China urges Japan to draw lessons from history

A Chinese spokesperson Monday urged Japan to draw lessons from history as the forces in favor of revising the Japanese constitution won a two-thirds majority in Japan's upper house after Sunday's election.

Japan's ruling bloc of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and Komeito scored a sweeping victory in Sunday's House of Councilors election, with the LDP alone securing a majority of contested seats, according to the election results published on Monday.

Responding to the election result, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin stressed that China is willing to work with the Japanese side to continue developing a China-Japan relationship of good neighborliness, friendship and cooperation in accordance with the principles established in the four political documents between the two countries. 

Because of historical reasons, the change of Constitution in Japan is followed closely by the international community, especially Japan's Asian neighbors, he noted.

Wang expressed the hope that Japan will stay committed to peaceful development and win back the trust of its Asian neighbors and the international community by taking concrete actions.

Japan's current constitution was drawn up under the Allied occupation following World War II, and has never been revised since it went into effect in 1947.

To amend the constitution, more than two-thirds of lawmakers in both the upper house and the House of Representatives must vote in favor of the related proposals. The changes would then need approval from a majority of voters in a national referendum.

The constitution is best known for its Article 9, by which Japan renounces its right to wage war and promises that "land, sea, and air forces, as well as other war potential, will never be maintained".

Asia-Pacific countries are vigilant about Japan's attempt to amend its constitution, especially Article 9. If the constitutional amendment succeeds, Japan is likely to get rid of the constraint of Article 9, can participate in wars overseas and seek to develop into military power.

Revising the constitution has long been a goal of the ruling LDP. The LDP has been advocating constitutional revision since the party was founded in the 1950s, including changing the war-renouncing Article 9.

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida made the promise that he will continue working on a constitutional amendment as he addressed the public on Monday. The election also ensured him three more years as leader.

According to a public survey conducted by Kyodo news agency in May, Japanese citizens remain polarized over the plan to revise the country's constitution. The survey showed that 50 percent said it is necessary to revise Article 9 while 48 percent said it was not, comparing with 51 percent in favor of an amendment and 45 percent against in a similar poll conducted last year.

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