Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told media on Wednesday that the country's constitutional revision "is not an issue that needs to be explained" to China and South Korea.
Today marks Constitution Day in Japan and Abe's intention to revise the constitution has been brought to light. His primary objective has been widely considered as being the revision of Article 9 which says that "the Japanese people forever renounce war as a sovereign right of the nation and the threat or use of force as means of settling international disputes."
Japan's Peace Constitution was adopted under the guidance of the US military after World War II. It is one of the cornerstones of lasting peace in East Asia.
Against the current background that sees rightist tendencies increase in Japan, countries such as China and South Korea worry about how a Japan without the shackle of its Peace Constitution will affect the situation in East Asia. Such worries are realistic and serious.
Japan takes a dismissive attitude toward its war crimes, hence why its constitutional revision raises alarm bells. If Japan revises Article 9, it may ignite a new round of crisis in East Asia.
Fighting against Japan's constitutional revision has moral legitimacy. China should join together with other international forces to put pressure on Japan. Preventing Japan from challenging the post-war order in East Asia is not merely in line with China's interests.
Meanwhile, we should also prepare for long-term confrontation with Japan. Thoughts against the rise of China are spreading in Japan. Coupled with the US driving force behind it, confrontation between China and Japan may prove difficult to avoid.
If things develop as they are, China's GDP will be three times that of Japan's in a decade and this gulf will keep on growing. Japan's threat will almost have collapsed by then. The Japan-US alliance will also lose its significance in China's near sea. Prior to that, Japan will be keen on competing with China.
China's main purpose is to suppress Japan's harassment and destruction of China's development strategy, as well as prevent it from causing trouble and damaging stability in East Asia. Without the reach to influence Japan as the US does, China cannot expect its remonstrations to truly be listened to.
China cannot completely settle its accounts with Japan for now. The correct approach of China is to marginalize Japan in Asia by enlarging the disparity in strength, so as to force Japan to approach China on its own someday. It may be a process that takes decades but this is not too long when changing the fate of a global power.