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Survey: Nearly half of Japanese want constitution's pacifist clause unchanged

Survey: Nearly half of Japanese want constitution's pacifist clause unchanged

Only a third of Japanese want to change their constitution's pacifist clause and nearly half want no change, despite the prime minister's drive for amendments giving the military a greater role, poll results showed Wednesday.
In a survey by national newspaper Asahi Shimbun, 78 percent of respondents said the Japanese constitution's Article 9, which bars military force in settling international disputes, has contributed to peace in the country for 60 years.
Thursday marks the 60th anniversary of the constitution's enforcement.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, a nationalist who is requiring schools to teach patriotism and is strengthening military cooperation with the United States, has campaigned to loosen constitutional limits on military action.
The newspaper said 49 percent of respondents to its poll prefer not altering the pacifist clause, while 33 percent favor changing it.
Asked if they think other parts of the constitution also need to be amended, 58 percent said yes while 27 percent said they disagree, the paper said.
Last month, the lower house of Parliament approved guidelines for amending Japan's constitution, which was drafted by U.S. occupation forces following World War II and unchanged since 1947.
The upper house is debating the legislation, which would map out how a referendum _ needed for constitutional amendments _ would be carried out.
However, recent public polls indicate that support for amendments has waned.
There are concerns that changes could lead to nationalism like that of the pre-1945 years, could prompt the diversion of funds to military growth and away from domestic social projects, or could allow Japan to be pulled into dangerous overseas missions.
The Asahi said its survey was based on telephone interviews with 1,807 eligible voters on April 14-15. No margin of error was given.


Updated : 2021-05-14 01:16 GMT+08:00