Article Nine of the Japanese Constitution: Remove, Not Remove?

The current Japanese constitution was promulgated in 1947 as an amendment of the 1889 Meiji constitution. Its Article 9, the famous “peace clause,” states that “the Japanese people forever renounce war as a sovereign right of the nation and the threat or use of force as a means of settling international disputes,” and further pledges that “land, sea, and air forces, as well as other war potentials, will never be maintained.”

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In other words, Article 9 of the Japanese constitution forbids Japan from maintaining an army, navy or air force. The current Self Defense Forces of Japan are, in strictly legal terms, not military branches, but extensions of the national police force. In 1960, the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP)organized a commission to appeal for the revision of the constitution. They needed a two-thirds majority in the Diet to ratify any revision, but even at its peak strength (63%), it fell short. In the late 1990s and the early 2000s, the question of constitution revision again became a high-profile matter of widespread debate. The main critique focused on the pacifism embodied in the Article 9. The momentum toward revision reached a peak toward the end of the Koizumi era (2001-06), but it subsequently diminished. After more than sixty years, the 1947 constitution holds the singular distinction of being the oldest, unamended constitution in the world today.

Team C (To Remove)Team D (Not Remove)
Yuhan Liu, Meghan Kazanski, Zach Morlang, Zuoyang Xu, Puching ZhangJoshua Hardy, Aung Zin, Duo Xu, Karen Freire, and Matthew Hood
Team C Resolution and Slideshow
Team D Resolution and Slideshow