Japan times : LDP revises Article 9 in draft Constitution

Quote Originally Posted by Japan Times
The ruling Liberal Democratic Party on Friday endorsed a new draft Constitution featuring a rewritten version of war-renouncing Article 9 that would officially allow the nation to possess a military for self-defense.
The LDP's draft constitution retains Clause 1 of the original Article 9, which stipulates that the nation renounces war as a means of settling international disputes.

But Clause 2, which prohibits the nation from possessing a military, has been deleted.
The draft also spells out that the nation will maintain a "self-defense military," with the prime minister serving as the supreme commander tasked with ensuring the nation's peace and independence, along with the people's safety.

The self-defense military would also be allowed to engage in activities aimed at maintaining public order and protecting people's lives and freedom in emergencies, as well as to help secure international peace and safety, according to the draft.
In other words, they are going to legalise what Japan had already been doing in the last few years, by sending troops to Iraq, Pakistan, etc. There is nothing to worry about. The essential is that Clause 1 will be retained.

The new draft also features five types of individual rights not stated in the current Constitution pertaining to government information, intellectual property, the environment, personal data protection and dignified treatment for disabled people and crime victims.
No problem with that. It is praiseworthy that they added a mention for "dignified treatment for crime victims", which could mean that the courts will have to rule in favour of victims of Japanese war crimes.

Article 20 of the Constitution prohibits the nation and its organs from carrying out religious education and any other religious activity.

The LDP's draft prohibits the nation and public organs from engaging in religious education or any other religious activity that will lead to support for or interference with a specific religion beyond the scope of social courtesy, manners and customs.
This is a way to legalise politicians' visits to the Yasukuni Shrine, as the visits will be considered as not being "beyond the scope of social courtesy, manners and customs". It will resolve the legal issue, but not the fact that it angers Japan's former victims. It also legalises the teachings of traditional customs linked to Shintoism or Buddhism. So far, it was theoretically illegal to teach school children about any religious festival or celebration such as Obon (=> Buddhist) or Shichigosan (=> Shinto), although they did. "Customs" is definitely the keyword in this modification. This gives a vagueness and flexibility to the interpretation of the Constitution of which the Japanese are so fond.