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Contrasting views as Japan seeks to amend right to collective self-defense Updated: 2014-05-22 06:32:54 KST

Contrasting views as Japan seeks to amend right to collective self-defense
The opinions on Japan's push to restore its right to collective self defense are varied and strong.
A senior researcher in the United States, weighing in on the latest developments, said South Korea, Japan and the United States need to hold trilateral talks on the matter, particularly regarding the range of influence Tokyo could have on the Korean peninsula after the right to collective self-defense takes effect.
Larry Niksch of the Congressional Research Service said South Korea is undoubtedly against Japan's push, and that the key issue was determining how much is Washington willing to compromise with Seoul on the matter.
Even inside Japan, there is resistance.
The Japanese daily Asahi Shimbun conducted a public opinion poll last month on Prime Minister Abe's push to expand the role of Japan's self-defense forces.
Sixty-three percent of Japanese people polled were against the move; just 29 percent were for it, leaving questions about whether Abe will be able to move the public and politicians.
Mindy Kotler, the director of the U.S.-based research center Asia Policy Point, said Abe is seeking to re-interpret Japan's pacifist constitution too hastily.
She pointed out that the administration is not fit to handle the task as they have been unable or unwilling so far to resolve historical differences with neighboring countries.
That said, most sources within Washington say Japan's collective self-defense reform will strengthen the nation's alliance with the U.S. and in turn enhance security on the Korean peninsula.
Bruce Klingner, a senior research fellow for Northeast Asia at The Heritage Foundation says without Japan's support, it will be impossible to defend Seoul in the event of an armed clash between the two Koreas.
He added that it's imperative to bolster defenses to counter threats from Pyongyang and Beijing.
Kim Hyun-bin, Arirang News.
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