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Commentary: Abe walks on dangerous path

By Wu Liming (Xinhua)

18:59, May 03, 2013

BEIJING, May 3 (Xinhua) -- Earlier this year, right after Shinzo Abe took office as Japan's prime minister, the website of German news magazine Der Spiegel published an article titled "Atavistic Abe: Japan's PM courts old dangers."

The article started by noting that Abe made a pilgrimage to the graves of his ancestors, where he pledged that, "I am determined to fulfill the mission."

The article concluded that the nationalist leader will take tough measures in order to restore his country to its former greatness.

Der Spiegel's judgement is right.

Since taking office, Abe has resorted to a variety of provocative and tough remarks and actions on historical visions and territorial disputes. Over the past days, Abe has become all the more provocative.

For instance, four ministers from his cabinet and 168 congressmen visited the notorious Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo, where Japan's war criminals are honored, the biggest scale ever since 1987.

Even worse, Abe later said that the definition of "aggression" has yet to be fixed, brazenly defending Japan's invasions during the Second World War.

Wearing a camouflage jacket and helmet, Abe waved from a tank of Japanese Ground Defence Force on April 27, which makes him the first Japanese prime minister to do such thing over the past decades.

On May 1, Abe said during his overseas tour that he saw no need to explain to neighboring countries his cherished goal of rewriting Japan's pacifist constitution.

From the above-mentioned facts we could see that Abe has been walking on a path that aims to challenge post-war order, rewrite Japan's peaceful constitution, re-militarize Japan and regain the so-called "greatness" of the island nation.

To achieve this goal, Abe has, on the one hand, repeatedly made tough remarks on foreign policies to cater to rightists at home, and on the other, he campaigned to revise the pacifist constitution, which has not been amended since it was enforced in 1947.

For the latter, Abe has to face three steps:

First, to secure a two-thirds majority in this summer's upper house election; secondly, to rewrite article 96 of the constitution to relax the requirement for an amendment; and lastly, to revise the war-renouncing Article 9.

Article 96 states that any initiative to revise the constitution must be backed by at least two-thirds of the members in each house of the parliament, before an "affirmative vote of a majority of all votes cast" in a referendum.

Based on Article 9, the Japanese government currently interprets the constitution as not allowing Japan to exercise the right to collective self-defense, meaning Japan's Self Defense Force cannot come to the defense of an ally under armed attack.

Obviously, revising Article 9 is Abe's ultimate goal.

What he has done so far, including various remarks and actions to manipulate domestic public opinion, is to achieve the above three steps.

Nevertheless, history has repeatedly proven that any attempt to manipulate public opinion and the will of the people is doomed to fail.

Abe fails to examine his own conscience on Japan's aggressions during the Second World War which resulted in numerous pains and sufferings of the Asian people. Instead, he insists on fulfilling the "mission" which would bring disasters to the Japanese people, its neighboring countries and the world at large including Japan's allies.

No wonder quite a few newspapers from all over the world, including The Washington Post and The Financial Times, have recently criticized Abe, expressing concerns and worries about Japan's rightist tendency.

It is strongly urged that Tokyo stop wrong-doings and not be misled by the shadow of militarism.

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Email|Print|Comments(Editor:MaXi、Gao Yinan)

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88 at 2013-05-0572.42.143.*
I know it must be hard but one must let go of all this anger. You must understand that "many" good men died on both sides and these are who should be honored. Germany had its Der Spiegel. America had its Pearl Harbor and Vietnam has its America. China has its Japan but now it is time to move on and let those "good" men be honored.Countries honor all kinds of people and things for reasons one cannot understand. Russian had its Stalin. Germany had its Hitler. China had its Mao. America had its Bush/Cheney. Yet all are seen as heros. Go figure.

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