As the debate in Japan heats up over whether and how to amend Article 9 of the Constitution, the terms “collective self-defense” and “collective security” are often used in the same breath, almost as though they were synonymous. Often the terms are avoided altogether. The 2007 Defense White Paper uses only the ambiguous and legally meaningless term “international peace cooperation activities.”

Similarly, the Liberal Democratic Party’s constitutional amendment proposal provides in its draft Article 9 that “the Self-Defense Military may engage in international cooperative activity to ensure the peace and security of the international society.” That could include both concepts.

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