Constitution revision back on the agenda?

Yomiuri has released the results of its annual poll on constitution revision and has found that once again a majority — a slight one, 51.6% — favors revising Japan's constitution. This marks a nine-point increase over last year's poll. Opposition to revision fell from 43.1% to 36.5%.Interestingly, majorities among both self-described LDP supporters and DPJ …

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Asking old questions anew

(This is the second post discussing George Packard's Protest in Tokyo; see the first here.)When I last discussed Packard, I spoke about how his exploration of Japanese thinking behind the first US-Japan security treaty revealed that independence was the dominant theme in Japanese foreign policy thinking throughout the 1950s. Independence has, of course, been a …

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Reading Packard on the US-Japan Mutual Security Treaty

On my way back to Japan, I began reading Protest in Tokyo, a classic account of the crisis surrounding the approval of the 1960 revision of the US-Japan Mutual Security Treaty by George Packard, president of the United States-Japan Foundation.As Prime Minister Abe forges ahead in his campaign to abandon the postwar regime, I think …

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What manner of constitution debate will Japan have?

In the wake of yesterday's passage of the national referendum bill, each major daily unsurprisingly featured an editorial looking forward to the next three years of debate on revision.In the left-wing Asahi Shimbun, the mood was, unsurprisingly, despondent about the passage of the bill. At the same time, though, the tone was defiant, taking up …

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Japan’s constitution turns sixty

As Japan celebrates Constitution Day, marking the anniversary of the promulgation of the postwar constitution, the Abe Cabinet has renewed its push to revise the constitution — read Article 9 of the constitution — on the heels of bilateral meetings with the US that pointed to a more globally active US-Japan alliance.In Washington, Defense Minister …

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