Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party has unveiled its key goals for the coming year: reform the constitution and continue with visits to the controversial Yasukuni war shrine.
During a general meeting on Tuesday, the party decided to "make practical constitutional reforms without damaging the original purpose of pacifist constitution."
The party also vowed not to wage war and agreed to uphold the tradition of visiting the Yasukuni Shrine, which honors two-and-a-half million Japanese war dead, including 14 Class-A war criminals.
With regard to education, the party promised to ensure that students will not be taught a "pessimistic concept" of history by putting in place measures for making and adopting textbooks.
Those plans, however, are expected to face a strong backlash from Korea and China.
The biggest concern being brought up in both countries is that Japan is trying to become a country that is allowed to engage in war by amending its pacifist constitution.
The current constitution, adopted after the nation's defeat in World War Two, bans the country from using military force.
"Should the Japanese leader avoid facing Japan's history of militaristic invasion and not take sincere steps toward reflecting on its past wrongdoing, the country will be led down a wrongful and dangerous path."
The decision to continue visits to the war shrine is also expected to draw criticism, not only from Seoul and Beijing, but many countries around the world, just as it did after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's latest visit there.
In line with its goals for the coming year, the Abe administration has also officially launched a secretariat of the National Security Council that will serve as the control tower for the government's security policies.
Eoh Jin-joo, Arirang News.