Article 9

Yesterday Japan’s Prime Minister ABE Shinzo announced a dramatic shift to Japan’s Article 9 of the constitution (read here) that allows Japan’s Self Defense Force to take up arms with an ally in war.  Since WWII, Japan has largely embraced pacifism, but this move by the government has stirred protests throughout the country.  In Tokyo a man set himself on fire at Shinjuku Station (video here- not to be watched with kids).

When I was in China in 2004 a change in Japanese textbooks set off protests there, so it will be interesting to see what the Chinese reaction will be now that the SDF is not so “toothless.”

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