Review of an article: "How Korean students read Japan's
Constitution Article 9"
December 8, 2008
Hitoshi Ohkawa (Director of Japan Institute
of Constitutional Law)
In this year 2008, "Guntai no nai kokka - 27 countries
without armies" was published. It disclosed that there
are 27 nations that have no armed forces. In May, 150 delegates
from 41 countries and regions took part in the Global Article
9 Conference in Japan, and demonstrated the world's attention
to the Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution which denies
the possession of armed forces and prohibits the belligerent
However, many people in many countries still believe that
a normal nation righteously possesses armed forces. In fact,
most nations of the world have military troops, and we seldom
hear any discussion about disbanding them.
How well do people of the world know about the Article 9 of
the Japanese Constitution? How do they evaluate it? Japanese
people have a lot to learn from the voices from other countries
about the Article 9. They often show us something we can not
find by ourselves.
November 2008 issue of monthly "Hogaku Seminar"
features "Questionnaire survey of Korean students' view
on Japan's Constitution Article 9." Professor Mizushima
Asaho of Waseda University wrote a comment on that survey.
Korean students' remarks were very fresh and impressive.
In 2008, Japan Institute of Constitutional Law published "Freshness
of the Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution - Discussion
among Japanese and German students" which is a compilation
of comments by German and Japanese students regarding the
Article 9 of the Constitution of Japan. I hope that our Article
9 will become better known to many other students and people
of other nations of the world. Japanese people also need to
give a fresh look at our Article 9, and to learn more about