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China: Japan's Security Policy Shift Sounds Alarm
   2014-07-01 17:39:54    CRIENGLISH.com      Web Editor: Zhang

Related: Expert on Japan's Reinterpretation of Anti-war Constitution

The Japanese Cabinet has rubber-stamped a resolution on the right to collective self-defense, a major change from the country's post-war pacifism.

The move comes after Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe pressed the Cabinet to approve reinterpreting the constitution to permit Japan to deploy troops overseas even in circumstances where Japan itself is not threatened.

CRI's Xiong Siqi has more.

 

It is one of the biggest changes in Japan's security policy since World War Two.

Japan's current Constitution, famous for its war-renouncing Article 9, bans troops from fighting outside Japan.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry says the move warns that Japan is on the way to change its pacifism policy.

Ministry spokesperson Hong Lei:

"We notice that in Japan, there are strong objections towards the move to allow the country to exercise collective self-defense. The future of Japan should be decided by the Japanese public. China objects to Japan's action to press ahead with its agenda by fabricating a China threat theory. We demand that Japan respect the security concerns of neighboring countries and address the issue prudently. We ask the country to not hamper China's sovereignty and safety or the peace and stability of the region."

In Japan's capital, Tokyo, thousands have gathered outside Abe's office protesting the plan to expand Japan's military role.

Takeshi Iwaya is the Chairman of the Ruling Party Security Research Council.

"Up to now, Japan has said it won't do any 'wrong' and will wish for peace only. But that is not enough. Japan should cooperate with regional countries in a framework to protect the peace and stability of the region. We are aiming for a more proactive role."

Beating drums and carrying banners, the protesters are demanding Abe's Cabinet scrap its plan.

"Japan hasn't launched a war for nearly 70 years, killing no one, and no innocent people have been killed. So I cannot bear the decision to amend the interpretation of the Constitution. I think it's totally wrong."

Over the weekend, a man set himself on fire near an intersection in Tokyo in protest over the reinterpretation of the constitution.

Japan's move has also sparked protests in South Korea. Demonstrators gathered in front of the Japanese embassy in Seoul.

(Soundbite/0701 Protester Korea, male, Korean)
"We really hope that Abe's government makes an unequivocal apology and reflects on its past actions, rather than trying to lift a ban on collective self-defense."

The latest polls by the Japanese media show that 54 percent of respondents object to the reinterpretation of Japan's anti-war constitution, compared with 29 percent supporting the move.

Critics fear that the reinterpretation is the first step to further revision of the war-renouncing Article 9 of the constitution.

For CRI, this is Xiong Siqi

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