One of the week’s most talked-about articles on Ameba News was the news that in a recent online survey poll by Yahoo! Japan, 54.8% of the 52,000 respondents agreed that constitutional revision was necessary.
Constitutional revision is a key political issue for the Abe administration, and in particular the revision of Article 9, which was included by the postwar US administration in the 1947 constitution to ensure that Japan would “forever renounce war”. Supporters of revision argue that it is no longer feasible for Japan simply maintain a self-defence force and rely US military support, while critics insist that Japan should be proud of its peaceful constitution and set an example for other nations.
What do you think?
From Ameba News:
54.8% Of People Agree With Constitutional Revision, 40.7% Are Against It
May 3 was Constitution Memorial Day in Japan. In places throughout the country, those who want revision and those who want to protect the constitution held symposiums and parades, while Yahoo! Japan carried out a survey called “Constitutional Revision: Are you for? Or against?”. By 3pm on May 4, over 52,000 votes had been cast, with 54.8% “for” and 40.7% “against”, with 4.5% “undecided”.
From those who were for constitutional revision, there were a lot of opinions posted that we can assume see the constitution was something forced upon Japan by the victors in the war, such as “The current constitution is something that was made by GHQ. Today, when the trends of the word have changed, Japan and the Japanese people can’t be protected by this constitution”.
From those who were against revision, there were opinions that stated the current constitution is pacifistic, saying things like “Our constitution has the noble ideas of human rights and peace, which definitely couldn’t have been made by the Japanese people. To get rid of it would be suicide.”
Still, in the comments on the survey left via Facebook, those who were for revision posted their opinions more proactively, and when those against revision posted their opinions there was a tendency for those in favor of revision to get argued down. There was also the sense that as comments agreeing with those who were for constitutional revision were posted, it became difficult for those against revision to write their own opinions.
Comments from Ameba News:
I’m going to write the same thing again, but this is not about being a nation that can go to war, but under the part of Article 9 as it stands — “other war potential” — we are unable to deter kidnapping terror attacks, and even if a Japanese national got involved in an abduction overseas, the government can’t do a thing about it, they can’t guarantee our lives or our property. I’d like those who are against constitutional revision to still say they’re against it after they’ve tried solving various disputes and terror attacks unarmed, with only their hands and their mouths to rely on.
The fact that the number of people who want constitution is higher than those who are against it hints at the possibility that the influence of media such as Asahi and Mainichi has decreased considerably, but it’s also a fact that the hurdle of the 2/3 majority in the Diet, more than half of those in power, remains for constitutional revision. In addition, it’s difficult to say that there is any consensus about the fundamental “contents of constitutional revision” other than repealing Article 9. Still, there is just over two years until the next election, so I think it’ll be good if in that time debate over the constitution deepens.
Although articles 13, 25, and 29 say that they’ll protect the lives and assets of citizens, there is the inconsistency that because of article 9 the government can’t protect the lives and assets of citizens from a foreign enemy. As regards the notion of correcting this fault, bringing up the issue of putting the revisions into practice and then saying we won’t allow revision is sidestepping the issue. The issue of putting the changes into practice is something to be dealt with after the next election, and it has no relevance to the debate over the constitution. Germany has reformed its constitution 58 times and France 27 to stay with the times. It shouldn’t be a debate about whether or not we can or can’t revise the constitution, it should be a debate about how we reform it to make it better.
Parties that are against the national flag and against the national anthem are always overwhelmingly in favour of protecting the constitution, all they do is speak for China and Korea and don’t give a rat’s arse for Japan.
Let’s look at reality. The era when we can live in peace if we worship the constitution is over. With the constitution as it is, why don’t people get that all that’s going to happen is that there’ll be a pre-emptive strike and we’ll be killed. Sorry, but I ain’t gonna be forced into a suicide pact with the constitution http://www.zakzak.co.jp/society/foreign/news/20140417/frn1404170830001-n1.htm
If people judge constitutional revision as unfair, then I wonder how they feel about Japan approving changes in interpretation as a constitutional nation regarding collective self-defence that up to now had been denied under the interpretation of the constitution. I agree with putting it to a vote for citizens. If we then understand that there is no need for constitutional revision then I suppose the Abe cabinet will then also just concentrate on the economy. I think that being obsessed with peace means that we’ve forgotten the ravages of the war and the remorse over it, and we’re lowering the hurdles for the right to belligerency of the state. I kinda feel like on this point public opinion has recently become a bit more obsessed with peace.
Void & Nullさん:
Even though they let it pass that there is blatant “non-compliance” in the name of “broad interpretation” of the current constutition, there is the concern that just it got changed somehow this the next time will we be able to protect it? What’s more, if you loosen strict binding rules like the ones that are in our current constitution, then that in itself means that there’s a danger that the broad interpretations will just keep escalating until we won’t be able to stop it, and that we’ll just end up sinking to the level of a lawless nation. Still, I won’t say that “no matter what don’t dare change a word!”.
54.8% agree with consitutional revision, and 40.7% of people are against it. So that means that there must be a good percentage of those against it who aren’t just the baby boomers. But then in our generation pretty much everyone agrees with revision. Still, those who are from the baby boom generation and older have a high proportion of “Asahi and Mainichi” readers. “Asahi and Mainichi” more than anti-Japanese newspapers, they’re criminal newspapers.
I wonder if there really are that many anti-Japan Japanese citizens who hate the Japanese way, who hate the Japanese government, but still use the system for all it’s worth. Thinking about it reasonably, then no matter how you look at it our constitution is weird. They call it a peace constitution, say we won’t change it, won’t be made to change it, say they don’t even accept us asserting our right to self defence. But really it’s strange if there aren’t more than 90% who want to change the constitution. The red media [ie left-wing] has too much influence.
If they do revise the constitution, I’d like them to make it into something that is easier to understand. If there are voices agreeing with constitutional revision, and we get rid of the restraints in the constitution, then it seems to me that the LDP will just change the constitution as they see fit so it’s convenient for them. So for that reason I won’t agree to constitutional revision. I think that the people who think that the point is not to revise the constitution, but rather that “the way we change it is the issue” won’t just carelessly agree to constitutional revision.
First off we need to get rid of the grey areas of the constitution. Make something that’s not ambigious, and is really solid.
It’s not necessarily the case that reform the constitution –> full pelt back towards being a militarist state…the bottom line is that it’s down to the awareness of each citizen
That guy in the first comment has it right. We need to tell it as it is. Before the true face of the left-wing, who are planning the dissolution of the state, has been recognised, they’ve already stirred up things domestically shouting peace peace and have succeeded in cutting back our defence capabilities. You say anything different to them and you’re branded as a right-winger. On the underside of that, we just accomodate the Chinks’ military exapansion without even the slightest criticsm (consulate general etc). Sure, it would be inconvenient to reform article 9 of the constition, under which China could invade Japan whenever they felt like it, crush us with a pre-emptive strike, and force us into submission.