Places, Images, Times & Transformations

Article 9

Article in Japan's constitution that forbids the creation and use of military power. The article reads as follows: "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 a 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." Because of Article 9, the constitutionality of Japan's Self-Defense Forces has been challenged in the courts, but the Supreme Court has avoided ruling directly on the issue. Some conservative lawmakers have advocated revision and even revocation of the article. The issue remains controversial. (adapted from Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia. Tokyo: Kodansha, 1993)

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