fredag 2. juni 2017

Defense: Japan's Path to Constitutional Amendment

The destination is set: Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe unequivocally announced his desire to achieve constitutional amendment by 2020. His proposed amendment: a new paragraph in Article 9 that validates the existence of the Japan Self-Defense Force (SDF). To that end, Abe has publicly stated that he wants his party, the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), to come to consensus on a proposal by the end of the year so that it may be presented to the opposition parties in the Diet by January 2018. 

If a revised constitution is to come into effect by 2020, one can safely assume that the amendment would have to pass the Diet and reach public referendum by December 2018, since it would likely require a year between passage and promulgation, as is standard with most substantive legal revision regarding security in Japan. That leaves the Abe administration about 18 months to succeed in changing a constitution that has remained unaltered since 1947 — no small feat.