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29.03.2017 г.

Foreign Policy Priorities of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (Part I)


The article analyses the political and philosophical views of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on the role and the place of Japan in the contemporary system of international relations, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region, as well as the implementation of these views in the foreign policy of Japan.

The author evaluates the process of adaptation of the Japan-US alliance to the processes of restructuring of the regional power in the Asia Pacific region, as well as the reaction of the United States, China, Russia, the ROK and the DPRK to the new developments in Tokyo's course of implementing the right of collective self-defense.

Perspectives of Japan-Chinese and Japan-Russian relations are highlighted in the context of the new trends in the development of the Japan-US military alliance.

Keywords: Japan-US military alliance, Constitution of Japan, Japanese military doctrine, collective self-defense, "historical revisionism", "Chinese threat", Russia and Japan

In 2015, Japan celebrated two anniversaries, the most important in its post-war history. 70 years since the end of the Second World War, an integral part of which were military actions unleashed by the Japanese ruling circles against China and the United States, as well as against Great Britain and Holland, whose colonial possessions were in the Pacific region. The Japanese aggression ended with a crushing defeat, and its main participants from the military, politicians and diplomats were sentenced by the International Military Tribunal for the Far East and later executed. Their accomplices and associates were convicted and sentenced to jail terms, and the country was under American occupation for six years.

* * *

The study was funded by the Russian Foundation for Humanities, the project "Transformation of International Relations in Northeast Asia and Russia's national interests" № 16-03-00602

The second "anniversary", although less significant, but no less important for the fate of the country, especially for its foreign and military policy. January 19, 1960 marked the 55th anniversary of the signing of the Japan-US Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security, in abbreviated form, referred to as the "security treaty".

In accordance with the treaty, the United States took the responsibility to protect the Japanese territory from external threats; in fact, they guaranteed a "nuclear umbrella" over Japan.

Japan, in turn, undertook obligations to protect American bases that are located on its territory according to the treaty, even if they are retaliated as a result of US military actions in the Far East. There are no provisions in the text that prohibit the US from using its Japanese-based military forces outside Japan, as well as those prohibiting the import of nuclear weapons into the country.

Opposition to the signing of the treaty was unprecedented in post-war Japanese history. On the eve of its entry into force, numerous protests took place throughout the country. The very ratification was carried out by the parliament with grave violations - in the absence of opposition and without any discussion of the provisions of the treaty. Over time, passions around the treaty have subsided and now they are concentrated on the island of Okinawa, where locals regularly and unsuccessfully trying to get at least part of the US military bases away from the island.

The large majority of the political elite of modern Japan proceeds from the assumption that the choice in favor of the US military-political alliance, although it firmly anchored Tokyo to the US foreign policy strategy as a "junior partner," was the only correct one.

In the Cold War era, the main argument in support of this assumption was "the Soviet Union threat to Japan", but now China and the DPRK are defined as countries that are posing a potential threat to Japan's security and, consequently, an alliance with the United States is still necessary.

One of the most prominent political figures of modern Japan, Shinzo Abe, is currently trying to solve the problem of "Chinese and North Korean threats". Не, unlike many of his predecessors serving as a head of government, already demonstrates certain "longevity" of being in the prime minister's chair and has good chances to stay there for a fairly long time.

The political philosophy of Shinzo Abe

"Historical Revisionist" - such a characteristic was given to the political and philosophical views of S.Abe in the report of the Congressional Research Service, and it was consolidated not only among the journalistic and scientific community, but also in high political circles of Washington[1].

S. Abe is one of the most determined and consistent adherents of the philosophy of "legal conservatism", according to which Japan must remain committed to an alliance with the US, but at the same time steadfastly eliminate the "complex of defeat in World War II", to "draw a line under the policy of war time" and begin the revival of Japan "as one of the leading powers in the world". His position corresponds to views of a rather wide circle of prominent representatives of the conservative wing of the Japanese political elite.

Among those who had a fundamental impact on the formation of the political philosophy of S. Abe, his father Shintaro Abe, a prominent figure in the Liberal Democratic Party of moderately liberal views, is not listed. His grandfather Nobusuke Kishi is in charge. Being the head of the Ministry of Armaments in the 1930s of 20-th century, N. Kishi advocated war with the US and was in charge of the mobilization of hundreds of thousands of Chinese and Koreans to works on the production of equipment for the Japanese army. After the war, he was convicted as a "Class A" war criminal and sentenced to imprisonment. However, after his release, he returned to active political activities, established himself as "pro-American" and with the financial support of the Americans took over the chair of the government (1956-1960) [2]. Until the end of his days, N. Kishi considered the war of Japan "fair" and even "sacred", spoke up for the creation of a "new Japan", implying, not least, the revision of the constitution that limits the country's military capabilities.

After returning in 2012 (first time he held this post in 2006-2007) to the post of head of the Japanese government, S. Abe made a number of statements of a of fundamental nature, the main purpose of which was to disagree with the "post-war system imposed on Japan".

As the pro-rector of the Hosei University Jiro Yamaguchi testifies, S. Abe called the post-war constitution "shameful" [3]. Accordingly, he spoke up for the revision of the country's main law. At the same time, he proudly notes that he is a firm follower of the political views of his grandfather N. Kishi.

Since the beginning of S. Abe's reign, supporters of his political platform became more active. Among them was the writer, Naoki Hyukata, whom prime minister appointed to the board of governors of the semi-public company NHK. He claims that during the Japanese aggression in China, there was no Nanking massacre, although, according to Chinese data, more than 300,000 Chinese people were killed - Nanjing residents. And that the "event" was fabricated in order to conceal, through the Tokyo court, the crime of the United States - "brutal massacres" as a result of the American bombing of Tokyo and the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki[4].

Former Chief of Staff of Japan's Air Self-Defense Force Toshio Tamogami believes that Japan was not an aggressor, but a victim involved in the war with China through the fault of Chiang Kai-shek[5]. The above-mentioned views find considerable support in the circles of the Japanese political elite, what draws attention of foreign scholars of Japanese politics.

The deep roots of the political philosophy of S. Abe, according to many American and European Japonologists, originate from the rejection of the "historical humiliation" that Japan experienced after being defeated in the war.

According to the analysis of the American professor Noah Smith, "a substantial part of the party (Liberal-Democratic) philosophically, organizationally, and often genetically comes from Japan's political class of the militaristic period... It did not fully embrace the liberal values that the US introduced into the country during the American occupation. This faction, once a minority, now in fact dominates the party"[6].

The former Ambassador of the United Kingdom to Japan, Hugh Cortazzi, generally agrees with his conclusions. In the analytical column of the newspaper Japan Times on June 15, 2015 he writes: "Ultra-nationalism has been latent in some circles in Japan for centuries and poses a potential threat to peace and to Japan's long-term interests". As he warns, "there is a real risk that the leaders of the Liberal Democratic Party will pursue policies leading to a more autocratic and nationalist regime, which could threaten Japan's long term national interests". And according to the former ambassador, the first steps in this direction have already been taken by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his entourage. At the same time, he notes with concern that the pressure on the Japanese media to support Abe's policy has increased under the "extremely sensitive to criticism" head of the Japanese government.

Along with the campaign aimed at justification of militaristic and colonial past, the government of S. Abe began to take measures to exert pressure on the media in order to limit critical assessments of the government's political, military and economic activities.

To strengthen control over the media, the government uses various methods - from "recommendations" not to interview and not to invite political and public figures, known for their critical statements about the policy pursued by Tokyo, to television broadcasts, to "warnings" about the possibility of depriving them of the broadcasting license.

Thus, on April 17, 2015, a special meeting was held at the LDP headquarters with management representatives of TV Asahi Corporation and the broadcasting corporation NHK to discuss two television programs in which the ruling party saw criticism of the government of S. Abe.

The management of the TV Asahi Corporation was forced to reproach the staff who prepared the program, where one of its participants criticized some aspects of government policy[7].

In November 2014, on the eve of the parliamentary elections, the LDP sent "letters of request" to the main television companies with instructions on how to select topics for coverage and even with comments for interviewing. A number of journalists were included in the blacklist as unreliable, including for criticizing the policy of "abenomics", from which, in their opinion, only well-off Japanese were getting benefits[8].

No wonder that in such situation on June 25, 2015, during their meeting 40 young parliamentarians close to the premiere criticized media organizations that "misunderstand security bills". There were calls to cut their advertising revenues, to close two Okinawa newspapers "because they were completely taken over by left-wing forces" [9]. The tide of opposition and public discontent in connection with this event was so high that it was necessary for the Prime Minister who spoke about "freedom of expression as the basis of democracy" to apologize personally.

It should be noted that the system of relations between Japanese media and government establishments has its specific features. Each ministry, each political party, each business community organization has its own "Correspondents' Clubs", membership in which is strictly limited. Only journalists of these clubs are allowed to attend press conferences and communicate with representatives of government agencies and political organizations. It's not a secret that in response to such a privileged status, journalists are expected to deliver "positive coverage of their activities".

But it's more important, that control over the media is entrusted to the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, which issues broadcast licenses to television stations that are required to be regularly renewed. Thus, television companies are under constant control and are afraid of losing a license if they openly oppose the government.

On the other hand, individual journalists in the Japanese media, even with the highest professional reputation, work under rather strict control of their employers, who can punish and even fire them. And this often means not only the loss of high wages, but also deprivation of the opportunity to continue journalistic activities, because large newspapers and television companies do not welcome "outsiders", especially with a "tarnished reputation". Therefore, Japanese journalists developed "self-restraint" in expressing their opinion and "understanding" of the position of the leadership, and are forced to take into account "directions" of government bodies.

The American media had to state that S. Abe's efforts to suppress the government's criticism in the Japanese media were fruitful and that many major Japanese news programs started to introduce self-censorship[10].

It is noteworthy that activities of foreign journalists covering events in Japan also do not remain without attention. Karten Hermes, the correspondent of The Frankfurter Allgemeine newspaper, who was in Tokyo from 2010 to 2015, before his departure published an article in which he said that a number of his publications in a German newspaper provoked a critical reaction of the Japanese official authorities. The Japanese Consul-General in Frankfurt visited the newspaper's editorial office and said that his article, which stated that the government of S. Abe was trying to rewrite history and that Japan was increasingly falling into isolation, while the ROK and China were converging, was used by China in the anti-Japanese Propaganda that the correspondent was allegedly bribed.

The German journalist noted that, since 2014, the government of S. Abe has put pressure on foreign media[11].

The Asahi newspaper gives an example of how a Japanese ambassador in Washington sent a message to an American newspaper that published an article by Professor Koichi Nakano of the Japanese University criticizing the Japanese government's position on the "comfort women" issue. The message said that the author was allegedly unknown in Japan and it was recommended to interview another professor, known for his support of the government's position[12]. Publishing house received a similar message from one of the leading officials of the foreign press department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan.

It's not fortuitous that according to the assessment of Freedom House that monitors level of press and media freedom worldwide, in May 2015, Japan was ranked 41st (previously 36th), as pressures on media freedom in the country have seriously increased[13].

Since the end of 2014, one of the central themes of domestic political discussions and debates, which also caused a serious international response, was the content of the statement of the head of the Japanese government dedicated to the 70th anniversary of the end of the Second World War. For the first time on the 50th anniversary, then on the 60th anniversary, Japanese premieres Tomiichi Murayama and Junichiro Koizumi in their statements assessed actions of Japan during the war. Both declarations expressed deep regret at the suffering that the colonial rule and aggression of Japan brought to the Asian peoples and sincerely apologized in this regard.

Since S. Abe evaluates the events of the pre-war and war period in Japanese history from the perspective of "historical revisionist" and previously said that he does not need to repeat his predecessors' words in his statement, this caused an acute reaction within Japan and beyond. It was also recalled that when Prime Minister Naoto Kan in 2010 apologized for the "traumas of colonial oppression" that Japan inflicted on the Korean people, S. Abe called it "stupidity"[14].

Debate on the historical past flared up with unprecedented poignancy

In order to "be on the safe side" the government created a special commission of 16 scientists, journalists and public members to develop the content of the announcement. However, it fell short of expectations, starting with the assessment of the "appearance" of Japanese troops on Chinese territory in 1931. The head of the commission said that "sending troops to another country, killing and injuring people, selecting their property, limiting sovereignty are an invasion, and the Manchurian incident was clearly an invasion"[15].

Most political scientists, journalists, public figures and politicians favored the recognition of war in China as aggression, reigning in Korea as colonial and apologizing for suffering to Asian people and separately in connection with the use of Korean women as "comfort women".

However, there were many who challenged these assessments. A number of scientists claimed that the incident in Manchuria was not an aggression, but "self-defense", that one can not assess the past on the "basis" of current values, that there is no official evidence of the transformation of Korean women into sex slaves[16].

And yet, according to public opinion polls, in July 2015 more than 50% voted for the inclusion in the statement of Prime Minister S.Abe recognition of Japan's actions as aggression and apologies for it[17].

The discussion reached the international level. Chinese leaders publicly and at all meetings with Japanese officials pointed out that without recognition of the obvious fact of Japan's aggression against China, there can be no normal Chinese-Japanese relations. The President of the People's Republic of China Xi Jinping has repeatedly expressed the view that efforts "aimed at distorting or embellishing the facts of the Japanese military invasion will not be accepted by the people of China or other Asian countries that have suffered"[18]. In turn, the President of the Republic of Korea Park Geun-hye appealed to Japan to "cleanse itself of colonial and military atrocities"[19].

Washington expressed concern that Shinzo Abe's rejection of the basic statements of his predecessors with assessments of the military period damages Japan's relations with the ROK, while the US seeks to consolidate the Asian allies in front of China, and also causes dissatisfaction of the American liberal community and a significant number of Chinese living in the United States.

Officials calls were made to show a "constructive approach to historical problems in accordance with previous statements of Japanese prime ministers" to establish relations with the ROK[20].

Unprecedented was the direction of an open letter to the Japanese government of the group statement of 189 American and European scholars specializing in the study of Japanese issues, in accordance with the decision adopted at the Association for Asian Studies in March 2015 in Chicago.

The letter expressed "solidarity with many courageous historians in Japan who are eager to present an accurate and fair history of the Second World War in Asia". At the same time, the reason for this action was also pointed out, namely, "concern about how the history of Japan and East Asia is studied and evaluated". Particularly it pointed out was the reluctance of the Japanese authorities to admit inhuman treatment of "comfort women". Scientists appealed to the Japanese government to recognize colonial rule and aggression in wartime both in words and in deeds"[21].

The administration of Barack Obama also joined in. State Department officials drew attention to the fact that the statements of S. Abe's predecessors as head of government with assessments of Japanese actions during the war made it possible to improve relations between Japan and its neighbors, and now the United States "encourages Japan to continue working with its neighbors in order to overcome concerns about history"[22].

S. Abe had to take into account the anti-war sentiment and adjust his position. If initially he claimed that "there is no agreement among scientists or in the international law on how to identify aggression and everything depends on the country on behalf of which you speaking", then starting from the spring of 2015, he started to say that he "shares the position ", stated in the statements of its predecessors[23].

However, as it turned out, S. Abe retained his previous position on key issues. In a speech in Bandung on April 22, 2015, during the celebration of the 60th anniversary of the first conference of Asian-African countries, the Japanese prime minister did not apologize for Japan's aggressive past, but limited himself to expressing "a feeling of deep regret over the past war" and promised that Japan will be committed to not using force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any country and will be resolving all disputes by peaceful means[24].

Later, the Japanese prime minister continued to adhere to the position of "deep regret" without "apologies" and emphasized the peace-loving course of Japan, which he called the "proactive peace" policy. Based on these positions, a S. Abe formulated a statement on August 14, 2015, timed to coincide with the 70th anniversary of the end of the Second World War. The statement was approved at a Cabinet meeting and thus received a high official status[25].

The content of the statement demonstrated the desire to take into account both the assessments of Japanese pre-war and wartime policy of countries that were victims of Japanese aggression and the mood of the right-nationalist wing of the Japanese political elite, to which S. Abe largely relies in his activities. Therefore, although the statement contains such symbolic definitions as "aggression", "colonial rule", "immense harm and suffering", caused by Japan to "innocent people", "a profound insult to the honor and dignity of women during the wars in the XX century, "deep repentance for the war", the Japanese prime minister did not express any direct apologies for what was done. He limited himself to the reference to the fact that Japan had "repeatedly expressed a feeling of profound regret and sincere apology for its actions during the war, and the position, outlined by the previous Japanese rulers, will remain unchanged in the future". At the same time, it was said that the post-war generation currently constitutes more than 80% of the country's population, and since it has nothing to do with the war, the next generation does not have to continue to apologize for the past.

A significant emphasis in the statement was made on the reaffirmation of Japan's commitment to the policy of peace, freedom, democracy, the protection of human rights, the desire to solve any problems without resorting to violence.

The deep remorse expressed by the Japanese prime minister for the suffering caused by Japan's actions in World War II, as well as his "commitment" to adhere to past governments' statements on historical issues was "welcomed" in Washington[26].

On the whole, the Japanese public reacted positively to S.Abe's statement. 48% of the respondents said that they "liked" the speech of the prime minister and only 34% did not. Nevertheless, many public organizations criticized the statement as evasive, not containing clear estimates, allowing ambivalence of interpretation[27].

The reaction of Japan's neighbors was different. The statement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China pointed out the lack of a clear assessment of the nature of the Japan war as militaristic and aggressive, and sincere apologies to the affected peoples were not made. In general, S. Abe's statement was characterized as "evasive"[28].

President of South Korea Park Geun-hye also drew attention to the fact that S. Abe did not clearly express "apologies" the way it was done in past statements on the anniversary of the end of the Second World War, and also that the problem of "comfort women" has not yet been solved by the Japanese government[29].

A poll conducted among political scientists and media employees of the Republic of Korea (159 people) and China (337 people) showed that 83% of South Koreans and 57% of Chinese negatively perceived S.Abe's speech as they "did not feel any regret about the military invasion of Japan to Asia" and expressed confidence that the assessments made in the speech can not help to improve relations between Japan and neighboring countries[30].

In general, the statement made on August 14, 2015 confirmed that, fundamentally, S. Abe did not give up his position on the historical past, did not change his philosophy of the "historical revisionist".

Japan's collective defense

On May 25, 2015, the government submitted to the parliament two draft laws for approval, which determine the situations under which Japan can use its armed forces to exercise the right to collective self-defense.

Realizing that it is extremely difficult to change Article 9 of the Constitution in the current domestic political situation, since it will require a referendum and the majority of the population continues to oppose such a radical revision of military policy, S. Abe chose the way of a new interpretation of this article and its consolidation in the legislative order.

Japanese critics of the "security treaty" from the nationalistic and at the same time pro-American positions claim that it is quite simple to make this treaty more "equal" and to "increase the role of Japan in it". It is enough that Tokyo will undertake a commitment to provide Washington with direct military support if its armed forces that defend Japan are threatened or attacked by the military formations of any third country. According to the provisions of the "security treaty", the Japanese self-defense forces are not obliged to do this, whereas US troops must be put in force to repel an attack on Japanese territory.

According to the interpretations of the Japanese government and the legal scholars supporting it, article 9 of the Japanese Constitution[31] does not prevent the implementation of the country's right to self-defense. In 1959, the Supreme Court of Japan passed a verdict according to which Article 9 of the Constitution allows to exercise the right to self-defense in a limited form in the interests of ensuring the existence of the country. In accordance with this position, self-defense forces were created, which in fact are an army, although in Japan the use of this definition of the country's armed forces is avoided.

Now it is being proved, and contrary to the statement of the government in 1972 on the prohibition by the country's constitution to use the right to collective self-defense, that collective self-defense is not prohibited by the relevant article of the constitution. In other words, Japanese self-defense forces can work together with the US military forces and outside the Japanese territory in situations that are stipulated in the draft laws.


- an armed attack against Japan or an armed attack against a foreign country that is in a close relationship with Japan occurs and as a result threatens Japan's survival and poses a clear danger to fundamentally overturn people's right to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness;

- when there is no other appropriate means available to repel the attack and ensure Japan's survival and protect its people, which means that all diplomatic means have been exhausted and there is no other means to protect the lives of the Japanese people;

- when joint international action is required in the interests of ensuring international peace;

- the use of force must be carried out to the maximum extent necessary.

The above mentioned list of situations, except for the one that provides for the participation of the Japanese armed forces in UN peacekeeping operations[32], allows a very wide interpretation of their real content.

This important circumstance was pointed out by the opponents of the concept of collective self-defense, first of all representatives of opposition parties during the parliamentary debates on draft laws.

The Prime Minister and other cabinet members had to explain at the hearings in parliament what specific circumstances might induce the use of the right to collective self-defense. It turned out that the government does not have a clear idea of what lies under the general statements. The answers to the clarifying questions were contradictory, and at times mutually exclusive.

Initially, S. Abe claimed that Japan could use the right to collective self-defense if an American warship was attacked. Then the "clarification" followed the right can be used if an attack was carried out on an American warship that evacuated the Japanese from a dangerous area[33]. Later, it was explained that the self-defense forces would defend the attacked US military vessels that provide the defense of Japan. Finally, it was stated that if US military vessels were attacked first and then a threat to Japan arose, this could be assessed as the beginning of an armed attack on Japanese territory and as a basis for using the right to collective self-defense[34].

In the beginning of debates in the parliament, S. Abe characterized the "situation in which the existence of Japan is under threat" from the standpoint of the emergence of a critical situation with the provision of Japanese with basic goods. Specifically, when the deliveries to the country are primarily blocked by energy sources. In that case, he said, the forces of self-defense can take part, for example, in deblocking, including mine clearance, of sea routes in the Strait of Hormuz[35]. Subsequently, under the influence of criticism not only from the opposition, but also from a number of LDP deputies, S. Abe corrected his explanations and stated that "mine clearance in the Strait of Hormuz is not a typical example", but this did not clarify the matter[36].

The head of the Japanese government, having difficulties to answer a series of sharp, clarifying questions, in fact refused to explain the circumstances that could be regarded as "threatening to the existence of Japan". He started to emphasize that the international situation as a whole and specifically the situation around Japan is deteriorating, one can not turn a blind eye and remain committed to the usual interpretation of the article of the constitution[37].

Within this framework, a special attention was drawn to the statement of the government representative that Japan can use the right to collective self-defense if, in response to the emergency situation on the Korean peninsula, the US troops will start a military campaign and this will increase the chances of a missile attack on US military bases in Japan. However, the explanations in this respect did not differ either, except for the example of the protection of American ships that will monitor, which means in fact, destroy missiles launched by North Korea, and also transportation of Japanese citizens from the Korean peninsula[38]. Nevertheless, in fact, the readiness of the Japanese armed forces to participate in military operations on the Korean peninsula was recognized.     It should be reminded that the Japanese self-defense forces, because of the existence of Article 9 of the Constitution, did not participate in the war in Vietnam, while the South Korean troops were directed to support the US armed forces and lost more than 5 thousand people.

End of Part I (to be continued)

[1] The Japan Times. April 1, 2015.

[2] The Japan Times. May 3, 2015.

[3] The Japan Times. May 26, 2015.

[4] Asahi Shimbun, February 4, 2014. Representative of the US State Department assessed this statement as "outrageous".

[5] Ibid

[6] The Japan Times February 24, 2015.

[7] International New York Times. May 21, 2015.

[8] Mainichi Shimbun, June 29, 2015.

[9] Mainichi Shimbun, July 4, 2015.

[10] The International New York Times, April 27, 2015.

[11] Asahi Shimbun Dejitaru. April 28, 2015. news/politics

[12] Asahi Shimbun. April 28, 2015.

[13] The Japan Times. May 24, 2015.

[14] The Japan Times, March 21, 2015.

[15] Mainichi Shimbun, June 3, 2015.

[16] Mainichi Shimbun. March 24, 2015.

[17] Mainichi Shimbun. July 19, 2015.

[18] The Japan Times. May 25, 2015.

[19] The Japan Times. March 21, 2015.

[20] Mainichi Shimbun, April 24, 2015.

[21] Mainichi Shimbun, May 8, 2015.

[22] Mainichi Shimbun, January 6, 2015.

[23] Mainichi Shimbun, April 24, 2015.

[24] Mainichi Shimbun, April 23, 2015.

[25] Mainichi Shimbun, August 14, 2015.

[26] Mainichi Shimbun, August 15, 2015.

[27] Yomiuri Shimbun, August 20, 2015.

[28] Mainichi Shimbun, August 15, 2015.

[29] Ibid

[30] Mainichi Shimbun, August 20, 2015.

[31] According to Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution, «...the Japanese people forever renounce war as a sovereign right of the nation and the threat or use of force as means of settling international disputes. In order to accomplish the aim of the preceding paragraph, land, sea, and air forces, as well as other war potential, will never be maintained. The right of belligerency of the state will not be recognized».

[32] It is envisaged that Japanese military who take part in peacekeeping operations under the aegis of the UN or the UN Security Council's decision will be able to use weapons not only for their defense, but also for the protection of troops of other states participating in the coalition. At present, such a right is not granted to them.

[33] Mainichi Shimbun, May 11, 2015.

[34] Mainichi Shimbun, June 4, 2015.

[35] Mainichi Shimbun, June 5, 2015.

[36] Mainichi Shimbun, June 18, 2015.

[37] Mainichi Shimbun, June 18, 2015.

[38] Mainichi Shimbun, July 11, 2015.

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