Article 9-2 of the Constitution was essentially made invalid!?
Y: Another thing is the censorship guidelines by GHQ in Nov 1946, nine months after drafting the Constitution.
Y: They censored newspapers, magazines, radio, and even personal letters. There were four main objects of censorship: 1) Criticism of GHQ in general, 2) Criticism of the Tokyo Tribunal of War Criminals, (and this next one is remarkable) 3) Criticism of, or any mention of, GHQ for writing the draft constitution, and 4) Mentioning censorship. It is an unarguable fact that they had written the draft constitution, since they made it an object of censorship.
Just in terms of post-war real politics, the right wing proclaims it loudly while anyone on the left has difficulty even mentioning it publicly—because he/she’ll be bashed. Even if researchers present evidence, the media such as NHK distorts it.
But anyway, this problem of who wrote the Constitution is very simple: it is a psychological and “essential and tactical” problem.
The problem of Article 9-2, however, is very difficult.
T: It is complicated.
Y: This article was made on a tightrope, and moreover has a symbolic meaning. So unless you look into the history, there will be a pointless dispute between those who regard it as an ultimate human dream and those who think it’s punitive.
Y: This is Article 9-1 of the Constitution: 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.
As Mr. Takano mentioned earlier, it is what the UN Charter aimed at, and the same wording as the post-WW1 Kellogg–Briand Pact of 1928 (Note: This treaty was an international agreement in which signatory states promised not to use war to resolve disputes or conflicts). So this is an agreement among the global community. Regarding Paragraph 1, we don’t need to discuss it since the Japanese observe it.
H: We need to ask the U.S. to respect it.
Y: So true. The current U.S. is offending the UN Charter the most.
It is regarding Paragraph 2 that liberals are divided: 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.
So, sorting out this problem [of allowing military forces to be maintained in Japan], and enabling it to be discussed on the basis of a common understanding, was what I wanted to do in my book. What triggered me to start to think about this problem is Okinawa. It has the Kadena Air Base, which is the biggest air base. There is a location across the street, from which to get a clear view of it. See. The Kadena Ammunition Storage Area is in the north of it.
T: Huge premises.
Kadena base in Okinawa
Y: Yes. On the upper left is the Kadena Air Base’s runway, and the upper right is the coastline of the U.S. Forces landing in 1945. A broad four-lane road runs between the air base and the ammunition storage, but there is an underpass.
Shockingly there are many ammunition-storage facilities like this.
Henoko Ammunition Storage, which used to have nuclear weapons
Y: It is impossible to take such a photo at securely guarded Kadena, so this is a photo of the ammunition storage in Henoko. It stored nuclear weapons. The one at the lower left is not the real one, though.
H: I see, though I was surprised.
Y: This is a photo of the same model of ammunition storage released by the U.S. State Department.
H: Is there any possibility that the ammunition storage in Henoko currently includes nuclear weapons?
Y: I don’t think there are any now, but they can bring them any time if they want. I mean not in Henoko, since we can take photos from a nearby point. But Kadena could have them because it’s heavily guarded.
They’re now constructing a new base with a military port and airstrips in Henoko to make use of the ammunition storage.
T: There wasn’t a military port in Futenma, but they’re going to make one in Henoko.
Y: These ammunition storage facilities were permitted by a now-famous secret agreement by former Prime Minister Eisaku Sato. What shocked me the most was that these nuclear weapons could have been brought onto U.S. bases not only in Okinawa but also onto bases on the mainland, such as Yokota, Misawa, and Atsugi. And they could have been used to attack China or the USSR.
T: They don’t fly directly from Okinawa but lay over at Misawa, since they focused on USSR back then.
Y: They mostly do nuclear attack exercises in Misawa.
Y: I found out four years ago that 1,300 nuclear weapons are in Okinawa and could have been brought onto the mainland, and could have been used for conducting nuclear attacks on China and the USSR. The Japanese islands extend north to south right along the coast of Eurasia, so in the 60s China and the USSR were exposed to 1,300 nuclear weapons that could reach to them.
Y: The U.S. made a fuss about the USSR bringing a few nuclear warheads to Cuba during the Missile Crisis, but they brought 1,300 of them into Japan.
Film director Oliver Stone and Peter Kuznick co-wrote the book The Untold History of the United States, uncovering an adverse view of the U.S. in world history.
T: So-called inconvenient truths.
Y: I’m wondering, then, what on Earth Article 9-2 of the Constitution is. Thanks to it, Japanese people have been safe. We didn’t need to go to war, kill people or be killed in war. It’s been a good article for Japanese people, especially the mainlanders. On the other hand, it is the basis for wars—the base of military operations—for the U.S. It’s said that logistics are more important for victory than battlegrounds.
There was a movement to give Article 9 the Nobel Peace Prize, but it was unthinkable on a global basis, because it was a basis for the U.S. to prosecute war on a global scale. This fact made me think about Article 9-2.