Japan's Abe: Constitution Needs Overhaul to Leave WWII Behind

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TOKYO -- Japan must overhaul its pacifist constitution, beef up its role in international security and free itself of the political remnants of World War II, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told Parliament on Friday.

"Now is the time for us to boldly revise this postwar regime and make a new start," he told Parliament, which opened Thursday for a five-month session.

Abe's constitutional revision plan is focused on eliminating a clause in the current document, written by U.S. Occupation authorities just after Japan's 1945 surrender, that strictly limits Japan's military to a defensive role and bans the use of force as a means of settling international disputes.

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