Kirk Spitzer: Shinzo Abe, The Wild Cardtags: foreign policy, Japan, Shinzo Abe, Imperial Japan, Kirk Spitzer
Kirk Spitzer is a Tokyo-based freelance writer and former defense correspondent for USA Today and CBS News.
TOKYO — Japanese voters are almost certain to give Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) an overwhelming victory in upper house elections on July 21. The election so far has focused largely on economic recovery -- and for once there's hope on the horizon. Abe's aggressive program of monetary easing and government spending has begun to jolt the economy out of nearly two decades of deflation and stagnation. The prime minister, who's been operating with only the lower house of the Diet backing him, is looking to regain a majority in the upper house to help push through his "third arrow" of structural reforms....
Dramatic as these changes would be, the LDP's plans for amending the constitution go well beyond security issues, and could return Japan to an earlier and likely less benign version of itself. Draft revisions unveiled by the LDP last year would reduce press freedoms, designate the emperor as the head of state and impose new, nationalist-tinged requirements on citizens. The public would be required, for example, to "respect" the rising-sun flag and "Kimigayo" national anthem -- symbols, in much of Asia, of Japan's World War II-era aggression and colonial expansion.
According to the LDP, the revised constitution would reflect "the history, culture and tradition of Japan. The current constitution includes some provisions that are based on the Western theory of natural rights. We believe these provisions should be revised."
Lawrence Repeta, a law professor at Tokyo's Meiji University, said in an interview that the proposed revisions, if adopted, "would create a Japan we don't know."...
comments powered by Disqus
- The Forgotten Story of the Men Who Broke the NFL’s Color Barrier
- The Mysterious Case of the 113-Year-Old Light Bulb
- Found: The Oldest Bar In Every State
- John Kerry says the destruction of heritage sites in Iraq and Syria is the worst in his lifetime
- The Capture of the Lindbergh Baby Kidnapper, 80 Years Ago
- Hugh Trevor-Roper: the spy as historian, the historian as spy
- After Ferguson, some black history grad students wonder: Does Pursuing a Ph.D. Matter?
- Historian David Kaiser rallying alums who say Harvard's paying its endowment traders too much
- Colorado students protest proposed "censorship" of history curriculum
- Director's using Kickstarter to raise money for a film about the Kansas governor who implanted goat testicles in humans