|Title of host publication||Routledge Handbook of Japanese Foreign Policy|
|Editors||Mary M. McCarthy|
|Place of Publication||London|
|Publication status||Published - 2018|
This chapter examines the past, the present, and the future of the issue of constitutional revision in Japan. It first reviews the major challenges to the â€˜peace constitutionâ€™ in the postwar period and then analyzes the current revision initiative under Shinzo Abe. The main argument is that various revision attempts can be understood along two dimensions: nationalism and Japan's military role in international affairs. While most revision attempts have sought to promote nationalism and greater use of force, what distinguishes the current attempt by Shinzo Abe is a strong element of historical revisionism. This chapter also assesses the possible impact of successful constitutional revision on Japan's national identity, and argues that while it may be inevitable that Japan increases its military role in international affairs given the security challenges it faces, it is dangerous and counterproductive to mix the policy rationale for enhanced national security with the ideological desire to alter the mainstream postwar historical interpretation of Japan's past aggression.