Monday, July 18, 2016

Something scary ... and from an unexpected direction, too...

Something scary ... and from an unexpected direction, too...  An excerpt:
This week, Japan’s Liberal Democratic Party and its coalition partners won a two-thirds majority in the legislature’s upper house, to go along with their two-thirds majority in the lower house. A two-thirds majority is required in each house to begin the process of amending Japan’s constitution. And amending the constitution is one of the central planks in the LDP’s platform. 
The constitution was imposed on Japan by the United States after the Second World War; it has never been amended. Why should it be amended now? As Bloomberg reports, the LDP has pointed out that “several of the current constitutional provisions are based on the Western European theory of natural human rights; such provisions therefore [need] to be changed.” 
What has the LDP got against the “Western European theory of natural human rights”? you might ask. Well, dozens of LDP legislators and ministers — including Japan’s prime minister, Shinzo Abe — are members of a radical nationalist organization called Nippon Kaigi, which believes (according to one of its members, Hakubun Shimomura, who until recently was Japan’s education minister) that Japan should abandon a “masochistic view of history” wherein it accepts that it committed crimes during the Second World War. In fact, in Nippon Kaigi’s view, Japan was the wronged party in the war.
A simple majority vote would be all that's required to pass the amendment (more details in the whole article).  I have no read on the Japanese citizenry's mood, so I have to wonder if it might pass.  If it does, what's next?  Hard to say, and the article doesn't say much about it either.  The major tensions in the region at the moment are with China and North Korea, so one naturally worries about that first.

Read the whole thing...

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