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Hiroshi Yuasa

【#245】English Version of Proposed Constitution to Tell World of Japan’s Goals

Hiroshi Yuasa / 2014.05.08 (Thu)

May 7, 2014

      One year has passed since the Sankei Shimbun proposed an outline of the “national constitution of Japan” (compiled by the panel chaired by Tadae Takubo, Vice President of the Japan Institute for National Fundamentals). The newspaper now has published an English version of the proposed constitution to explain globally why a new constitution is required in Japan at present. While China and South Korea use such words as “sex slaves” and “the war shrine” to demean Japan, the English translation is expected to tell the world of what country Japan aspires to be.

Foreign intellectuals give understanding
      Japan is surrounded by China and Russia as nuclear powers and North Korea as a heavily-armed country developing nuclear weapons. Particularly, China is persistently threatening Japan’s sovereignty over the Senkaku Islands. Nevertheless, the present constitution features the “renunciation of war” clause that affects deterrence against war and limits Japan’s independence. The proposed constitution replaces the clause with “national defense” clauses usual for a democratic country, paving the way for Japan to become an independent, self-reliant moral country having defense forces.
      After reading the English version, Jeremy Black, professor at the University of Exeter in Britain, says an argument of supporters for the present constitution that the constitution should never be amended represents a dream of those who know nothing about the world. It would be sound and reasonable for Japan as a sovereign state to amend the constitution written under Allied Occupation in line with the present situation, he says. Brahma Chellaney, professor at the Center for Policy Research in India, recommends Japan to amend the constitution. It is strange that Japan has never amended the constitution that Americans forced Japan to accept, he says. Both foreign intellectuals welcome debate between opponents and proponents of constitutional amendments as indicating a democratic country.

Debate expected to grow
      Japan should have tried to amend the constitution when it recovered its sovereignty under the San Francisco Peace Treaty. Constitutional amendments would never contradict with the Japan-U.S. alliance. Rather, they would enhance Japan’s independence and add reciprocity to the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty, leading to a true alliance.
      Opponents of constitutional amendments still deceive the public with their argument that the “renunciation of war” clause of Article 9 of the constitution has worked to prevent Japan from being involved in war. Contributing to the prevention have been U.S. military forces required to defend Japan under the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty that is designed to fill a hole of the defective constitution. Japan has interpreted Paragraph 2 of Article 9 as representing pacifism and created a myth of safety with the three non-nuclear principles and exclusively defensive defense policy. In fact, however, weapon system development has made it difficult for any country to defend itself without offensive measures. Furthermore, the government has unreasonably interpreted the constitution as prohibiting Japan from exercising the right of collective self-defense it has, denying Japan the exercise of the right that is recognized by the United Nations Charter. In other words, postwar Japan has voluntarily destroyed its war deterrence for defending its sovereignty.
      The proposed constitution clarifies Japan’s possession of military forces to end such futile debate over whether Japan can exercise collective self-defense or not. At the same time, Article 15 of the proposed constitution pledges international cooperation by requiring Japan to aspire sincerely to an international peace and try to peacefully solve international disputes in accordance with international law. I would hope the English version of the proposed constitution to add fuel to debate over constitutional amendments for Japan’s restoration of its true sovereignty, independence and honor in a manner to help promote the amendments.

Hiroshi Yuasa is Columnist for the Sankei Shimbun and Planning Committee Member at the Japan Institute for National Fundamentals.
Main parts of the English version of the proposed constitution can be found at