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Commentary: Abe's dangerous dream of constitutional revision

English.news.cn   2014-01-07 22:08:56            

BEIJING, Jan. 7 (Xinhua) -- Everyone is entitled to a dream. But Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe seems to be having a dangerous one that may drag Japan toward a nationalist dead end and risk jeopardizing regional stability.

In a New Year message, Abe reaffirmed his resolve to revise the country's pacifist constitution written after Japan's defeat in WWII. By revising the war-renouncing constitution, Abe aims to lift the ban on the right to exercise collective self-defense, making it possible for Japan to wage war.

It's good to have dreams. But Abe's dream only triggered deep fears among neighboring countries over the rebirth of fascism in Japan, given the prime minister's reckless pursuit of military power and his brand-name blindness to the country's wartime atrocities.

By chasing his dream, Abe is putting Japan's security at greater risk, as it would certainly raise tensions and nudge the region a step closer to conflict. Meanwhile, the prime minister's dream-chasing comes at the cost of the benefits of Japanese people, as it will distract attention from the vital task of reviving Japan's economy.

Abe, who has long vowed to revise the constitution, is taking steps to make his dream come true.

In December, Abe's cabinet approved a critical defense policy package comprising new defense program guidelines, a five-year defense buildup plan and the national security strategy.

In the security strategy, Japan vowed to seek more "proactive" roles for its military forces abroad and to set new guidelines on arms exports, signaling a major shift from its previous restrictive policy.

A Japanese media outlet commented that Japan has made a historic step in turning itself into a great military power.

Despite Japan's domestic economic woes, a considerable amount of government spending has been or will be invested in building up military strength instead of beating a 15-year-old deflation.

In an exclusive interview with The Wall Street Journal on Oct. 25, Abe even said he envisioned a resurgent Japan, which will take a more assertive leadership role in Asia to counter China's power.

It may not be so big a surprise as Abe's diplomatic strategy has always been essentially focused on countering China by promoting the so-called "value-oriented diplomacy" since he took office.

On Dec. 26 last year, Abe sent shock waves around the world by visiting the controversial Yasukuni Shrine that honors Japan's war dead, including 14 class-A war criminals of WWII.

Abe's denial of the wartime atrocities Japan had committed and his dangerous constitutional obsession gave the international community all the more reasons to worry as Japan, under his leadership, may become a saboteur of regional stability.


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S. Korean FM repeats condemnation of shrine visit in Japan

SEOUL, Jan. 2 (Xinhua) -- South Korea's top diplomat repeated his condemnation of Japanese politicians for their visit to the controversial war shrine, describing the visit as a big stumbling block to peace and cooperation in the region.

"As seen in the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's recent visit to the Yasukuni Shrine, the history-revisionist attitude of Japan's political leadership brought isolation upon itself and served as a big stumbling block to peace and cooperation in Northeast Asia," Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se said in his New Year's message on Thursday. Full story

Abe's shrine visit bombshell of disappointment for Japan, neighbours

BEIJING, Dec. 30 (Xinhua) -- Four days after Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's visit to the controversial Yasukuni Shrine, disappointment and condemnation over his reckless move are still mounting.

Singapore on Sunday expressed its regrets over Abe's visit, fearing that his act "is likely to evoke further negative feelings and reactions in the region." Full story

Commentary: Abe's shrine visit a flagrant denial of justice

BEIJING, Dec. 28 (Xinhua) -- Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's visit to the notorious Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo that honors Japan's war dead including convicted war criminals in World War II is but a flagrant denial of the just trials of Japanese warmongers guilty of crimes against humanity.

Abe on Thursday visited the war shrine, which has been seen as a symbol of Japan's past militarism as it enshrines 14 Class-A WWII war criminals. Full story


Editor: Bi Mingxin
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