Constitution Memorial Day


     May is the most comfortable month in Japan. It’s neither cold nor hot. You can relax in fresh green and breeze. New-leaved cherry trees are very beautiful after falling blossoms. Wisterias and azaleas are in full bloom. Purple, pink, white, red…many colors please you. And we have special holidays called golden week in such a wonderful time.

     In the end of April, the 29 is a holiday named Showa Day. It used to be a celebration day of the birthday of Emperor Hirohito, who died in 1989. After his death, the holiday remained by changed the name. By the way, the holiday had been called Green Day until last year.

     May 3 and 5 are also holidays, the former is Constitution Memorial Day and the latter is Children’s Day. And May 4 has become a holiday as well since last year because it’s between those two holidays. Since the day also has become a holiday, people can take three days off. That’s why the day was named People’s Day.

     I’m going to write about amendment of the Constitution of Japan since today is Constitution Memorial Day. As you know, recently it is a controversial issue, especially the amendment of the article 9.

     The Constitution says in the chapter II entitled renunciation war as follows:
Article 9:
1) 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.

2) 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.

     The text is respected because of singing the praise of renunciation war peacefully, but it’s not fit to a reality. Japan has big armed forces actually using the name “Self-Defense” as a cover for it.

     Although Japan has the forces, it’s difficult to send troops and to let them do military action by the fetters of the Constitution. That’s why the government mainly the Liberal Democratic Party is trying to change the article.

     In fact, Japan sent troops to Iraq although they can’t do any military action. Sent members of the Self-Defense Forces are wearing uniforms with guns. But they cannot basically use weapons since they are not protecting Japan from enemies.

     Once it’s changed, Japan might be not able to avoid intervening militarily in another country. Many people are afraid of that. But what if the U.S. forces in Japan start to take part in a battle? With the present article, many things are obscure.

     I would say that it’s good to consider the amendments of the Constitution to make vague points clear. But I’m against the movement of changing articles to just make the Self-Defense Forces real armed forces which can go to war anytime.


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