The Daily Manila Shimbun


Top SDF officer’s remarks on Constitution draw criticism

May 24, 2017

Tokyo- The Japanese Self-Defense Forces' top uniformed officer drew criticism from an opposition lawmaker on Wednesday over his remarks welcoming Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's proposal to revise the country's constitution.
"The remarks are unacceptable," Keiji Kokuta, Diet affairs chief of the Japanese Communist Party, told a press conference.
The remarks run counter to the constitution's Article 99, which obliges public servants to respect and uphold the supreme law, Kokuta said.
The criticism came after Adm. Katsutoshi Kawano, chief of staff at the SDF Joint Staff, said on Tuesday that he was "grateful" for Abe's proposal to add a new clause to the constitution's war-renouncing Article 9 to clarify the existence of the SDF.
The government defended Kawano's remarks and insisted that they did not violate the SDF law that imposes restrictions on members' political actions.
Kawano's remarks pose no problem because they were expressed as a personal view, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a press conference on Wednesday. (Jiji Press)