This week, Japan’s Liberal Democratic Party and its coalition partners won a two-thirds majority in the legislature’s upper house…amending the constitution is one of the central planks in the LDP’s platform.
LDP legislators and ministers — including Japan’s prime minister, Shinzo Abe — are members of a radical nationalist organization called Nippon Kaigi, which believes (according to one of its members, Hakubun Shimomura, who until recently was Japan’s education minister) that Japan should abandon a “masochistic view of history” wherein it accepts that it committed crimes during the Second World War. In fact, in Nippon Kaigi’s view, Japan was the wronged party in the war.
According to the Congressional Research Service, Nippon Kaigi believes that “Japan should be applauded for liberating much of East Asia” during WW2, that the “Tokyo War Crimes tribunals were illegitimate,” and that the rape of Nanking was either “exaggerated or fabricated.” It denies the forced prostitution of Chinese and Korean “comfort women” by the Imperial Japanese Army, believes Japan should have an army again — something outlawed by Japan’s current constitution — and believes that it should return to worshipping the emperor.
The LDP’s draft for an amended constitution would eliminate the prohibition on imbuing religious organizations with “political authority,” clearing the way for the return of state Shintoism and emperor worship.
The new constitution also repeals the right to free speech, adding a clause stating that the government can restrict speech and expression that it sees as “interfering [with] public interest and public order.”
Somebody please tell me this isn’t happening. I consider the National Review to be a fairly reliable source and this headline frightens me.