Policymaking > Government > Local
Masaki Shibutani
Apr 23 · Last update 4 mo. ago.
Should Japan change the Constitution and expand the authority of the SDF?
Should Japan change the Constitution and expand the authority of the SDF?
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The constitution needs changing to enable Japan to be normal country, fund its own defence and to boost the economy.
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0 disagrees
The SDF’s authority has already been expanded, the constitution should be changed to legitimise this.
0 agrees
0 disagrees
The Second World War should not be forgotten.
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The constitution needs changing to enable Japan to be normal country, fund its own defence and to boost the economy.

Peace comes at a cost; namely the price tag at the end of a defence budget. A price tag heavily subsidised, currently, by America. If Japan had its own military, relations with America would improve, especially considering America’s renewed sense of economic nationalism under the Trump administration. Defence support from a fully functional Japanese militarily would improve relations across the board with Japan’s allies, many of which are currently involved in conflicts. This shift would also offer a solution to the unwanted US military presence in Okinawa, allowing all bases in Japanese territories to function without a foreign military presence.

Japan is the only country to have had nuclear bombs dropped on its civilians. It is arguably a very different time now from the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, but it is also a very different environment in terms of the availability of nuclear weapons. With a close antagonist (North Korea) recently threatening Japan with missiles and claiming to have developed nuclear weapons, it is imperative that Japan at least has the capability to defend itself. That should include being able to threaten a major military counterstrike to precede any attack in order to deter such threats. This is only possible with a fully formed military with the right to use force as a means of settling international disputes.

War is unfortunately a big international industry also, as a nation hit hard by the 2008 financial crisis, Japan could benefit from becoming more involved in this multi-trillion dollar industry. The Japanese government lifted the ban on exporting arms in 2014, but Japan’s weapons exports remain low. A highly skilled military, using battle tested Japanese weapons, would prove the reliability of these products and could dramatically improve defence exports.

The Japanese constitution was formed by American senior army officers after the Second World War. The Japanese people have the right to decide upon the rules by which their country is governed. Amending article 9 would allow Japan to normalise as a country, and could have positive financial implications for both Japan and its allies. Japan should pull its weight, fund its own defence and participate with allied countries in the name of Japanese security.

nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/japan-the-worlds-next-big-arms-dealer-19477 reuters.com/article/us-japan-defence/japan-approves-record-defense-spending-that-favors-u-s-made-equipment-idUSKBN1EG081 sipri.org/yearbook/2013/03

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Daniel Halliday
Jul 31
Approved
DH edited this paragraph
Japan is the only country to have had nuclear bombs dropped on its civilians. It is arguably a very different time now from the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, but it is also a very different environment in terms of the availability of nuclear weapons. With a close antagonist (North Korea) recently threatening Japan with missiles and claiming to have developed nuclear weapons, it is imperative that Japan at least has the capability to defend itself. That should include being able to threaten a major military counterstrike to precede any attack in order to deter such threats. This is only possible with a fully formed military with the right to use force as a means of settling international disputes.
The SDF’s authority has already been expanded, the constitution should be changed to legitimise this.

The world and Japan are very different places than they were after the Second World War when the Japanese constitution was written. The world is no longer divided up between colonial powers and there are many more independent players in international affairs. Though complete world peace is unfortunately a long way off, the world is experiencing a lower number of war casualties over the last few decades. It is important for Japan to have a place in peacekeeping efforts internationally, to show Japan’s commitment to Japanese security and that of its allies.

The Japanese Self-Defence Force is currently involved in maintaining national security, disaster relief, and more recently combating maritime piracy and peacekeeping overseas. However the JSDF is also testing weapons made by Japanese companies, in Japan, and as of 2014 some of this technology is being sold internationally, although in very small numbers. This is arguably already functioning as a military entity even though article 9 of the Japanese constitution forbids it.

To claim an amendment to the constitution means that the JSDF could be involved in war is speculation. It is possible that the constitution could be amended only to legitimise the Self-Defence Force, so it is constitutional, as it is arguably not at present. Japan should be showing the world that it is possible to be a peace-loving nation while still fighting for international security, not recoiling from war and leaving other nations to resolve international issues.

smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/globally-deaths-war-and-murder-are-decline-180950237 bbc.com/news/world-asia-28086002 thediplomat.com/2017/05/abes-new-vision-for-japans-constitution thediplomat.com/2018/03/where-is-japan-in-its-military-push-under-abe

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Daniel Halliday
Jul 31
Approved
DH edited this paragraph
The world and Japan are very different places than they were after the Second World War when the Japanese constitution was written. The world is no longer divided up between colonial powers and there are many more independent players in international affairs. Though complete world peace is unfortunately a long way off, the world is experiencing a lower number of war casualties over the last few decades. It is important for Japan to have a place in peacekeeping efforts internationally, to show Japan’s commitment to Japanese security and that of its allies.
The Second World War should not be forgotten.

Lessons should be learned from the past, and countries should move forward with their history firmly in mind. The present day’s political climate is arguably more complicated and ambiguous than that of the 20th century. To have another aggressor in this part of the world may lead to more diplomatic chaos and ultimately more war in East Asia, a place that has been relatively calm since the Korean War.

The world is no longer divided along colonial lines, but there is a pattern of proxy and civil conflicts that continue to simmer. Having another powerful economic player, such as Japan, enter this current climate militarily could easily raise tensions with countries like China. It could arguably complicate disputed territory dialogue, and more importantly China’s involvement in wars against forces backed by Japanese allies. Not to mention intensifying tensions with North Korea who have persistently threatened Japanese security. However, most worryingly it could strain connections with former Japanese occupied countries, some of which Japan enjoys positive diplomatic relations with today.

The Japanese government have allowed the creation of, or alterations to, a Japanese defence force in 1950, 1952 and 1954, which arguably go against article 9 of the constitution. Amending it fully would just be a slippery slope to Japan becoming involved in War internationally and undo lessons learned from the Second World War. The world is beginning to wake up to the fact that war does not solve diplomatic tensions, it just exacerbates them. Japan is one of the rare countries to culturally embrace pacifism. It should be proud of this, and be proud to be a good example of a modern successful peaceful nation.

defendingjapan.wordpress.com/tag/japan-self-defense-force japan.kantei.go.jp/constitution_and_government_of_japan/constitution_e.html theguardian.com/world/2014/jul/01/japan-pacifists-military-intervention-shinzo-abe?CMP=twt_gu

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Daniel Halliday
Jul 31
Approved
DH edited this paragraph
The world is no longer divided along colonial lines, but there is a pattern of proxy and civil conflicts that continue to simmer. Having another powerful economic player, such as Japan, enter this current climate militarily could easily raise tensions with countries like China. It could arguably complicate disputed territory dialogue, and more importantly China’s involvement in wars against forces backed by Japanese allies. Not to mention intensifying tensions with North Korea who have persistently threatened Japanese security. However, most worryingly it could strain connections with former Japanese occupied countries, some of which Japan enjoys positive diplomatic relations with today.
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