There is more than the usual interest in the seventieth birthday of Japan’s constitution, importantly because of a move to revision of its most unusual and distinguishing feature — Article 9, its famous peace clause. When enacted in 1947, the Japanese constitution embodied the idealism — renunciation of war, gender equality, democracy, equality before the law, and the rule of law, to name a few — with which Japan began its journey to postwar reconstruction.
It would be difficult to make the case that the constitution hasn’t served Japan’s interests well over the past 70 years. But times change and there are also other aspects of the constitution that some think are also due for an update. While debate revolves around how to modernise the constitution in light of new concepts such as privacy and environmental rights, the most intense point of contention is Article 9.
This article was originally published by East Asia Forum on April 29, 2017. Read the full article here.