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Abe's Constitution revision plans will soon take shape

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Subject

Efforts to amend Japan's Constitution.

Significance

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has a long-stated ambition to amend Japan's Constitution for the first time since its introduction under US occupation after the Second World War. Abe made a speech last month in which he called on his party to draw up proposals by year-end, and set Tokyo's hosting of the Olympic games in 2020 as a deadline for making the amendment.

Impacts

  • The main opposition party will use public opposition to Constitution revision to rally support and differentiate themselves.
  • Discussion of amendments related to the military will strain Tokyo's relations with Seoul and Beijing.
  • Washington will quietly support amendments that make Japan more useful as a military ally.
  • Large public protests are likely and could weaken Abe's apparently unassailable leadership of his party and country.
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