Japan PM says to change post-war constitution
TOKYO (AFP) - Japan's hawkish Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told parliament on Thursday that he intends to change the country's post-World War II constitution, lowering the bar for further amendments.
"I will start with amending Article 96 of the constitution, a move that many factions (inside his Liberal Democratic Party) support," Mr Abe told upper house lawmakers, referring to the clause stipulating amendments require a two-thirds majority in parliament.
In the run-up to his landslide election victory in December, Mr Abe said he wanted to study the possibility of altering the definition of Japan's armed forces contained in the document.
The country's well-funded and well-equipped military is referred to as the Self-Defence Forces (SDF), and barred from taking aggressive action. Its role is limited to defence of the nation.