• Kyodo


A group of 60 Japanese lawmakers submitted a petition at the Norwegian Embassy in Tokyo on Thursday requesting that the Nobel Committee award war-renouncing Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution with the Nobel Peace Prize.

The Oslo-based prize committee is said to have accepted the nomination of Article 9 last month as one of 278 candidates for the prize, with the winner set to be announced Oct. 10.

After handing its recommendation to the embassy, one of its originators, Hiroyuki Konishi of the House of Councilors, said the pacifist charter as it stands today represents a global ideal.

“The Japanese Constitution is the ideal the world should aim for,” the opposition Democratic Party of Japan lawmaker said at a press conference.

Though most of the 60 lawmakers are from the opposition camp, two members of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party are also among their ranks — Tadayoshi Nagashima and Yasushi Kaneko of the House of Representatives.

The LDP, headed by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, just drafted a set of proposals for reinterpreting the Constitution so that war-renouncing Article 9 no longer poses a legal hurdle to exercising the right to collective self-defense, or coming to the aid of an ally under attack.

Article 9 of the Constitution, enacted in 1947, stipulates that Japan forever renounces war and forbids the use of force, or its threat, to settle international disputes. It also bans Japan from having the right to wage war or maintain war potential.

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