Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party), holding its first party convention on March 30 in Osaka, adopted a new party platform. Its call for a drastic revision of the Constitution carries the danger of undermining the basic constitutional principles on which the postwar Japanese stands, including the no-war principle. It is imperative for people to fully consider what will result from the party’s extreme stance on the Constitution.
Characterizing the Constitution as the Occupation Constitution, the platform says that the Constitution imposed an “unrealistic common illusion of absolute peace” on the Japanese people and that the party will lead to “true independence of the state and the people” by drastically revising the supreme law.
The platform expresses a belief among Nippon Ishin no Kai members that the United States forced the current Constitution on Japan. But the platform ignores the fact that the Japanese Diet deliberated on the Constitution and even made a revision to the war-renouncing Article 9 of the Constitution, although the U.S. occupation authority drafted the Constitution.
That revision is said to have tacitly assured that Japan has the right to self-defense. The Diet also inserted Article 25, which guarantees “the right to maintain the minimum standards of wholesome and cultured living” and urges the government to promote social welfare and security and public health. This is also one of the principles of the postwar Japanese state, along with the principle that sovereign power rests with the people.
It must not be forgotten that the Japanese people accepted and maintained the Constitution because they had a strong determination that Japan should not repeat the mistake of its past militarism and should build a nation on democratic principles as expressed by the Constitution.
The platform says that the postwar Constitution has forced Japan into isolation and made Japan a target of disdain. But Japan’s efforts under the Constitution have earned Japan trust of the international community.
By degrading the Constitution, Nippon Ishin no Kai is insulting the Japanese people, who have made great efforts under the Constitution to rebuild the nation from the rubble of war. It also fails to tell what kind of “independence” it wants to achieve and what kind of peace it wants to establish by what means.
The platform uses the Japanese word “minzoku” to express the people. This word also can mean an ethnic group as well as a race. In the Japanese context, minzoku usually means the Japanese race. Nippon Ishin no Kai’s use of the word may create the impression among some people that it is trying to create a nation based on an exclusivist principle.
Nippon Ishin no Kai says that in the coming Upper House election, it will aim to prevent the Liberal Democratic Party and Komeito from controlling the Diet chamber. But party coleader Mr. Osamu Hashimoto praises Prime Minister Shinzo Abe for his policies. If some people feel that Nippon Ishin no Kai is a policy ally of the LDP, it comes as no surprise.