【PART 3】 The Mystery of the Security Treaty Village (1): The Showa Emperor and the Constitution of Japan
【27】 Declaration of Humanity, a key to discover “the truth of the Constitution of Japan”
I have explained the relatively short Declaration of Humanity in detail because its objective, its historical background, and how it was written are good clues for understanding the Constitution of Japan, written about two months later.
As I explained in PARTS 1 and 2, the current situation in Japan has been utterly unbelievable. Many people are trying to resolve such a situation and regain national sovereignty as a normal state. Even though they consider several points of view, they all come back to the Constitutional issue in the end. The issues of human-rights violations in Okinawa and Fukushima come back also to the Constitutional issue.
The important thing here is nothing will be stronger than what is written in constitutions of sovereign nations in the post-war world. I will come back to this in PART 4, but “the principle of sovereign equality” added to the UN Charter by the U.S. has been the most important principle in the world. No superpower can cut into it once it is written in a constitution. A constitution, therefore, can be the strongest weapon for small powers against big powers.
In my book about the U.S. bases, I wrote that the Philippines made the U.S. Forces retreat completely by using that weapon, that is to say, the amendment to the Constitution in 1992.(*) There were huge U.S. bases in the Philippines, more than the bases in Okinawa since they used to be a U.S. territory. In PART 1 I showed that 28 U.S. bases take up 18 percent of the land of Okinawa. But in the Philippines, there were such huge bases that one air base could take up 44 percent of Okinawa, and one marine base that could cover 20 percent of Okinawa.
However, in 1987 when the Marcos Administration was ousted by a revolutionary regime change, they added an article to the constitution, stating that “no foreign military bases, militaries, or facilities in the Philippines can be allowed unless a new treaty is concluded” (See footnote of PART 5). Moreover, they made it difficult to conclude any new treaties by requiring approval by two-thirds vote of the members of the senate.
Of course, the U.S. became furious and put strong pressure on them. The U.S. negotiator was Richard Armitage, who is well known in Japan for his stern look, like a professional wrestler. But the Philippines held on. And, with a help of some incidents such as Mt. Pinatubo’s eruption, the Philippines succeeded in getting the U.S. Forces out of the country completely in 1992.
The important fact is that there was no foreign base in ten countries in South East Asia (ASEAN countries) at that time. In other words, the history of colonial rule by western great powers since the 16th century finally made an end.
However, these facts are not told to Japanese people. They are regarded unfavorably in mainstream Japan–that is, in the Security Treaty village.
* ・・・ Some misunderstand that the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement between the Philippines and the US, concluded on April 28, 2014, made the complete retreat of the US Forces nothing. Such a view is completely wrong. This agreement allows the US Forces to stay longer than before and to leave equipage in bases controlled by the Philippines. The situation in Japan that has virtually extraterritorial bases controlled by the US is totally different from the situation in the Philippines.