• Naha


Regarding Andreas Kolb’s June 10 letter, “Scuttle the useless Article 9“: Does a foreigner have a right to suggest anything about another country’s constitution, much less say that part of it must be scuttled? Suppose I said the U.S. Constitution was useless because it contained misspellings such as “Pensylvania” and “chuse” for choose. If he were American, how would Kolb feel? Not insulted?

Article 9 is one of the most important provisions in the Japanese Constitution. Three principles of idealism permeate it throughout: pacifism, liberty and democracy. Article 9 embodies man’s universal aspirations for peace. I think Article 9 was postwar Japan’s manifestation of its deep regret for what it had done during the war.

But look at what the U.S. government has done since Japan’s new Constitution was promulgated and came into force in 1947. It has forced Japan to rearm, compelled police reserve forces-turned self-defense forces to act as a real army and, more often than not, called on Japan, either openly or under cover, to revise its Constitution so that Japan could engage in a “collective defense” and fight a global war along with U.S. forces.

All nations, not to mention the U.S. and Kolb’s Austria, should add an Article 9-like provision to their constitutions. It’s not a worthless article as Kolb suggests. Rather, it’s a star of hope every nation should aspire to. Japan should be proud of possessing it.

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.

yoshio shimoji

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