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 has been 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. In 2015, the Japanese government passed a law to enable the SDF to participate in self-defence overseas, in the case of a security risk that threatens the nations survival. This is arguably already functioning as a military entity then, even though article 9 of the Japanese constitution forbids it.
This new grey area of Japanese law lead an Active Ground SDF member to file a lawsuit against the Japanese government. The soldier sought to gain clarification on whether the Japanese government would send him overseas, even though this was legally forbidden by the constitution. However, the suit was dismissed by the Tokyo District Court as stated it could not speculated on a hypothetical scenario. This is the latest in a long series of lawsuits surrounding this issue, and while it remains unclear it will not be the last.
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.