Japan Reverses Renunciation of War in Constitution; China Upset, US Upbeat, India Silent

(141214) -- TOKYO, Dec. 14, 2014 (Xinhua) -- Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe smiles at the headquarters of Japan's Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) in Tokyo, Dec. 14, 2014. LDP and its small partner the Komeito Party were expected to win two thirds of the seats in the 475-seat lower house in Sunday's election and the LDP alone could gain over 300 seats, exit polls showed.   (Xinhua/Ma Ping)

(141214) — TOKYO, Dec. 14, 2014 (Xinhua) — Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe smiles at the headquarters of Japan’s Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) in Tokyo, Dec. 14, 2014. LDP and its small partner the Komeito Party won two thirds of the seats in the 475-seat lower house that paved way to current passage of defense bills.
(Xinhua/Ma Ping)

Japan lower house has finally passed a historic legislation on Thursday empowering the Defense forces to fight in foreign conflicts reversing the post-war legacy of no-military conflicts, amid protests outside parliament throughout the passage of the bill.

Supported by the US, the new move by Japan would herald a new era in Japan’s military operations and its stance not to send its military forces abroad tp take part in any conflict. Eventually, it would lessen Japan’s dependence on the US military umbrella that saw Japan retain its safety in view of regional tensions from China and North Korea.

Originally, the Constitution, imposed on Japan by the US and Allied Powers, states that “the Japanese people forever renounce war as a sovereign right of the nation and the threat or use of force as means of settling international disputes.”

The departure from its postwar renunciation of war will now seek to protect itself in view of any direct attack and also dispatch its military for overseas operations on scrutiny. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, instrumental for the final passage of the bill, was vouching for it since long despite popular opposition to 11 bills specifying the reversal of peace constitution.

“These laws are absolutely necessary because the security situation surrounding Japan is growing more severe,” defended Abe after the vote passing the bills.

Now the bill will be placed in the upper house where the ruling coalition is equally strong, the bill will sail through with no major resistance or amendment. Once it becomes effective, Japan would cooperate with the US in overseas military operations with minimal involvement though. Now, Japan could fight to defend allies whenever there is a threat to “the lives and survival of the Japanese nation.”

Unless courts make it null and void, Japan is now on war path, if threatened.

In view of recent escalation of hostilities with China in the South China Sea coupled with the murder of two Japanese hostages by the Islamic State militant group in January, Japan has been at the mercy of blackmailing tactics and hostage crises for long since the mid-1990s when rebels in Peru seized its embassy.

However, as expected, China condemned the bills invoking the World War II memories when Japanese army indulged in excesses in Nanking and Korea.

“We solemnly urge the Japanese side to draw hard lessons from history, stick to the path of peaceful development, respect the major security concerns of its Asian neighbors, and refrain from jeopardizing China’s sovereignty and security interests or crippling regional peace and stability,” said Hua Chunying, a Foreign Ministry spokeswoman in a prepared statement.

While India has no direct link with the move, eventually India hopes that Japan would see the reason and signs the nuclear fuel supply deal that has been hanging in air for over a decade. Both Indian PMs Manmohan Singh and Narendra Modi faced embarrassing denial from Tokyo in their state visits.



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