Japan's constitutional debate on the use of military power

12-11-2014

Since its entry into force after the Second World War, Japan's pacifist constitution has never been amended, and any attempt to revise it has always been a major political issue. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's new foreign policy aims at a more assertive role for the country as a global actor, including in security and defence. In July 2014, his coalition government put forward a proposal to reinterpret Article 9 of the country’s constitution so as to allow the exercise of the right to collective self-defence, including (for the first time) the right to defend allies if they are under attack.

Since its entry into force after the Second World War, Japan's pacifist constitution has never been amended, and any attempt to revise it has always been a major political issue. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's new foreign policy aims at a more assertive role for the country as a global actor, including in security and defence. In July 2014, his coalition government put forward a proposal to reinterpret Article 9 of the country’s constitution so as to allow the exercise of the right to collective self-defence, including (for the first time) the right to defend allies if they are under attack.