S-Space Graduate School of International Studies (국제대학원) Dept. of International Studies (국제학과) 국제지역연구 국제지역연구 vol.07 (1998)
21세기 일본의 국력과 평화헌법 - 평화헌법 논쟁과 정치적 의미
JAPANESE NATIONAL POWER AND THE PEACE CONSTITUTION IN THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY: THE DISPUTE ABOUT THE PEACE CONSTITUTION AND ITS POLITICAL IMPLICATIONS
- Issue Date
- 서울대학교 국제지역원
- 국제지역연구, Vol.07 No.2, pp. 35-58
- The current Japanese constitution, which came into force at the end of the World War Ⅱ, has been called "Peace Constitution" on account of the following peculiar phrases in chapter Ⅱ of the constitution: "the renouncement of war, of war potential, of belligerency." Such phrases have never been seen in any other constitution in the world.
Conservative politicians in Japan who have tried to take leadership for the 21st century have consistently advocated and insisted on a revision of their constitution, because Japan"s military power level has not caught up with its economic affluence. Until now, Japan"s military power could not easily be developed or increased, nor could Japan offer any contributions internationally to help a nation which has needed military support from Japan, because of the present peace constitutional system.
There are three main parts to this paper. The first part deals with the historical formation(procedure) of the Peace Constitution. The second part delineates the dispute between those who support and those who oppose the constitution. Lastly, the conclusion finds a renewed function for the Peace Constitution in Japan.
If the constitution is changed, the Japanese government will lose three important instuments from that time in Japan. First, the symbol of peaceful nation and the effects of having a peace clause in the Japanese constitution will cease to exist. Second, Japan will lose a key rationale for its identity as a loser which was formed by allied powers after World War Ⅱ and which has been utilized by Japanese politicians to curb excessive demands made by powerful nations in contemporary international relations. Lastly, Japan"s ruling party will no longer have the constitutional mechanism which has been operating to urge to unificate the Japanese people with emotion of nationality during times of difficulty in Japanese politics.
In conclusion, the Peace Constitution of Japan is a kind of potential, invisible and incalculable factor for Japan"s national power. Even if the dispute over the constitution will be actuallized by politicians sometime in the future, of course, intermittently, the Peace Constitution as a potential element of national power will be not changed for the time being.