Abe sticking with goal to seek constitutional amendment on SDF by 2020
Japan Today -- May 04
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Friday he maintains his goal of Constitution by 2020 as the country marked the 72th anniversary of the supreme law coming into force.

"My thoughts haven't changed," Abe said in a video message shown at a pro-amendment rally in Tokyo, touching on a proposal he made at the same rally in 2017 to put into force a new supreme law by 2020 through rewriting the war-renouncing Article 9.

He reiterated his view that Article 9 should be revised by adding an explicit reference to the Self-Defense Forces, with the aim of bringing an "end to the debate over the constitutionality" of Japanese troops.

"I will create an environment in which all SDF members can carry out their missions with great pride," Abe said in the video message.

Article 9, which when read literally, prohibits Japan from possessing military forces and other "war potential," has greatly complicated the status of the SDF. To ensure consistency, the government frames the SDF as an entity different from ordinary militaries, with use of force strictly limited to self-defense.

Abe is apparently eager to leave a legacy, having said his current third term as ruling Liberal Democratic Party president through September 2021 will be his last. He cannot serve four consecutive terms without a change to party rules.

The video message released Friday could be seen as part of his efforts to reassure conservative supporters at a time when talks on the issue have shown no progress in the parliament.

憲法改正への意欲は失っていないようだ。 新天皇の即位に伴う行事などを終えて休暇中の安倍総理大臣。3日は学生時代の友人らとゴルフを楽しんだ。その安倍総理のビデオメッセージが憲法改正に関するフォーラムで公開された。
News sources: Japan Today, ANNnewsCH
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