Article 9 and the Japanese Constitution Debate

This semester I’m teaching a seminar where all of the members of off the sections will participate in a debate about Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution. Last week we had a great lecture by one of the professors about Article 9. It’s a very short article, but it generates alot of controversy.

Article 9:

Aspiring sincerely to an international peace based on justice and order, the Japanese people forever renounce war as a sovereign right of the nation and the threat or use of force as means of settling international disputes. 2) In order to accomplish the aim of the preceding paragraph, land, sea, and air forces, as well as other war potential, will never be maintained. The right of belligerency of the state will not be recognized.

This sounds great, but there are alot of people out there, probably arms dealers, manufacturers, oil companies, lots of folks, who would love to see Japan spend more on arms and war. Since the professor who gave the lecture last week spoke about how ten of the best arguments for changing the article were not really very good, I tried to help the students find some other, possibly better reasons for changing it.

The ten reasons conservatives give for changing the constitution were:
1) the present constitution was forced on us by the US
2) the country made the constitution; the country can change the constitution
3) other countries change theirs
4) this peace constitution is unpractical
5) this constitution should be made more timely
6) we have to participate internationally with a functioning military
7) we should add articles concerning privacy and the environment
8) what would we do if we were attacked by terrorists?
9) what would we do if we were attacked by North Korea?
10) under the present constitution we have become selfish and lost our patriotic attitude

Then the professor told us about each of the ten points and how they were not grounds for changing the constitution. Today we spent the class period brainstorming new reasons for changing the constitution.

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One comment on “Article 9 and the Japanese Constitution Debate

  1. Bryce says:

    I’m currently looking into issues such as these.

    Can I get the professors name? Has he published any papers on this – either in English or Japanese?

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