【PART 4】 The Mystery of Security Treaty Village (2): The UN Charter and the Postwar World


11】 Even 70 years after the war, enemy state clauses remain


Even now, 70 years after the war, enemy state clauses have not been deleted.

In 1995, at the 50th UN General Assembly, the resolution to delete enemy clauses from the Charter, recognizing that they have “become obsolete” (A/RES/50/52), was adopted with the vast majority of votes supporting it. As many as 155 countries voted for it while three countries abstained (North Korea, Cuba, Libya).

However, there are other obstacles before this resolution can come into effect so that enemy state clauses can actually be deleted. The deletion of these clauses from the UN Charter means an amendment to the Charter. In order to effect this, there are two more things necessary in addition to the adoption by a vote of two thirds of the members of the General Assembly: “ratification by all the permanent members of the Security Council” as well as “ratification by two thirds of the members of the UN” (Article 108). (“Ratification” means the procedure by which members of the UN legitimately approve the international resolution, treaty, or agreement by their representative assembly.)

It has been 20 years since the adoption of the resolution to delete enemy state clauses, and it hasn’t happened yet. Since “ratification by two thirds of the members” should be possible with time, what is preventing the deletion is clearly “ratification by all the permanent members of the Security Council.”

Which permanent member of the Security Council is opposing the deletion of the enemy state clauses? Is it China, or Russia, or even the U.S., Japan’s allied country? Or are all five states against it? The truth is unknown, but the harsh truth is that enemy state clauses still exist in the UN Charter, despite its having “become obsolete.”(*)

*  ・・・ Scholars belonging to Japan’s Security Treaty Village often assert that “it is obvious that the enemy state clause of the United Nations Charter is no longer valid, because even the former Soviet Union admitted in the Japan-Soviet Joint Statement that the clause had become obsolete.” However, one clause of the joint statement issued on April 18, 1991 reads as follows:
 “In addition to confirming that the former enemy state clause in the United Nations’ Charter had lost meaning, both sides have agreed that they should pursue an appropriate means of solving this issue, by keeping in mind the need for reinforcing the United Nations’ Charter and its organizational arrangements.” (Italics added by author)
It is thus unmistakably clear to anybody with right mind that the joint statement was pointing out that the enemy state clause was still remaining effective, and that it would take long time to resolve the issue.