TOKYO, Sept. 25 (Xinhua) -- Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Wednesday said that he is not considering a time frame within which to conclude an ongoing debate surrounding a possible reinterpretation of Japan's war-renouncing Constitution and lifting a self-imposed ban on the right to exercise collective self-defense.
According to government officials here, Abe made the comments at a press briefing in New York, where he is attending the United Nations General Assembly.
Japan's premiere will review the findings of a panel of experts, comprised of both those in favor and those against a constitutional reinterpretation that would theoretically allow Japan's Self-Defense Forces the right to exercise collective self- defense, by the end of the year, officials said Wednesday.
They added that Abe will consider all arguments for and against the move, while taking into account potential resistance from his ruling Liberal Democratic Party's coalition New Komeito Party and mounting public opposition.
Abe's administration has, of late, been increasingly weighing up legislative moves for a reinterpretation of Japan's current pacifist, war-renouncing Constitution, which decrees that Japan is prohibited from using force to settle disputes overseas.
The prime minister recently reconvened a panel of experts to debate the matter of collective self-defense following a seven- month hiatus, stating that there had been a shift in the security environment in East Asia and that the situation is becoming more severe.
Abe, however, on Wednesday did reiterate that any shifts in legislative policy regarding Japan's Constitution and how this might be reinterpreted to allow Japanese forces more military autonomy, would be made from a point of ensuring "global peace and stability," officials here quoted him as saying.
Abe has previously said that due to a geopolitical shift in the Asia Pacific region Japan needs to consider how it interprets its current Constitution and the roles the nation's Self-Defense Forces could potentially play in UN-led security operations.
Abe has said Japan needs to acquire defense capabilities that will allow its defense forces to play the role that is required of them and that defense program guidelines need to be reviewed in light of this, although on Wednesday Japan's premiere stayed mum about a specific time line for this, according to his officials here.
Natsuo Yamaguchi, the leader of the LDP's New Komeito coalition partner, is pushing for Abe's administration to first gain the trust of its East Asian neighbors -- who have been rattled by Abe' s administration's posturing towards constitutional change, in light of Japan's brutal militaristic history -- and allay the United States fears about an escalating maritime standoff over disputed islands in the East China Sea.
Yamaguchi believes that it would be an efficacious step towards assuaging the ongoing diplomatic logjam that Japan makes a concerted effort to reopen multiple channels of communication between politicians on both sides of Japan's current territorial disputes.
Abe and other politicians in favor of a reinterpretation of Japan's Constitution are facing another almighty hurdle in as much as the majority of Japanese citizens are opposed to the idea, as recent national polls have revealed.