Welcome Shinzo Abe

Posted by Patrice Neff Fri, 29 Sep 2006

Shinzo Abe is now the new prime minister of Japan. His first policy speech sounds reasonable enough though there is one thing that worries me. Abe wants to change the pacifist constitution and allow military operations in other countries. This started under Koizumi who sent self-defence forces to Iraq. Those similar to the Swiss troops in eastern Europe are only allowed to defend themselves – the Swiss troops are not even allowed to do that.
He said he wanted to move quickly towards a revision of the country’s pacifist constitution, and called again for reform of the education act to promote patriotism in the classroom.

On the other hand he seems to be going into the right directions in foreign policy. He wants to improve relations with both South Korea and China. His predecessor Junichiro Koizumi repeatedly offended those countries by visiting the Yasukuni shrine.

Though according to the BBC article Abe has not yet made a statement whether he plans to visit that shrine as well. Let’s hope he intends not to do that.