Japanese Communist Party Central Committee Chair Fuwa Tetsuzo spoke at the Japan National Press Club's seminar on October 17 and said three important points are missing from the arguments of advocates of constitutional revision. The following are the main points of Fuwa's remarks:
Arguments for constitutional revision, which gained impetus in the aftermath of the September 11 general election, tend to ignore important issues or discuss issues from unrealistic points of view.
First, most advocates of constitutional revision are arguing for amending Article 9 as if it is an important matter of Japan's "self-defense." The U.S. government adopted a policy of rearming Japan and revising the Constitution just two years after its establishment. Present calls for Article 9 to be revised have a long history. It emerged from the U.S. need to have Japan take part in wars abroad.
Under the Koizumi Cabinet, two laws have been enacted with the aim of dispatching the Self-Defense Forces abroad: the 2001 Anti-Terrorism Special Measures Law and the 2003 Law Concerning the Special Measures on Humanitarian and Reconstruction Assistance in Iraq. These are used as the legal basis for Japan's cooperation with the U.S. preemptive strike strategy that has nothing to do with Japan's national "defense."
However, even these laws to dispatch Japanese troops abroad have had to ban the SDF from doing anything that can be regarded as "the threat or use of force."
This is why the biggest aim of the constitutional revision is to remove this restriction and remake the SDF into a force that can go to war outside of Japan.
The second missing point is that the pro-revision hawks are advocating a security theory that puts too much emphasis on military aspects.
In the present-day world, diplomacy is the major player in the effort to maintain international security. For example, Southeast Asia, which used to be the world's most conflict stricken region, is now becoming a region where "armed conflicts are unthinkable." It is wrong to argue that Article 9 or Japan's insufficient military power represents weaknesses of Japan's security. It is important to recognize that the biggest weakness of Japan's security is the lack of diplomacy.
Thirdly, it is necessary to think about how the world is regarding Article 9. The advocates of constitutional revision believe that Japan cannot be accepted by the international community unless it makes an international contribution by sending the SDF abroad. To the contrary, Article 9 has made the greatest contribution by which Japan could win the trust and respect of the world.
What's more, with the U.S. invasion of Iraq as a turning point, there have arisen calls for establishing an international rule of peace. In these circumstances, Article 9 has become a focus of international attention as an effective means to illegalize war and defend peace. It is necessary to think about the Constitution in the context of this world current.
Fuwa's speech was the second of the Japan National Press Club lecture series. The club invites parties and leaned persons to reflect on the constitutional issues in a long range of 5-10 years. The first speaker, Nakayama Taro (House of Representatives Special Commission on the Constitution chair), was invited in July.
-- Akahata, October 18, 2005