fifty years ago June 11, 1971 Archives

From the Archives (June 11, 1971): Crisis over Japan over Constitution

Tokyo, June 10: A political crisis is developing in Japan over Article 9 of the Constitution, under which the nation renounces war forever. While the Japanese Government slowly and cautiously reviews the country’s Constitution — in contrast to the current constitutional convention fever in the Philippines — a strong rightist bloc, headed by the former Prime Minister, Mr. Nobusuke Kishi, is seeking to legalise a five-year plan to expand Japan’s “self-defence” forces by doing away with Article 9 completely. Japan’s forces now total 1,80,000 men. Despite the large support which Mr. Kishi has in the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (L.D.P.), the government is reluctant to provoke parliamentary opposition and Japan’s largely pacifist public opinion into a repetition of the anti-war frenzy which overwhelmed the country in 1950 when the Japan-U.S. mutual security treaty was signed. A Constitutional Review Council, under Mr. Osamu Inaba, is quietly working out a consensus between the Kishi partisans — numbering 264 out of the 540 L.D.P. — and the anti-revisionists within the party who are reluctant to rock the ship of state at this particular time.

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