Wednesday, November 23, 2005

LDP Draft Constitution Out; Expands Military

WaPo reports:

The revision also opens the door to a broader interpretation of the constitution, permitting what some call "collective self-defense" -- or coming to the military aid of other countries. The most likely beneficiary would be Japan's closest ally, the United States, which has urged Japan to adopt such measures. Changes in Japan's constitutional status would have major significance in the region, particularly in the event of a conflict between China and the United States over Taiwan.

"In addition to activities needed for self-defense . . . the defense forces can take part in efforts to maintain international peace and security under international cooperation, as well as to keep fundamental public order in our country," the draft says.

The revised constitution, released on the 50th anniversary of the LDP's founding, faces major hurdles and may not be approved for at least a year. Parliamentary approval requires a two-thirds vote by both the lower and upper houses, and the debate is likely to be highly emotional. New Komeito, the LDP's coalition partner since 1999, favors new clauses and refinements, rather than major changes, in Article 9 of the constitution, which deals with the military.

The Cold war ends, a new one begins. As always, such developments put me square between the obvious need of Taiwan to be defended, and the obvious conclusion that another Cold War is insanity. We fiddle while the ice caps melt....

UPDATE: Japan and Russia mend fences, sort of...

No comments: