Select your language

Main Banner


Monday, 12 October 2009 22:54


Before I came to Japan I was not aware of Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution and I would think that most most people living outside of Japan would not have heard of it either. After the events of September 11th, 2001, naturally, the question of how the US and the world should respond became a major topic in my discussions with my Japanese friends and it was during these discussions that I first heard about Article 9.


Even though the wording of Article 9 is quite simple, it took me a long time to fully understand and appreciate the depth of its implications.


I think my childhood was not dissimilar from upbringings of most children in the western world. From a early age, through TV, movies and games, I was "led to believe" that for conflicts that could not be resolved through negotiation, war was a reasonable and acceptable solution. In all aspects of our lives, war is glorified, as are our war heroes, the battles, and so on. War is an intricate part of our "education" as we grow up, and so, without realizing or knowing why, I came to believe that war was an acceptable but needed method of conflict resolution.


With such a background that I feel most Westerners grow up with, I began to study Article 9. At first I thought Article 9 was a foolhardy idea; to 'forever' renounce war as a right was an absurd idea, for who could possibly know what the future might hold as there might be a time when war would be necessary. As I studied more, I began to realize that the belief that I had, that the use of military means to resolve untenable conflicts was acceptable, was in fact patently wrong!


I realized that through my childhood education, I had been brainwashed to believe that war was an acceptable method of conflict resolution. My own experience here in Japan helped in the process of changing my thinking. In fact, it made it absolutely clear to me. Here I was, an Australian, living in Japan, with many wonderful Japanese friends surrounding me. We were living a friendly and harmonious life together. This would have been an unthinkable thing, sixty years ago. I began to wonder how could it be that my country could have gone to war with the Japanese, with these very friends that I had made?


It was in my efforts to find the answer to this question, that I came to realize that Article 9 was without question, the ultimate way for not only Japan, but for the world to realize lasting Peace. I don't think the individuals who helped formulate Article 9 realized it at the time, for I feel they unknowingly created for the world, an opening for all to see, without any question of a doubt, of a way to bring peace to every nation on the earth.


Had it not been for the utter destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the resulting realization by both the victors and vanquished that the price paid, that the lives lost were all too heavy a burden for anyone ever again to shoulder, I somehow doubt that the tenets of Article 9 would have come into existence. Through the events of World War 2, the birth of a new era of possibility for Peace for the world was realized.


The purpose of Article 9 was to eliminate all future possible aggression by Japan, and for the last sixty years this has been so. In the since World War 2, Japan has kept fast to the tenets of Article 9, while wars have raged on around the globe.


If one looks carefully at each of the wars, a pattern emerges that mirrors what ensued after Japan's defeat. Once hated and despised by the "enemy" the Japanese people have become friends with people from every nation around the world. So too, for the other wars, that have ended. With a shake of hands, bows, or signatures on a piece of paper, peace and friendship are restored. Though it would be naive to say that all animosity ends with the signing of a peace treaty, given time, and several generations, the indecencies of war can become merely references or footnotes in our history books.


In every case, could not peace have been achieved without the need for violence? Can we not see the truth that is staring us all in the face! What has happened in Japan, in Germany and elsewhere, are the examples we need to study. From them we car realize that war, the intermediate step, that inevitably results in Peace, is not at all necessary. War can be bypassed, as history tells us, the result is always the same, Peace.


Could not the peace Japan has today been achieved without war? Could not the peace that ensued after all the preceding wars on our planet been achieved without war? 


Article 9 is Japan's message to the world. There is no need for war, ever again. The dark desolation of war need never face humanity in the future. No country on our wonderful planet need ever step through the abyss of darkness that war brings. This is the message that Japan can now bring with confidence to the world.


If the tenets of Article 9 were to be adopted by other nations, as Costa Rica has done, there would never need to be another war for the need for war is a concoction of the businesses and individuals behind the global military industrial complex, who with their vast resources, manipulate the thinking of humanity to believe that war is the only effective way to resolve conflict and differences of opinion.


I know, from my experience of living with the 'enemy' that this is utterly a lie as here I am, enjoying a wonderful life with my many friends, the "enemy" as the generation before me called them.




Here is a summary of the above in Japanese:



9条 その真義 デミアン・アンドリュース





 (原文 英文 / 和訳:村松真理子)