The Japanese government has approved a reinterpretation of the Japanese constitution with regards to the use of military force. Under the new policy the Japanese would be allowed to defend friends and allies under attack. The article in question is Article 9 of the constitution, which was written in the early days of the U.S. occupation from 1945 to 1952. It says “Aspiring sincerely to an international peace based on justice and order, the Japanese people forever renounce war as a sovereign right of the nation and the threat or use of forces as a means of settling international disputes.” Daniel Aldrich, associate professor of political science at Purdue University and author of Site Fights: Divisive Facilities and Civil Society in Japan and the West, and Building Resilience, joins us to discuss what’s behind what many are calling the biggest shift in military policy since World War II.
(photo: In this April 6, 2014 photo, members of a Japanese Self-Defense Forces honor guard march as they prepare to be inspected by U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel at the Defense Ministry in Tokyo. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko, Pool))