic power with a strong military.”

Washington and Lee see that “security challenges like North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs” and “China’s growing military capabilities” have manifested as “top concerns for the Japanese government and public,” though Japan’s constitution has precluded the use of “military aggression and the use of force to settle international disputes.” In 2014, PM Abe led a successful campaign to reinterpret the relevant article in the constitution allowing Japan to “exercise collective self-defense in limited circumstances,” though his recent pursuit of revising the constitution to expand Japan’s collective self-defense abilities has run against public sentiment.

Read “Abe’s push to change Japan’s defense strategy” in Japan Today.

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