A Voice backed up by Experience and Wisdom--Yohei Kono
Former leader of Japan’s ruling party against raising defense profile
Aug 13, 2013
Ahead of the anniversary Thursday of Japan’s surrender in World War II, former Liberal Democratic Party President and noted dove Yohei Kono expressed his views on constitutional revision proposed by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and other issues.
Kono, 76, who was known for being the most dovish among LDP lawmakers, held such key posts as chief Cabinet secretary, foreign minister and Lower House speaker before retiring from politics in 2009.
Q* Abe is keen on revising the Constitution. The LDP, now headed by Abe, in its draft proposal defines the Self-Defense Forces as a national defense force, while allowing Japan to exercise the right to collective self-defense. What is your take on this?
A* I do not see the need for revisions. If Japan modifies its Constitution to position the SDF as a national defense force and changes its defense guidelines to allow increased defense equipment, this would be encouraging neighboring nations to alter their defense programs.
There is absolutely no need to set the stage for a never-ending arms race. There are views that the security environment surrounding Japan is changing, but this is exactly the time when more diplomatic efforts are needed.
(There is much more, and I suggest interested persons go to The Japan Times Online and read the whole interview.)