Japan Institute for National Fundamentals

Speaking out

Hiroshi Yuasa

【#191】Japan Now Should Break Free of Spell of War Defeat

Hiroshi Yuasa / 2013.05.01 (Wed)

April 30, 2013


       The Japanese constitution was designed to contain Japan after its defeat in World War II and has been left untouched for 66 years. The constitution, which was created as instructed by the Allied Occupation Forces, has taken hostage of the emperor's status to force Japan to abandon national defense. While the Allied Occupation Forces aimed the constitution to neutralize Japan, its people have interpreted and respected it as a peace constitution. Now, the Japanese constitution has become the world's oldest constitution that has never been amended.

A deceptive "peace constitution"
       Politicians refrained from engaging in efforts to amend the constitution until the present Abe cabinet was inaugurated last December. This was because pro-constitution groups put constitutional amendment supporters into a straightjacket by branding them as right-wing nationalists. But Japanese citizens have begun to find such branding as deceptive. Japan is surrounded by China, Russia and North Korea that own or develop nuclear arms. Imperialist China now threatens Japan with nuclear submarines and an aircraft carrier.
       Calls have emerged within the Sankei Shimbun for creating the people's constitution. The calls stem from the recognition that Japanese might have failed to depict the picture of their country on their own. The Sankei Shimbun has joined a five-member panel to draft the people’s constitution, chaired by Tadae Takubo, Vice President of the Japan Institute for National Fundamentals. Over the past year, the panel met 27 times to draft the new constitution. Each meeting lasted for three hours.
A critical stage is coming for amending the constitution
       Pro-constitution groups simply view the constitution as binding state authorities. Komazawa University Professor Emeritus and JINF Director Osamu Nishi, a member of the people’s constitution drafting panel, has rejected the view as an old constitution view for the initial constitutionalism attempted to free citizens from an absolute monarchy. A modern constitution, while constraining state authorities, is a basic law providing for how citizens participate in government. The preamble of the draft people’s constitution positions Japan as a constitutional country that is based on the emperor and seeks to become an independent and self-reliant, moral-oriented country. The preamble of the present constitution includes a sentence that makes Japan’s survival dependent on other countries: “we have determined to preserve our security and existence, trusting in the justice and faith of the peace-loving peoples of the world.” The draft people’s constitution rejects this sentence as a wrong one.
       The Sankei Shimbun’s constitution outline includes Article 15 that calls for “rule of law” to secure a peaceful settlement of international disputes under international law. No other draft constitutional amendments touch on the rule of law in regard to national defense. Given that any country has the right of self-defense as a matter of course, the article also endorses Japan’s right of belligerency to drive out bad invaders. The outline’s Article 16 says, “In order to contribute to international peace as well as to keep the independence and security of the nation and protect the people, armed forces are maintained.” I am confident that the outline can become a guideline for Japan to retake its sovereignty, independence and honor. A critical stage for amending the constitution is coming.
Hiroshi Yuasa is Columnist for the Sankei Shimbun and Planning Committee Member at the Japan Institute for National Fundamentals.