"For the third year in a row, a majority of respondents in a nationwide survey by The Asahi Shimbun agreed there is a need to revise the Constitution.
Questions about whether to revise the Constitution have been asked since 1997. This year's survey shows a gradual increase in the percentage of respondents since then who support constitutional revision. In 2004, the percentage of those saying revision was needed exceeded 50 percent for the first time.
Those taking part in the survey were asked to read war-renouncing Article 9 before being asked whether they thought it should be revised.
Last year, when respondents were asked simply if Article 9 should be revised, 51 percent were opposed and 36 were in favor.
This time, respondents were given four choices: not changing paragraphs; changing only the first paragraph; changing only the second paragraph; or changing both paragraphs.
The first paragraph renounces Japan's right to wage war, while the second paragraph prohibits the maintenance of land, sea and air forces.
Forty-two percent of the respondents said neither paragraph should be changed, while 18 percent said both should be changed. Nine percent said the first paragraph should be changed and 16 percent said the second paragraph should be changed.
In total, 43 percent of the respondents said Article 9 should be revised in some fashion.
A majority of respondents also seemed to be bothered by the discrepancy between the second paragraph of Article 9 and the existence of the Self-Defense Forces.
When asked whether the Constitution should be revised to clearly state the existence of the SDF, 62 percent of respondents said yes, while 28 percent said there was no such need.
When those who said the SDF's existence should be written into the Constitution were asked how that change should be brought about, 64 percent said a new article should be added while leaving Article 9 untouched.
Only 31 percent said either of the two paragraphs of Article 9 should be rewritten to clarify the existence of the SDF."Det er jo svært at sammenligne med de tidligere opinionsundersøgelser, når spørgsmålene er stillet anderledes. Undersøgelsen viser at paragraf 9 stadig har stor støtte i befolkningen, men jeg tror næppe at der kan være nogen tvivl om at idéen om en forfatningsrevision er ved at vinde indpas, og kommer sådan en på tale, så har jeg svært ved at forestille mig at LDP vil lade paragraf 9 være urørt.
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