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HOME  > Past issues  > 2008 October 1 - 7  > Federation of Bar Associations says war-renouncing Article 9 has relevance today
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2008 October 1 - 7 [PEACE]

Federation of Bar Associations says war-renouncing Article 9 has relevance today

October 4, 2008
The Japan Federation of Bar Associations (Nichibenren) has confirmed the contemporary significance of the Japanese Constitution’s war renouncing Article 9 (*) as well as the constitutional provisions of the right to live in peace.

Nichibenren adopted the declaration at its 51st Congress in Toyama City on October 3. It said:

(1) The right to live in peace is a human right that constitutes the basis of all fundamental human rights. In the present-day international society, which is affected by a cycle of wars and violence, it is an important, concrete example for the people throughout the world in their quest for the right to live in peace.

(2) Article 9 renounces war and the use or threat to use force and provides that it declares that Japan does not possess war potential and denies Japan the right to belligerency, making it a constitutional duty for Japan to actively promote arms reductions and disarmament in the international community.

(3) Article 9 is facing serious strains in actual politics. Yet, it proves to be effective for restricting the Self-Defense Forces’ organizations, equipment, and activities and for prohibiting them from using force abroad and from exercising the right of collective self-defense. It is thus functioning effectively as a constitutional example to the rest of the world.

The declaration states that Nichibenren will make efforts to win broader citizens’ support for the Constitution’s provisions guaranteeing the right to live in peace and the war renouncing Article 9.

(*) Article 9 of the Constitution of Japan:
Article 9. Aspiring sincerely to an international peace based on justice and order, the Japanese people forever renounce war as a sovereign right of the nation and the threat or use of force as means of settling international disputes.

2) In order to accomplish the aim of the preceding paragraph, land, sea, and air forces, as well as other war potential, will never be maintained. The right of belligerency of the state will not be recognized.

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