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LDP’s Election Pledges to Contain Proposed Constitutional Amendments (News)

Tokyo, Sept. 20 (Jiji Press)—The ruling Liberal Democratic Party is considering including four constitutional amendments proposed by Prime Minister Abe Shinzō in its policy pledges for the imminent election of the House of Representatives, the lower chamber of Japan's Diet, informed sources said Wednesday. But the LDP will refrain from showing draft amendments with specific wording because some…
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The Article 9 Debate at a Glance

The escalating debate over amendment of the Japanese Constitution centers on the war-renouncing provisions of Article 9. Here we provide a concise outline of the key issues and positions in the Article 9 debate.
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Overhauling Japan’s “Postwar Diplomacy”Ogoura Kazuo

The seventieth year of the postwar period was marked by a new war anniversary statement and enactment of new security laws that Japan’s allies welcomed and neighbors criticized. It is time, Ogoura Kazuo argues, for Japan to move beyond “postwar diplomacy” in keeping with changing international realities.
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Limited Exercise of Collective Self-Defense Is Not Unconstitutional

The deputy chief of Komeito, the LDP’s partner in the ruling coalition, argues that in today’s world it is not possible to seek peace for Japan alone. Kitagawa Kazuo explains that limited exercise of the right of collective self-defense is necessary and does not violate the Japanese Constitution.
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Seventy Years Since World War II: Historical Perceptions and Present RealitiesWatanabe Tsuneo

It seems to me that Western media coverage of historical perceptions in East Asia is misleading. While Japan’s acts of violence against the global order in the past should certainly be criticized, attention should also be directed at the aggressive challenges to the international order in our own time. This year marks the seventieth anniversary of the end of World War II, bringing a greater foc…
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Methinks the Nation Doth Protest . . . How Much?David McMahon

Japan, the popular consensus goes, is a country in which congruence and harmony are valued above all else. For many years I accepted this wisdom at face value and assumed that this tendency lay behind the seeming absence from Japanese society of any sort of large-scale civil disobedience, the strikes and demonstrations that are a periodic occurrence elsewhere in the world. Gradually, though, I fo…
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The Illusion of “Rising Nationalism”: Internationalism and Xenophobia in Today’s JapanKarube Tadashi

Both in Japan and overseas, journalists have been expressing concern about the rise of nationalism under Prime Minister Abe Shinzō. A political scientist questions the validity of these worries.
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Abe’s Moves Toward Collective Self-Defense

On July 1, 2014, Prime Minister Abe Shinzō’s cabinet adopted a resolution to reinterpret the Constitution to allow Japan to exercise the right to collective self-defense. What does this reinterpretation entail, and what are the security ramifications?
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Nostalgia for the Pragmatic Conservatism of Tanaka KakueiHayano Tōru

Tanaka Kakuei is enjoying a resurgence in popularity, two decades following his death in 1993. The factors behind the revival are analyzed by J.F. Oberlin University Professor Hayano Tōru who covered the Shadow Shogun for 20 years as a political reporter.
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Abe’s Agenda on Three FrontsKitaoka Shin’ichi

In order to deal with the difficult issues Japan faces domestically and internationally, Prime Minister Abe Shinzō will need to display leadership and promote realistic policies without getting tied up in ideology.
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