Japan still divided on revising war-renouncing Constitution: survey

Kyodo -- May 02
Half the respondents in a Kyodo News survey released Monday believe Japan needs to amend the war-renouncing Article 9 of the Constitution to clarify the legal status of the Self-Defense Forces, with the level of support almost unchanged from a year ago despite growing concerns over regional security.

Against a backdrop of increasing calls for an amendment among lawmakers of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party and some other parties following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, 50 percent said it is necessary to revise Article 9 while 48 percent said it was not.

The figures compared with 51 percent in favor of an amendment and 45 percent against in a similar poll conducted last year.

The survey was conducted between March 1 and April 11 via mail ahead of Constitution Memorial Day on Tuesday, targeting 3,000 people aged 18 or over, of whom 65.3 percent gave valid answers.

Support among lawmakers for revising the article has gained momentum amid concerns over China pressuring Taiwan, a self-ruled democratic island that Beijing views as its own, and renewed threats posed by North Korea's recent missile launches. Some security and political experts fear Russia's invasion of Ukraine could embolden China to attack Taiwan.

But the latest poll shows that Moscow's aggression in Ukraine has not contributed to increasing the momentum in favor of revision among the public.