Skip to content
Connect
Stories

Why Japan’s anti-military stance is unlikely to change

People in this story

(Photo by Kiyoshi Ota / POOL / AFP) (Photo by KIYOSHI OTA/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Members of the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF) prepare ahead of an honour guard during a review at JGSDF Camp Asaka in Tokyo on November 27, 2021.

Germany has committed to rebuilding its military, thereby reversing a post-war commitment to pacifism. Will its former ally Japan do the same? The question follows the shocking assassination on Friday of former Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe, who had long advocated for constitutional changes to Japan’s pacifist ideology. Two days after Abe’s death, his Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) added to its majority in what Daniel Aldrich, a Northeastern professor of political science and public policy, refers to as a “sympathy vote.”

“Abe’s faction—even though he was no longer the prime minister or an active member of Parliament—was quite powerful,” says Aldrich, whose five books and 75 peer-reviewed papers have focused mainly on Japan. “With his passing the question will be, what will happen to his faction?”

One of Abe’s unfinished missions was his desire to revise Article 9 of Japan’s constitution. Enacted after World War II, it prevents Japan from waging war in response to international disputes. Japan’s “Self-Defense Forces”—which employ close to 250,000 people—are so named because “defense is not prohibited by the process,” says Aldrich.

Continue reading at News@Northeastern.

More Stories

Hundreds of people stage a demonstration against Xi Jinping's zero-Covid policy at Liangmaqiao district in Beijing, China on Nov. 27, 2022. The Chinese government has faced unprecedented dissent protests in several cities, including Urumqi, Shanghai, and Beijing.

Mass protests may ease covid restrictions in China but won’t lead to any democratic freedoms, Northeastern experts say

12.02.2022
CHEROKEE, NC - MAY 11: A Native American poses for pictures along the highway on May 11, 2018 in Cherokee, North Carolina. Located near the entrance to Great Smoky Mountains National Park on the North Carolina side of the Appalachian Mountains, and at the southern end of the Blue Ridge Parkway, the region is home to the Cherokee Nation band of Indians.

Words—and tribal location—matter to citizen of Cherokee Nation

11.30.2022
A general view of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) headquarters, in Washington, D.C., on Monday, September 19, 2022.

The Department of Homeland Security, ‘not set up for success,’ navigates rocky 20 years. How are things today?

12.02.22
News@Northeastern