Japan Institute for National Fundamentals

Speaking out

Osamu Nishi

【#297】Four Books to be Read during Holiday Week

Osamu Nishi / 2015.04.30 (Thu)

April 27, 2015

     When I visited large book store Maruzen in front of Tokyo Station recently, I threw up my eyes. Among new and topical books lined up on the first floor was a just-published book titled “Final Answers to Questions, Worries and Misunderstandings -- Q&A on Constitutional Amendments for Japanese People” by Yoshiko Sakurai and an ad hoc private sector commission on the Constitution (Sankei Shinbun Syuppan Co.). The book’s copies dominated a large space there. Its copies were also laid out flat on the shelves for political and constitution books, being designed to attract visitors. I hope that such display will continue as long as possible.

Outdebating present Constitution supporters
     The book boasts of completely outdebating supporters of the present Constitution. The present Constitution supporters focus on making the general public uneasy about constitutional amendments by claiming that these amendments would make Japan capable of waging war or destroy the Constitution. The book covers 50 questions and provides demonstrative, persuasive answers to questions, worries and misunderstandings about constitutional amendments. It gives easy-to-understand explanations by the ad hoc private sector commission led by Ms. Sakurai, president of the Japan Institute of National Fundamentals. I would like to promote this as a central book against the present Constitution.
     On this occasion, I would like to recommend three more books against the present Constitution. One is "Constitutional Amendments: Don't Lose Last Chance," authored by JINF Vice President and Professor Emeritus at Kyorin University, Tadae Takubo, and published last October by Namiki Shobo. From a broad perspective based on his close watch on political situations in Japan and abroad over a long time, the author keenly points to problems of the present Constitution and hotly calls for shifting away from the occupation-era Constitution to restore the 70-year postwar gap.
     The second is "Women-attracting Cafe for Conversations on Constitution" edited by JINF Director and Nihon University Professor Akira Momochi and published last September by Meisei-sha Inc. The book gives a story in which three women --- a 45-year-old housewife, a 21-year-old university student and a 22-year-old job-hopper --- grow aware of the importance of constitution and the problems of the present Constitution through conversations with a former constitutional scholar serving as a master at a cafe. It includes cartoons and artworks, leading readers to read it through without getting bored.

Must-read books for 68th anniversary of Constitution
     The last one I would recommend is my book titled "Most Understandable Book on Article 9 of Constitution” published a week ago by Kairyusha Inc. The book explains Article 9 as the focal point of discussions about the Constitution from the viewpoints of the Constitution-drafting history and comparison of constitutional laws, and describes the Constitution's relations with national security bills to be considered at the current parliamentary session.
     Ahead of the 68th anniversary of the Japanese Constitution on May 3, I urge you to read these books and deeply think about the Constitution during the holiday-studded golden week

Osamu Nishi is Director, Japan Institute for National Fundamentals, and Professor Emeritus, Komazawa University