US intentions, policies, and strategies lie behind the current movement towards
the revision of Article 9 within Japan.
United States, parallel to continuing its war on terror, is implementing its global
reorganization and reallocation of its military bases. Since the late 1990’s,
the responsibility of the US military forces in Japan has expanded to the whole
of Asia Pacific, and post 9.11, has brought the Middle East into range. Despite
Article 9, Japan’s SDF provided support for the US military in its operations
against Afghanistan in 2001. In 2003, the SDF were deployed to Iraq. Cooperation
in the development of weapons, such as the missile defense system, has also been
underway between the United States and Japan.
this context, the Unites States has been pressuring Japan for a more complete
military cooperation and partnership.
is in a military alliance with the United States, but as a country with a provision
renouncing war and the maintenance or use of military force, has maintained a
principle prohibiting the exercising of its right to collective self-defense.
For those interested in furthering the military collaboration between the US and
Japan, they would like to see this principle gone. As a matter of fact, most of
the revisionists of Article 9 argue for the elimination of Section 2 of Article
9, and enabling Japan to exercise its right of collective self-defense. The corporate
sector, with its interest in pursuing joint developments with and weapons export
to the United States, also supports the revision of Article 9.
Voices Supporting the Amendment of Article 9 in Japan and the
on its right to collective self-defense are a constraint on its alliance cooperation.
Lifting this prohibition would allow for closer and more efficient security cooperation.”
October 2000, Institute for National Strategic Studies report
“The US and Japan: Advancing Toward a Mature Partnership” (Armitage
inability to exercise our right to collective self-defense translates into denying
supportive activity to our allies, and is acting as a hindrance.”
January 2005, Japan Federation of Economic Organizations (Keidanren)
Japan to change Article 9 is equivalent to making a country which can wage war
alongside the United States.
With such developments, how will Japan’s neighboring countries react? It
is not difficult to expect a revamping of their military, as Japan may be seen
as a threat. If an arms race should be accelerated in East Asia, it would elicit
a security dilemma, and in effect threatening the security of all countries in
the region, including Japan’s own. Maintaining Article 9 and working towards
demilitarization through building trust in the whole of the Asia Pacific region
is the most realistic and reliable step in ensuring peace and security.
Next: Article 9 as a Global Communal