'Conservative hawk' Shinzo Abe wants to change Japan's 'war-renouncing' Constitution
Japan's presumptive next prime minister Shinzo Abe is a conservative hawk who openly proposes revising the war-renouncing Constitution to bolster country's military capabilities, says a report.
Liberal Democratic Party leader Abe became Japan's youngest postwar prime minister in September 2006, at age 52.
After about a year in office, however, he abruptly stepped down, an exit he later attributed to an intestinal disease.
In September, he returned to the LDP helm, voicing his resolve to return Japan's foreign policy to a strong footing amid soured ties with China and South Korea over competing territorial claims in the East China Sea and Sea of Japan.
According to the Japan Times, Abe has expressed his readiness to rename the Self Defense Forces as the National Defense Force through a constitutional amendment, and to enable Japan to exercise the right to collective self-defense, a use of force banned under the government's traditional interpretation of the pacifist Constitution.
Born into a family of prominent politicians, Abe's political views were largely influenced by his grandfather, Nobusuke Kishi, a wartime Cabinet member who was detained as a suspected Class-A war criminal after the end of World War II.
According to the paper, Abe is eager to fulfill his grandfather's dream of revising the Constitution, arguing it was drafted under the strong influence of the United States during the Allied Occupation.