Thursday, June 6, 2013

Back to the future

The Economist reports that Prime Minister 'Shinzo Abe’s plan to rewrite Japan’s constitution is running into trouble'.
"Many Japanese who do not support Mr Abe’s right-wing views also favour revision, at least of article nine. This is what makes the constitution a pacifist one, for in it Japan renounces war as a sovereign right and even vows not to keep a standing army, air force or navy."
Mr. Abe's Liberal Democratic Party's proposal goes further.
"The draft elevates the concept of 'public order' as a limit on individual freedom. It restores the emperor as the head of the state, and even seems to remove his obligation to uphold the constitution. It deletes entirely an article in the current document guaranteeing human rights. To a clause on equal rights written by the late Beate Sirota, a 22-year-old American interpreter at the time who is a heroine among Japanese feminists for her advocacy of women’s rights, the LDP adds a homily on the family, whose members, it says, must help each other."
Reuters provides some more detail at this FactBox.