Resurgence of Fascism and Remilitarization in Japan
Posted by feww on March 29, 2016
Sent by a reader in New Mexico
Another Abeshit Day in Japan’s Ignominious History
Despite its pacifist Constitution, Japan’s controversial “security laws” took effect today, enabling its troops to fight overseas for the first time since the nation’s total and utter defeat in World War II.
Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution outlaws war as a means to settle international disputes involving the state.
In the Constitution, which came into effect on May 3, 1947, following Japan’s defeat in World War II, the state formally renounces the sovereign right of belligerency and aims at an international peace based on justice and order.
The Article 9 also forbids Japan from maintaining an army, navy or air force. Therefore, the Self Defense Forces are supposed to be extensions of the national police force.
The full text of Article 9 in Japanese is
“ 第九条 日本国民は、正義と秩序を基調とする国際平和を誠実に希求し、国権の発動たる戦争と、武力による威嚇又は武力の行使は、国際紛争を解決する手段としては、永久にこれを放棄する。
The official English translation of the article is
“ ARTICLE 9. (1) 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. ”
In July 2015, however, Abe’s Cabinet decided to unilaterally reinterpret the clause. The new legislation allows Japan to use force by exercising its right to “collective self-defense.”
“It makes a mockery of constitutional constraints on government power if governments can, through executive decree, reinterpret those constraints away. To permit such a reinterpretation of Article 9 would throw into question the integrity and meaning of all other provisions of the Constitution, and thus undermine the normative power of the entire Constitution,” said Craig Martin is an associate professor at the Washburn University School of Law.
“And of course this particular reinterpretation would gut one of the three pillars of Japan’s constitutional order. In short, it poses a serious risk to the rule of law and principles of democracy in Japan.”
“Prime Minister Abe changed the interpretation of the Constitution by force. Is it OK to change the Constitution’s pacifism so easily?” said Katsuya Okada, head of the main opposition Democratic Party, on Monday.
“We have to stop the ‘reckless driving’ of the Abe administration. This is the last chance to realize the politics in which it is possible to change ruling parties,” Okada said.