Saturday, 20 June 2009

The Power of an Ideal

Aspiring sincerely to an international peace based on justice and order, the Japanese people forever renounce war as a sovereign right of the nation and the threat or use of force as means of settling international disputes."

In order to accomplish the aim of the preceding paragraph, land, sea, and air forces, as well as other war potential, will never be maintained. The right of belligerency of the state will not be recognized.”

Widely believed to have been imposed unilaterally on Japan by MacArthur’s occupying Allied GHQ, Article 9 was in fact drafted and proposed by Japanese lawmakers, representing a country that understood all too well the folly of aggressive empire-building and the bitter futility and tragedy of war.

Since 1947, and in sharp contrast to its past as a fascist Axis empire-builder, Japan has not committed a single atrocity against the people of another nation, has not re-militarized, has not produced nuclear weapons, nor entered the lucrative arms industry. In part because of Article 9, Japan was able to transform itself into the second largest economy in the world. Moreover, its subsequent ODA expenditures, amounting to 10 to 15 billion dollars (U.S.) each year over the past 18 years — along with the growth of several hundred NGOs active in development, the environment, human rights, and peace — would never have been possible if Japan had remained a militarized nation.

Imagine then the worldwide benefits of taking Article 9 to the global level.