Japanese Constitution turns 65

May 3, 2012 at 1:03 PM
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TOKYO, May 3 (UPI) -- Japanese conservatives Thursday called for a revision of the constitution to allow a military as they marked the document's 65th anniversary.

The constitution has remained unchanged since it was adopted in 1947. It was written, for the most part, by members of Gen. Douglas MacArthur's staff during the U.S. occupation.

Article 9, the best-known part of the constitution, bars Japan from waging war or maintaining "war potential." While the country now has an army, navy and air force, they are described as self-defense forces.

At a forum on the constitution Thursday, the Liberal Democratic Party, the leading conservative opposition group, put forward its proposed changes, The Japan Times reported. One would amend Article 9 to allow Japan to have a self-defense force, and the other would recognize the emperor as head of state.

Amending the constitution would require approval of a referendum by two-thirds vote in both Houses of Parliament, followed by a majority of the popular vote.

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