DPJ drafting amendment to remove Article 9 from Constitution

An interim report on the draft constitutional amendment the Democratic Party of Japan published on June 22 called for the war-renouncing Article 9 to be revised.

The draft compiled by the DPJ Constitutional Research Council maintains that Japan should have a new constitution in order to take active part in United Nations military activities in the name of collective security. The reason the DPJ gives for it is the need to deal with "global threats" and fulfill the "international mission for securing human rights."

Concerning the issue of the right of self-defense, the DPJ draft calls for the new constitution to be specific in providing that Japan has a "limited right of self-defense under the United Nations Charter."

Akahata on June 23 reported that this definition, without referring to the difference between individual self-defense and collective self-defense, may be used to promote Japan's cooperation with the United States in wars abroad as well as its participation in U.N. activities to ensure collective security.

Also, the draft argues that "the use of force" must be written in the new constitution on condition that it should be implemented "with maximum restraint." Akahata warned that the DPJ is moving toward abolishing Article 9 which bans the "use of force" or "threat of the use of force".

A DPJ report on a DPJ tour of EC countries and the United States (April 29-May 6, 2004) stated that the party will consider allowing Japan to send the Self-Defense Forces to Iraq if the U.N. Security Council adopts a new resolution concerning the multinational force and if the Iraqi government requests Japan to do so.

At the Japan National Press Club debate by the five party leaders on June 21, JCP Chair Shii Kazuo said, "The anti-Article 9 chorus is aimed to lift the final but largest barrier to SDF operations abroad, making Japan appear as a war-fighting nation in the world in subordination to the U.S." (end)

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