The History of Article 9 (the no-war clause) of the Postwar Constitution of Japan: Its Establishment, Evolution, and Hollowing Out
Tuesday, March 5, 2019 - 6:00pm

The PSU Center for Japanese Studies Presents

The Postwar Constitution of Japan Lecture Series

We, the Japanese people, acting through our duly elected representatives in the National Diet, determined that we shall secure for ourselves and our posterity the fruits of peaceful cooperation with all nations and the blessings of liberty throughout this land....

March 5, 2019 |  6pm 
Smith Student Union, room 327/8

The History of Article 9 (the no-war clause) of the Postwar Constitution of Japan: Its 
Establishment, Evolution, and Hollowing Out

Katsutoshi Takami, Professor Emeritus Sophia University 

Article 9 is synonymous with the Postwar Constitution, and also symbolizes the democratization of a Japan liberated from militarism.  Thus, the history of Article 9, from the time of Japan’s surrender in August 1945 through to the present, is also the history of Japan’s democracy.  Discussing the 70-year trajectory of Article 9 within the turmoil of international and domestic politics, Dr. Takami will sketch how peace and democracy have been linked in Postwar Japan, and how Article 9 came to be in the immediate post-defeat period.  Second, he will discuss a variety of issues relating to Article 9’s evolution in the context of the Cold War, especially after the outbreak of war in Korea in 1950, including the establishment of the Self Defense Forces in 1954, understanding of the second paragraph of Article 9 that forbids the maintenance of war material, divisions with the people of Japan (about how to interpret Article 9), including tension about whether or not it should be revised, the government’s role in pursuing a policy of “revision by interpretation,” and the constitutional revision movement.   Third, he will discuss post-Cold War developments, including the Persian Gulf War (1990), the dispatch of Self Defense Forces to participate in United Nations Peacekeeping Operations, the concept of collective self-defense which even the government initially interpreted as impermissible under Article 9, but then the silver-tongued method by which collective self-defense was nonetheless authorized, a step indicative of the death of Article 9.  Through this historical approach he will introduce how, taking into account the tension between Article 9 as a principle, an ideal, and in reality, the government of Japan was constrained by this article, and what role Article 9 played and what role it was not able to play in Postwar Japan’s constitutional democracy.   

Katsutoshi Takami is a Senior Specialist at the Politics and Parliamentary Research Service and the Research and Legislative Reference Bureau of the National Diet Library.     

All programs sponsored by the Center for Japanese Studies are funded by donations  from the local community, as well as from grants.

With Support from the United States-Japan Foundation