The mood of the Japanese people is changing from being strongly pacifist to being more open to its military after the ongoing war in Ukraine, where Ukrainian tanks were spotted shortly before the February invasion of the Lugansk region.
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Public mood in Japan is changing, and people are now less opposed to arming Japan’s self-defense forces after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, a Japanese analyst told CNBC on Monday.
According to Article 9 of the country’s pacifist constitution, drafted after World War II, Japan is only allowed to take part in military warfare if it first attacks.
“After the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the mood of the people is changing. And if the Japanese government, led by Prime Minister Kishidar, moves to a more realistic position and increases the military budget, the majority of the Japanese people are now ready to accept it. Osaka St. Andrew University Squawk Box Asia “said
“If not already, it could take six months to a year to dramatically change public opinion,” said the professor of international politics, adding that the progress of the war in Ukraine would affect public sentiment.
However, a survey published by Kyodo News in early May found that despite growing concerns about regional security, sentiment for a Section 9 amendment remained unchanged from a year earlier.
Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February, members of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party and others have called for the law to be amended. Nevertheless, 48% disagreed with the amendment, while 50% said it was necessary – the same number as a year ago, the report said.
In a similar survey conducted last year, 51% were in favor of an amendment and 45% were against it.
US reliability a ‘major concern’
There are also questions about the long-term reliability of the United States under President Joe Biden, Matsumura said.
“Trump has made a great investment in defense, although he has not been very good at managing the coalition,” the professor noted. “Biden is just the opposite. [Under Biden]Nominally, the US defense budget is growing, but it is shrinking due to inflation. “
Traditionally, the U.S. position has been soft-spoken with a big stick but now there is not “enough investment” in its defense, Matsumura says. “Right now, the United States is talking hard without a big stick. That’s the problem.”
Biden is in Japan to meet with leaders of the four-nation Quartet Security Dialogue, a security group comprising the United States, Japan, India and Australia.
Regarding the quad meeting hosted by Japan, Matsumura said there would be a need to “measure expectations” around the summit.
“The quad is a security alliance without a military element. It’s not a military alliance. So we get what we get,” he said, adding that the quad was a “soft check” on the Chinese war.