A Structured Policy Proposal to Realize Article 9
Akira Maeda (Professor at the Tokyo Zokei
--- You visited countries without military forces, and have
serialized that experience in the monthly magazine "Law
and Democracy". The series is very interesting. Would
you please share its purpose with us?
Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution forbids any possession
of military capabilities, and I believe that there is a need
to discuss the Article's significance in the context of world-history,
from a contemporary perspective. 60 years have already passed
since the Constitution of Japan went into effect, but those
who support the current Constitution construct arguments based
on what it meant 60 years ago when it was promulgated, not
on its contemporary meaning. For a modern state, 60 years
is a long period of time. It's crucial to discuss the significance
of the Constitution in 2007, 60 years after its promulgation.
Currently, there are approximately 200 countries or political
entities. Within those countries, Japan's Article 9 that was
promulgated 60 years ago receives much attention, but there
are 27 countries in the world without military forces such
as Costa Rica that made it clear in its Constitution not to
have a regular army. Some argue that it is senseless to not
possess military capability as a nation, but that is not necessarily
true. I try to illustrate this by referring to countries without
This is also about exploring opportunities for Japan to contribute
to world peace by utilizing Article 9. The Japanese Constitution
was established in 1947, and it should be examined how much
the principle of Article 9 spread in the World, how much effort
was put into its diffusion since then. There are 27 countries
without a military force, but it wouldn't be surprising if
there were more countries without military capabilities.
In addition, we must also examine the magnitude of the armed
forces and the efforts to arms control. As a matter of fact,
60% of the world's military expenditure is occupied by the
top 10 military superpowers including the United States. The
27 countries without a military have no military expenditure.
I would like to draw attention to the fact that more than
the remaining 100 countries which have armies each account
for less than 0.1% of global military spending. This 0.1%
is less than the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department's budget.
Although the majority of the countries hold military forces,
they are small in size, small in the sense that their fiscal
scale is much smaller than that of the Tokyo Metropolitan
We must also examine how arms control and the abandonment
of military force has been pursued globally, as well as how
Japan has contributed to this movement.
--- That's an important issue you raised. Could you expand
on what we should learn from countries without armies, with
your experience of actually having visited them?
Most countries without military forces are small nations that
don't or can't hold military forces because of their weaker
economical strength. This context differs from that of Japan,
but there is still much that Japan can learn from these countries.
In order for countries without military forces to prevent
conflicts with other nations, they have no choice but to pursue
peaceful diplomacy and to realize their respective regional
security policies. For example, Dominica, Grenada and Saint
Lucia created the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States.
Tahiti, and the Republic of the Marshall Islands in the south
Pacific created a network called the South Pacific Forum,
and signed the South Pacific Nuclear Free Zone Treaty (Rarotonga
The Republic of San Marino, which is a small country surrounded
by Italy obtained its independence and security by cooperating
with Italy when the Italians and Austrians fought war.
Luxemburg is a country that sends it citizens to NATO, and
it's not precisely a country without a military force, but
its peaceful diplomacy deserves attention. It was Luxemburg
that took initiative in creating the EEC (European Economic
Community) and the EC (European Community), which served as
the basis for establishing the EU. The small nation Luxemburg
certainly maintained its existence and security through diplomacy.
In contrast to the diplomatic efforts of these countries,
Japanese diplomacy lacks strategy and ingenuity. Of course,
one can say that the East Asian region is complex, and it
is hard to establish peace and security in this region. However,
I must say that it seems as if Japanese diplomacy is entirely
dependent upon the American security strategy. Since Japan
is the biggest ODA (Official Development Assistance) donor,
it seems natural to expand on how this achieves peace and
stability, but no one seems to be thinking from this perspective.
Now is the time to establish peace diplomacy so that we are
not militarily attacked, and so that we can prevent military
conflict between nations.
--- Your viewpoint is a proposal for the Japanese government,
but at the same time it raises issues towards movements that
support the Constitution, isn't it?
In those who want to protect that current Constitution oppose
revision try to expand the movement by just advocate "oppose
pejorative revision". Around 30 years ago, many people
used to argue "Follow what is written in our Constitution",
so there has been some change. The greater emphasis on opposing
pejorative revision is quite understandable, since the movement
for "pejorative revision" is progressing ferociously.
However, even at this point, I believe it essential that
we carry on a campaign by raising our voices about the principles
of Article 9, so that we can make policy proposals that realize
the contents of the Constitution. Furthermore, unless we pursue
such a campaign, I believe it is difficult to prevent a "pejorative
revision" from happening.
From that viewpoint, the Liberal Democratic Party has realized
to some extent the Constitution after it took effect, through
various policy proposals. On the other hand, those who want
to protect the Constitution have weak policy proposals. I
have worked on attempts to establish the people's court that
judges the American military actions against Iraq and Afghanistan,
and attempts to enact Armless Region Ordinances. Currently,
a campaign has been launched to hold an "Article 9 Global
Conference" in 2008, to examine and identify the significance
of Article 9 in the context of world history with people from
all around the globe. Through my involvement in these campaigns,
it is my conviction that we must organize and realize systematic
policy proposals in achieving the principles of Article 9.
--- Thank you for raising many essential and extensive issues.
Your continued support would be greatly appreciated.