It's time to break away from these anomalies by ending Japan-U.S. alliance -- Akahata editorial, July 25
U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage recently told a Japanese lawmaker that the war-renouncing Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution is becoming an obstacle to strengthening the Japan-U.S. alliance. Japan's Prime Minister Koizumi Jun'ichiro described Japan-U.S. relations as " a good alliance."
A country's Constitution is its supreme law. How extraordinary it is for a government leader to fail to protest against a foreign official's remark calling for the Constitution to be tailored according to the military alliance and go so far as to praise the military alliance!
The Japan-U.S. Security Treaty was concluded while Japan was still under total U.S. military occupation after WWII, with the aim of maintaining U.S. forces in Japan. Now, 53 years after the conclusion of the security treaty, its role is changing into a military alliance to enable Japan to participate in U.S. wars abroad through the deployment of the Self-Defense Forces abroad, repositioning the U.S. forces in Japan, and strengthening U.S. military bases in Japan.
What will Japan do with this alliance? This is a question that has an important bearing on all Japanese people.
Abrogation of the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty is a demand of the times
The Armitage statement and Koizumi's reaction to it show that the Japan-U.S. alliance, unlike the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), does not exist to help each other on equal footing.
In sharp contrast to France or Germany which refused to send troops to Iraq, Prime Minister Koizumi promised to dispatch the SDF to Iraq in response to the U.S. president stating, "Japan and the United States have a global alliance."
The Japanese government allows the U.S. forces to behave high-handedly in disregard of Japanese law. The Supreme Court, the guardian of the Constitution, is also unable to rule that such acts by U.S. forces are unconstitutional. This is the present reality of Japan.
Japanese courts have no jurisdiction over the U.S. forces even if Japanese residents suffering from noise caused by U.S. military aircraft file a lawsuit calling for a halt to night-time flights in order to recover their "quiet nights".
This state of affairs conflicts with the constitutional principle that "sovereign power resides with the people." It's natural that whether or not Japan is a sovereign country under the rule of law be called into question.
Such a reality of Japan also appears in the fact that Japan's government continues to buy a huge amount of U.S. dollars to help cover the U.S. fiscal deficit which sharply increased with the Iraq War. If a dollar cllapse takes place, Japan may plunge into economic, financial crises.
It is imperative for Japan to end this extraordinary military alliance, for the well-being of its own citizens and world peace.
We should not think it is impossible to abrogate the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty just because the two major parties, the Liberal Democratic and Democratic parties, are in the majority in the Diet. The majority of Japanese citizens cannot resign themselves to the humiliating conditions under the Security Treaty. The call for the abrogation of the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty must develop into a major demand of the people because it is incompatible with the interests of the majority of them.
Article 10 of the Security Treaty states, "This Treaty shall remain in force until in the opinion of the Governments of Japan and the United States of America there shall have come into force such United Nations arrangements as will satisfactorily provide for the maintenance of international peace and security in the Japan area." The end of the Cold War enabled the U.N. to perform its responsibilities, and the rationale behind maintaining the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty has been lost.
The Japanese Communist Party's call for the abrogation of the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty is in response to the demand of the present era and has a possibility of being supported by the majority of the Japanese people.
Let the Constitution guide our times
We are no longer in an era of military alliances. Asian countries are breaking away from military alliances with the U.S. The U.S. decided to drastically reduce its military presence in South Korea amid the increasing call of South Korean citizens for the removal of U.S. bases in their country.
The Japanese attitude is now called into question. It is natural for Japan to abrogate the Japan-U.S. alliance because it hinders the implementation of the Constitution.
Only by abrogating the military alliance can Japan establish relations with other Asian countries and the U.S. based on peace and friendship. It guarantees Japan's peaceful development in the 21st century. Citizens can make that happen if they act. (end)
Copyright (c) Japan Press Service Co., Ltd. All right reserved.