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Japanese public backs writing defense forces into constitution

51% for revising war-renouncing Article 9, poll shows

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe

TOKYO -- A thin majority of the Japanese electorate favors resolving the constitutionality issue surrounding the Self-Defense Forces by adding language recognizing the armed forces to the war-renouncing charter, a recent survey shows.

The Nikkei Inc./TV Tokyo telephone poll, conducted Thursday through Sunday, asked whether respondents support writing the SDF into Article 9 without altering the existing language renouncing war and barring Japan from maintaining a military. Supporters outnumbered opponents by 51% to 36%.

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