...Article 9 is one of the most important provisions in the Japanese Constitution. Three principles of idealism permeate it throughout: pacifism, liberty and democracy. Article 9 embodies man's universal aspirations for peace. I think Article 9 was postwar Japan's manifestation of its deep regret for what it had done during the war.But look at what the U.S. government has done since Japan's new Constitution was promulgated and came into force in 1947. It has forced Japan to rearm, compelled police reserve forces-turned self-defense forces to act as a real army and, more often than not, called on Japan, either openly or under cover, to revise its Constitution so that Japan could engage in a "collective defense" and fight a global war along with U.S. forces.All nations, not to mention the U.S. and Kolb's Austria, should add an Article 9-like provision to their constitutions. It's not a worthless article as Kolb suggests. Rather, it's a star of hope every nation should aspire to. Japan should be proud of possessing it.
Yoshio Shimoji, born in Miyako Island, Okinawa, M.S. (Georgetown University), taught English and English linguistics at the University of the Ryukyus from April 1966 until his retirement in March 2003. He is a contributor to The Japan Times and The Asia-Pacific Journal.