Thursday, October 23, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Japan’s Cabinet eases post-WWII limits on military

By
From page A13 | July 02, 2014 |

TOKYO — Since Japan’s defeat in World War II, its military has been shackled by restrictions imposed by a victorious U.S. and that, over time, a majority of Japanese adopted as their own. Now, the shackles are being loosened.

Japan’s Cabinet on Tuesday approved a reinterpretation of the country’s pacifist postwar constitution that will allow the military to help defend allies and others “in a close relationship” with Japan under what is known as “collective self-defense.”

Previous governments have said the war-renouncing Article 9 of the constitution limited the use of force to defending Japan.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said the shift is needed to protect the lives of the Japanese people in an increasingly severe security environment. Japanese warships would be able to help protect U.S. ships that were defending Japan, he said.

“Peace is not something you expect to be given, but it’s something that we must achieve on our own,” he said in a televised news conference.

The issue has divided Japan, where many worry about China’s growing military assertiveness but also support the anti-war clause of the constitution and fret about a possible slide toward the militarism that led to World War II.

About 2,000 people protested outside Abe’s office, saying that any change to the constitution should be made through a public referendum, not simply a Cabinet reinterpretation.

“For 70 years, Japan has kept its peace with its constitution,” said 67-year-old protester Toshio Ban. “What are we to do with that stupid man trying to trample over the precious constitution?”

The move drew sharp criticism from China, and a cautious reaction from South Korea, which was colonized by Japan from 1910 to 1945.

“Beijing opposes Japan’s act of hyping the China threat,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said at a daily briefing. The new policy “raises doubts about Japan’s approach to peaceful development.”

South Korean Foreign Ministry spokesman Noh Kwang-il said: “The South Korean government views it as a significant revision to the defense and security policy under the postwar peace constitution, and is paying a sharp attention to it.”

Written under U.S. direction after World War II, the 1947 constitution says the Japanese people “forever renounce war as a sovereign right of the nation.” The article was crafted to prevent a repeat of Japan’s invasion and brutal occupation of wide swaths of Asia.

America’s position shifted quickly with the outbreak of the 1950-53 Korean War. The U.S. began to see Japan as an ally in the Cold War and pressed its former enemy to rearm. Today, with America’s military financially stretched, the U.S. is backing whatever Japan can do to play a larger role in regional security.

In Washington, State Department Deputy Spokeswoman Marie Harf said the U.S. welcomes Japan’s new policy.

“As you know, the U.S.-Japan alliance is one of our most important partnerships, security partnerships. And we value efforts by Japan to strengthen that security cooperation,” Harf said.

The Japanese, though, particularly older generations, have witnessed Japan’s success under the constitution, even if the postwar economic miracle has lost some luster in the last two decades.

“Most Japanese, over two-thirds, feel that this peace constitution is part of their identity,” said Jeff Kingston, head of Asian Studies at Temple University Japan in Tokyo.

The Cabinet decision is hardly the first loosening of the shackles. The constitutional ban has been relaxed several times over the years, starting with the introduction of a “police” force during the Korean War, which became a military dubbed the Self-Defense Force in 1954.

A major turning point came after the 1991 Gulf War, when a wealthy Japan was criticized for contributing money but not “boots on the ground.” After hostilities ended, Japan sent mine sweepers to the Gulf as part of U.N. mission, triggering massive protests at home.

A special law passed in 1992 allowed the military to participate in U.N. election monitoring in Cambodia, the first overseas deployment of troops since World War II.

Japan enacted a set of laws in 2003 to enable troops to join the U.N. Iraq reconstruction mission. But Japanese soldiers were only allowed to fire in self-defense, and had to be escorted by Dutch, British and Australian troops, something Japanese conservatives saw as an embarrassment.

The government has no immediate plans to change the constitution, which has never been amended. But Abe and subsequent governments will now be empowered to authorize greater military engagement under the new interpretation of the charter.

Opponents worry the new policy could be a step toward eventual participation in joint military actions such as the war in Iraq.

Abe said his government stands by its current position of not sending troops to overseas battlefields. An agreement with junior coalition partner New Komeito includes restrictions on when Japan can exercise collective self-defense.

“Japan’s status as a peaceful country will not change,” Abe said.

Buddhist-backed New Komeito initially opposed the change, and Tuesday’s Cabinet decision came after weeks of negotiations between the two parties.

Takeshi Iwaya, a lawmaker who chairs a ruling party research commission on security, said Japan has long said it won’t repeat the mistakes of World War II, but that is no longer enough to preserve peace.

“Up to now, Japan has said it will never do anything wrong and merely wish for peace,” he said in an interview. “What we are trying to do now is to play a more proactive role.”

 

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

Children run for the sake of running

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A1, 2 Comments | Gallery

 
Real McCoy ferry to shut down Thursday

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A3

 
Nairobi, oldest giraffe at Six Flags, dies

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3 | Gallery

Day of Remembrance focuses on domestic violence prevention

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
 
60th Air Mobility Wing gets outstanding unit award

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A3

 
Audubon group to offer wetlands walk, bird workshop

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A4

 
 
Trailer rolls, knocks down pole, damages roadway

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A4

 
Pumpkin bob set at Fairfield city pool

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A5

 
Fairfield police log: Oct. 21, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

Suisun City police log: Oct. 21, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
.

US / World

Canada’s PM says shooting rampage was terrorism

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 1 Comment

 
Study looks at lane splitting in California

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 3 Comments

125 San Francisco inmates to get computer tablets

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 5 Comments

 
California malpractice cap generates big spending

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

Huge gold nugget going up for sale in California

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Healdsburg bans tobacco sales to anyone under 21

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

Davis votes to return armored vehicle

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

 
Key features of rigorous new US Ebola monitoring

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Goofy dinosaur blends Barney and Jar Jar Binks

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Social Security benefits get another tiny increase

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6, 1 Comment

US to track everyone coming from Ebola nations

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Teens’ travel renews concerns about terror appeal

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Blackwater guards found guilty in Iraq shootings

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6, 1 Comment

 
Methodist panel hears appeal over gay wedding

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

AP-GfK Poll: Public wants tighter Ebola screening

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
UK man faked coma for 2 years to avoid court

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Missile, fire from Egypt wounds 2 Israeli troops

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Mexico: Mayor linked to deadly attack on students

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10, 1 Comment

Nigeria truce is shaky, no news of abducted girls

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Iraqi Kurdish lawmakers OK fighters for Syria

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Analysis: Fowle was North Korea’s easiest US case

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Prisons agree to end race policy

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12, 2 Comments

.

Opinion

 
Don’t make this mistake after voting

By Kelvin Wade | From Page: A11, 2 Comments

Editorial Cartoons: Oct. 23, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A11

 
Living a Democrat PC nightmare

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11, 14 Comments

Real reason to vote yes on 46

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11, 2 Comments

 
Keck did good job researching issue

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11

.

Living

Today in History: Oct. 23, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: Oct. 23, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

 
Horoscopes: Oct. 23, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A9

My husband visits dating sites, stays out until 3 or 4 a.m.

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A9

 
.

Entertainment

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
NBC promoting Weir, Lipinski to top skating team

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Annie Lennox embraces jazzy ‘Nostalgia’

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Renee Zellweger: ‘People don’t know me in my 40s’

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Sax player behind ‘Baker Street’ solo dies at 60

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7, 1 Comment

 
‘SNL’ adds black woman to cast from writers room

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7, 1 Comment

.

Sports

Kings measuring success on ‘wins and losses’

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Giants’ bullpen melts down in 7-2 loss to Royals

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Warriors hoping Kerr is final piece for title run

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Local Report: Armijo XC teams finish MEL 10-0

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B1

Carr confident despite Raiders’ winless start

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
AP source: Goodell told to testify in Rice appeal

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Request denied to remove judge on Peterson case

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Probe: UNC academic fraud was ‘shadow curriculum’

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

World Series rating for opener drops to low

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Beaten Giants fan shows significant progress

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Polian, Wolf nominated for Pro Football Hall of Fame

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Slumping Bears hope to slow No. 6 Oregon, Mariota

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Stanford picked to win Pac-12 regular-season crown

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
NBA owners fail to pass lottery reform

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Leafs-Senators game postponed after shootings

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Phony World Series tickets, merchandise seized

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Brad Keselowski not concerned with popularity

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3 | Gallery

 
SHR swaps crews for Danica Patrick and Kurt Busch

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3 | Gallery

’85 World Series Royals relishing playoff run

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4 | Gallery

 
From Mexico to the World Series, Petit Giants’ shines

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4 | Gallery

 
This date in sports history for Thursday, Oct. 23, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

.

Business

FedEx, UPS make plans for a better holiday season

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
The top 20 US cities for tech startup funding

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

‘Silicon Beach’ brings tech boom to Los Angeles

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
Camel maker Reynolds snuffs out workplace smoking

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

BofA to refund Apple Pay customers charged twice

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
Google unveils app for managing Gmail inboxes

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

Government ups air bag warning to 7.8M vehicles

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
.

Obituaries

Mark Dean Lindsay

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Keith Bowen

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

Blanche Stevens

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Dr. Robert M. Takamoto

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

.

Comics

Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9