"JICL" is non-governmental organization which studies the constitution systematically and aims at dignified realization of an individual.

Japan Institute of Constitutional Law


About us
Message from the Director
Essay and Opinion
Constitution Now
The Constitution of Japan
Contact us


Essay and Opinion

TO: My dear Article 9 loving friends across Japan -

November 1, 2008

Chuck Overby, Ph.D.
1991 Founder of the Article 9 Society,
Ohio University Emeritus Engineering Professor,
Internationalist, Ecologist,
World War-II and Korean War Veteran
and, admirer of the University of Wisconsin's
"Sifting and Winnowing" academic freedom search for truth "wisdom."

As we approach, November 3, 2008, the 62nd anniversary of the promulgation of Japan's post World-War II Constitution with its beautiful Article 9 wisdom - I send this message of "hope" and encouragement as you work to keep your Article 9 "war-renouncing" treasure alive so that all humanity and all other life on Earth -- and Planet Earth herself might have a future.

I know that it is not so easy to find much about which to have "hope" these days. With the recent collapse of global "financial markets," and "credit and economic systems" - where we in the USA have "greed-drivenly" led the way by excessively worshiping at the shrine of "unfettered free markets," "deregulation," and "privatization" - thus destroying "community" while profligately, wastefully, and unnecessarily over consuming Mother Earth's beautiful "resource gifts." With this behavior we have also led the way in "globally warming" ourselves toward Martian lifelessness while we arrogantly and stupidly fight "oil resource wars" rather than "clean up our own profligate act." It is well known around the globe that the USA is the most arrogantly wasteful nation on Planet Earth.

Furthermore, "hope" is hard to find when we note the historically long dismal milieu [especially evident in the last eight years] in which the United States has been afflicted by a paranoid delusional myth that its 800 "plus" foreign world-wide military-base empire would somehow assure peace and justice on Planet Earth.

Even with "all of the above" my dear Japanese friends - the flame of my "hope" still flickers. My "hope" resides in what I "hope" will happen in the United States on Tuesday, November 4, 2008, one day after your Article 9 "promulgation celebration" in Japan. I "hope" that on November 4th we will see in America the election of a new President Barack Obama, who shows signs of wishing to "change our government's course" - difficult as that may be. Obama is a person who appears to have the brains, wit, and wisdom; -- to launch this urgently needed "change of course" for the USA. If he wins he will also have driven a bit of a stake into the heart of racism - something with which we as a culture are still too much afflicted.

I feel that some of the "course changes" for America that Obama has signaled in his campaign could also be healthy for Article 9's longevity. The USA, going way back to the Korean War and perhaps even earlier, has been the chief and most powerful external force lusting for Japan to destroy Article 9. The USA has long wished to free-up and unleash Japanese SDF soldiers for our use in our anticipated Asian wars rather than using our own US soldiers.
With Obama, I thus see the possibility of a "change of course" away from our past arrogant, unilateralist, and militarist thrusts in our relations with other nations to a new posture of relationships with a more thoughtful, cooperative, non-violent and non-military flavor. I see an Obama administration opting less for "rules of war" and more for "rules of law" - and of course Article 9 is the world's foremost example of a "rule of law" in relations between nations. To me this suggests perhaps less USA pressure to destroy Article 9 -- from an Obama administration.

I have a bit of "hope" that with Obama as America's next president, Japan might find it easier to do as I have been suggesting since founding the Article 9 Society in March 1991 - namely for Japan to proudly demonstrate, with Article 9 as its "badge of honor," to all the nations on our dear and beautiful Planet Earth -- multitudes of non-violent, non-militarist, cooperative thrusts for peace and justice around the world. See my books and papers for an elaboration on these matters.

Almost none of the problems we as a species face have military solutions. For example, there are no military solutions to our "oil addiction" or our "drug addiction" problems -- and yet America has stupidly and arrogantly declared "wars" and focused and fixated on military means to cope with these "addiction" problems of ours.

You will note that my letter is quite critical of my country, the USA, and its militarist path in the past. Please also note that even though I am critical of my country - I and millions of my fellow patriotic citizens love this place and all the opportunities that it has given to us. We simply seek a less greedy, more humane, just, peaceful, compassionate, cooperative, and non-militarist America -- so that life and Planet Earth herself can have a future.

In concluding this note of "hope" my dear Japanese friends let me also "hope" that you prevail in finding ways and means to non-violently increase your pressure on your government to proudly and with honor declare to the entire Planet -- Japan's intention to make its Article 9 an "Article 9 Without Borders" - that is to spread its "all humanity's hope" message [Article 9] to all nations and the United Nations.

Meanwhile, I assure you that I "hope" to continue until the day I die [and even after my death with a small Ohio University Alden Library Endowment dedicated to Article 9] -- to seek an Article 9 type amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America.

Peace and best wishes,