【PART 4】 The Mystery of Security Treaty Village (2): The UN Charter and the Postwar World
【8】 Article 9-2 — an embodiment of humanity’s ultimate dream — and MacArthur getting out of control
The United Nations Security Council Resolution 1, adopted a week earlier on January 25, had called for the first MSC meeting to be held on February 1 (the actual meeting was held on February 3). There is no doubt that central members of GHQ, such as MacArthur and Kades, were aware of this. This means that February 1, 1946 was a “fateful day,” so to speak, for the Consitution of Japan. Important decisions about it were made on this day amidst the turmoil of complicated events related to it.
Two days afterwards, on February 3, MacArthur issued “MacArthur’s Three Points” (also known as “MacArthur Notes”) to his subordinates, stating his instructions for drafting the Constitution of Japan. Below is what it says about the “renunciation of war and war potential,” which became the bedrock of Article 9.
War as a sovereign right of the nation is abolished.
Japan renounces it as an instrumentality for settling its disputes and even for preserving its own security.
It relies upon the higher ideals which are now stirring the world for its defense and its protection.
No Japanese Army, Navy, or Air Force will ever be authorized and no rights of belligerency will ever be conferred upon any Japanese force.
No doubt, the “higher ideals which are now stirring the world” that Japan was supposed to rely on for security were the UN visions to establish a world government, and more specifically, the UN Forces vision that was about to be discussed in London.
Now, I imagine that MacArthur thought of himself, a great hero in the Second World War, as the most eligible person to be the leader of this world government’s armed forces. In the Philippines, where he and his father had practically been colonial governors ruling for two generations, a no-war Constitution had already been established in 1935, which states as below.
“The Philippines renounces war as an instrument of national policy …” (Article 2-3)
The implementation of UN Forces, envisioned since the Dumbarton Oaks proposal, would have been realized in an ideal way if all this had worked out. The U.S. would deploy its strong Air Force and nuclear weapons to Okinawa and the Philippines in order to protect the two countries which have renounced war, Japan and the Philippines. Then, the actual combat would be undertaken based on decisions by the Security Council.
When he ordered that the “renunciation of war and war potential” be included in the Constitution, MacArthur was already set on running for President in the election two years later. I imagine that he thought along the lines of, “I’m going to create a model for the implementation of UN Forces in the West Pacific region, and then spread the ‘higher ideals’ around the globe by becoming President. I shall lead world peace, and earn my place in the world history books.” He was the most brilliant person in the U.S. Army, and also overconfident; he was constantly comparing himself to great men in history, such as Caesar and Napoleon.
Kades, who was thirty-nine at the time, must have dreamed of making this vision come true as well, to lead the first-ever world government’s armed forces as a high-ranking officer serving directly under MacArthur.
Meanwhile, the Department of State back in the U.S. did not know about these circumstances at all. The drafting of the Constitution by the GHQ was just a result of MacArthur and his aides getting out of control, instead of receiving orders from the state.
Afterwards, because of the Cold War, the talks to establish UN Forces (MSC meetings) were terminated fruitlessly in 1948. In the same year, MacArthur was defeated miserably in the U.S. presidential primary election held in the same year. Moreover, the exception clause of “the right to self-defense” that had been added into the UN Charter at the last minute eventually came to be used extensively. The UN principle that “wars by individual states are illegal” lost its substance.
For Article 9-2 of the Constitution of Japan, this meant the loss of its foundations in the real world. This article was, for a mere two or three years, something that could’ve potentially functioned in the real world as humanity’s ultimate dream. It’s only natural that many Japanese people who suffered in the war have dreamed of making it come true, and honored this ideal.
However, I believe it is too utopian to support Article 9-2 not as an ideal but as a real-life policy, ever since the UN Forces vision evaporated in 1948. As a result of this article, U.S. Forces are permanently stationed in Japanese territory, and the U.S., a democratic country, has been transformed into a military-base superpower.