【PART 5】  The Last Mystery Voluntary slavish obedience and its historical origin

 

【13】 Two flaws of the Constitution of Japan

 

In PART 3, I wrote that the content of the Constitution of Japan is wonderful, and that the Japanese people in that day could’ve never written it. However, it has two crucial flaws.

One flaw is, as I’ve covered already, that we didn’t write it ourselves. Even if it’s written on paper, it will end up as pie in the sky if there aren’t societal forces (in this case, those involved in enacting the Constitution) trying to protect it. I think this is precisely what’s happening in Japan.

The other flaw is Article 9-2. The most important thing in discussing this is to separate Article 9-1 (the renunciation of war) from 9-2 (renunciation of war potential and the right of belligerency).

Let me illustrate with a striking example. As the readers of The Truth of Postwar Japan’s History know well, it is impossible to solve the issue of the northern territories if you discuss all four islands together. On the one hand, the islands of Habomai and Shikotan are clearly a part of Hokkaido, topographically speaking, and therefore definitely belong to Japan.

Meanwhile, the islands of Kunashiri and Etorofu are a part of the Kuril Islands, which Japan agreed to abandon in the San Francisco Treaty. Japan officially admitted that these two are “Southern Kuril” islands, which can be seen in the records of the peace conference and accounts in the Diet.

Therefore, regardless of whether Japan is going to call for their return or propose a joint development, it’s necessary to admit Russia’s rights when it comes to those two islands. As long as we refer to those four islands as one group and demand that all of them be returned, we can never reach an agreement with Russia. What’s more, this was a trick that Dulles set up so that Japan and Russia (or the former Soviet Union) would never become allies.

The issue of Article 9-1 and 9-2 of the Constitution of Japan has a similar aspect. If we refer to the entire Article 9 as one thing and say “Protect Article 9,” we would never be able to get the U.S. Forces to leave. Therefore, we need to clearly distinguish different aspects of the problem. Please review the actual articles below.

●The Constitution of Japan 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.

Firstly, the “renunciation of war and the use of force” is a principle that originates in the Kellog-Briand Pact in 1928, and is precisely the ideal of the UN Charter.

●UN Charter Article 2:

  1. All Members shall settle their international disputes by peaceful means in such a manner that international peace and security, and justice, are not endangered.
  2. All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations.

This article has continued to be the basis of the international community, even as the implementation of its content imposes many hardships. Such articles that renounce war exist not only in Japan but in many countries, including Italy and the Philippines (refer to footnotes at the end of PART 5).

Thus, there is no problem in Article 9-1, so we don’t need to discuss it. You can ignore it for now. Basically, the Article 9 issue is all about Article 9-2, and we need to keep this in mind at all times.

There is a big problem in Article 9-2. The thing is, the principle of “abandoning land, sea, and air forces, as well as other war potential, and the right of belligerency,” which is specified in the Article, certainly existed in the Atlantic Charter and in the Dumbarton Oaks proposal (draft of the UN Charter). In reality, however, it was not adopted in the actual UN Charter.

The biggest reason is that “collective security,” a completely new concept, was added to Article 51 of the UN Charter at the last minute, as I stated on PART 4. But we can only say that now because we’re looking back on history. At the time, in February 1946 when Article 9-2 was written, neither MacArthur nor Kades knew what was to happen. Therefore, Article 9-2 is written on the premise that “the UN functions as a world government,” or in other words, that “official UN Forces are organized, and only they have the right to war.”

However, with the start of the Cold War, the organization of UN Forces based on the UN Charter became impossible. As a result, Article 51 of the Charter (collective security) began to be widely used, and the ideal to make wars by individual states illegal ended as only a dream. This great turnover in world history caused the fundamental and enormous inconsistency in Japan: the coexistence of (a) Article 9-2 of the Constitution, which states the renunciation of all war potential and right of belligerency and (b) the stationing of U.S. Forces, which has the most military power in the history of mankind. This issue was left unresolved even after the end of the occupation. Finally, after it became a huge issue in the Sunagawa case, Japan as a law-governed country fell apart. This is the gist of the scenario I’ve laid out earlier in this book.