Tokyo, May 4: Japan Prime Minister has reiterated his stance of amending pacifist Article 9 of the Constitution, by 2020. The country is set to mark the 72nd anniversary of the supreme law coming into force.
In a video message to a pro-amendment rally in Tokyo on Friday, Mr Abe said, "By writing the Self-Defence Forces clearly into the Constitution, I will put an end to the argument on the SDF's legality.''
Mr Abe also said that his goal of effecting constitutional change in 2020 remains unchanged, in spite of the fact that Diet deliberations on this issue remain stalled due to differences between the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and the opposition camp, according to Japan's daily The Asahi Shimbun.
Article 9 of the Japan's constitution stipulates that country cannot possess military forces. The current Constitution has not been revised, since it came into effect in 1947.
Opposition lawmakers also cast doubt on Mr Abe's campaign to revise Article 9. Yuichiro Tamaki, head of the Democratic Party for the People said ''Abe is saying that the revision is intended to clearly state the SDF's status in the Constitution. But, it will drastically widen (the scope) of the right to self-defence.''
In 2018, the LDP proposed four revisions to the Constitution, one of which would alter the wording in Article 9. The party aims to submit the revisions to the Diet.
In May, 2017, the PM said that he aims to have his country's pacifist constitution revised and a new version in effect by 2020.
"I believe that we must establish the status of SDF explicitly in the Constitution during our generation's lifetime and leave no room for contending the SDF could be unconstitutional," Mr Abe said in a video message to a Tokyo forum, marking the 70th anniversary of the Constitution.
"I strongly wish to make 2020 the year that the reborn Japan will make a new start."
For Mr Abe to achieve his goal, parties that support constitutional revision will have to secure two-thirds of the seats of both houses of the Diet. That is a prerequisite to holding a referendum, so the people can express their sentiments on this contentious issue. (UNI)