Scuttle useless Article 9

Vienna

Regarding Craig Martin’s June 6 article, “LDP’s dangerous proposals for amending antiwar article“: Article 9 of Japan’s Constitution has never protected anyone. There are plenty of people who go on about how important Article 9 is, but I think these people are either lying or willfully ignorant.

Article 9 is a piece of paper. Nothing else. It didn’t protect Japan from the Cold War, it is not the reason Japan has not been invaded, and it will not protect Japan from terrorists and fascists. Two things have protected Japan in past decades and continue to do so:

Japan’s military (I use this term on purpose)

The U.S. military

No pacifist, no paper Article 9, no prohibition against force protects Japan. Protection comes from men and women carrying weapons. The way Article 9 is now phrased violates the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Dec. 10, 1948). People have the right to live, the right to freedom and the right to defend themselves. Japan, as a whole, has the right to self-defense in case of aggression to make sure that the people of Japan continue living.

So, yes, I think Article 9 must be changed, maybe even dropped. It was a nice thought right after World War II as it fit the spirit back then, but that was decades ago. Global political structures have changed and new threats have arisen.

Like the United Nations and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Article 9 is a dinosaur that either needs drastic reform or should be removed altogether.

Article 9 is based partly on the erroneous and somewhat suicidal pacifist approach of Mahatma Gandhi, who is said to have told women that they could break the cycle of violence by not defending themselves against rapists.

Gandhi told Hindus not to defend themselves even against the threat of murder. When World War II began, Gandhi, in tears, advised British authorities in India to lay down their arms and resist Hitler spiritually. Luckily the British didn’t listen and that proved vital for the defeat of the Nazis.

Article 9 is a leftover from the days after Japan had been ravaged by fascist officers and politicians and thrown into a terrible war that Japan started. The situation today is entirely different.

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.

andreas kolb