Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, triumphed in a huge election win for lawmakers who favor revising Japan’s post-war pacifist constitution, signaling an advancement towards his long-held goal, but will need to convince a divided public opinion to succeed.
“We won a two-thirds majority as the ruling bloc, but it is necessary to strive to form a wide-ranging agreement among the ruling bloc and opposition,” Abe told a news conference, reflecting on modification of constitution. “And then we aim to win the understanding of the people, so that we can gain a majority in a referendum,” Abe added.
Abe proposed last May adding a clause to Article 9 to legitimize Japan’s Self-Defence Force. Read literally, Article 9 bans a standing military but has been interpreted to allow armed forces exclusively for self defense.