Japan PM seeks public support for revision to constitution

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is seeking public support for his long-cherished goal of revising the country's war-renouncing constitution amid widening scandals that have hurt his government's popularity.

In a statement Tuesday, Abe said he wants the status of Japan's self-defense force spelled out as military, as he desperately seeks a revision. Opponents say it could expand Japan's military role beyond its current limit.

Public opinion has been split despite a scaled-up campaign to drum up support in recent years.

Critics of the 1947 charter say it was imposed by the U.S. occupation after Japan's World War II defeat. They say it's outdated and its pacifist restrictions make Japan vulnerable to growing security threat from North Korea.