03 July 2013

Full translation of proposed LDP amendment to Article 9 and 96 of the Constitution of Japan

Original Article 9 

Chapter II. Renunciation of War

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.  

Draft new Article 9 by LDP as proposed on April 27, 2012

Chapter II. National Security 

Article 9

Section 1. Pacifism 
1. Aspiring sincerely to an international peace based on justice and order, the Japanese people renounce war as a sovereign right of the nation, and refrain from the use of  threat and use of force as means of settling international disputes.
2. The preceding paragraph shall not preclude the exercise of right to self-defense.

Section 2. National Defense Force
1. In order to ensure peace and independence of Japan as well as safety of the state and the Japanese people, a National Defense Force shall be maintained under the supreme command of the Prime Minister.
2. The execution of the duties of the National Defense Force as prescribed in the preceding paragraph shall be governed by the approval of the National Diet and other rules and regulations as provided by the law.
3. Aside from activities taken in execution of its duties as prescribed in section (1) of this paragraph, the National Defense Force shall be allowed, as provided by the law, to commit itself to activities taken in cooperation with the international community for the purpose of maintaining international peace and security, activities taken for the purpose of maintaining public order, and/or activities taken for the purpose of protecting the lives and freedom of the Japanese people.
4. Aside from provisions as prescribed in section (2) of this paragraph, matters regarding the organization, governance and confidentiality of the National Defense Force shall be determined by the law.
5. In order to prosecute military service personnel and other public official for the crimes committed pertaining to its execution of duties and/or breach of confidentiality, a tribunal shall be established under the National Defense Force. Upon prosecution, the rights to appeal of the defendant to a higher court must be ensured.

Section 3. Preservation of territorial integrity
In order to preserve its sovereignty and independence, the state must, in cooperation with the Japanese people, commit to preserving territorial integrity of the land, sea, and air, and securing its resources.

30 November 2009

A Tokyo Conference Reaffirms Japan's Role in Afghanistan

*Click the title above to read the Japanese version of this release.

by Takahiro Katsumi and Vladimir Ionesco

(Tokyo 30 November)On 23-25 November, a three-day conference on Afghanistan was held at a hotel in Tokyo, Japan. Entitled "Roundtable Discussion on Peace and Reconciliation: Prospects for Shared Security in Afghanistan" the conference was co-hosted by World Conference of Religions for Peace (WCRP) Japanese Committee (page in Japanese only) and Japanese Parliamentarians for Shared Security (JPSS) with the cooperation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan.

To ensure the safety of all participants as well as frank and free discussion, the conference was completely closed to the media and the public until the final day.

During the three-day event, participants from Afghanistan and other countries, such as Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Iran and many more, engaged in a vibrant discussion on how to foster peace in Afghanistan. They included diplomats, military officers, academics, researchers, development specialists, and religious leaders from eighteen countries. The conclusions reached in the conference were compiled into a recommendation paper that was presented to the press on the final day.

Eight-point recommendation delivered to the Prime Minister and the Foreign Minister

Before the press conference took place, the Master of Ceremonies and Acting President of JPSS, Senator Tadashi Inuzuka (DPJ), and his delegation split into two units, which visited the Prime Minister's Office and the Foreign Ministry to deliver the conclusions of the conference; an eight-point recommendation written under the supervision of Amb. Francesc Vendrell, the Chairman of the Conference. To the delegation, Prime Minister Hatoyama was noted to have said the following when he received the document from Rev. Nichiko Niwano, President of WCRP Japanese Committee:

"Thank you for achieving what politics alone cannot."

WCRP President Nichiko Niwano delivering the recommendation to Prime Minister Hatoyama
Second delegation led by the Chairman delivering the recommendation to Foreign Minister Okada

The eight-point recommendation outlines the roles that each stakeholder should play in the promotion of reconciliation and peace in Afghanistan. The section that outlines the role of Japan reads as follows:

Japan’s Role: Since Japan enjoys an excellent reputation with Afghanistan and the immediate neighbours of Afghanistan, it is highly desirable that Japan play a key role within the international community in supporting the peace and reintegration programme led by the Afghan government. The participants welcomed measures for aid effectiveness that ensure transparency, accountability and more effective results that would enable the government of Japan to continue to provide support to the rebuilding of Afghanistan.

With inputs from Muslim participants and religious figures, the recommendation also outlines the role of Islamic states as follows:

Role of Islamic States: The participants called for increased cooperation among Islamic states to prevent the spread of radical groups that promote violence, and to advance the reform of madrassas and other efforts at de-radicalisation to help individuals or groups to break the cycle of violence (including the denouncing of suicide bombings and drug trafficking as un-Islamic practices). Therefore, it was proposed that WCRP facilitate gatherings of prominent Islamic scholars to engage Islamic teachings to promote peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan. The participants affirmed the importance of the good offices of His Majesty King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, as requested by the Afghan Government, to utilize His Majesty’s influence as a political and religious leader to help the process of peace-building in Afghanistan.

In advocating these recommendations as well as six others in a truly international setting, the conference not only reaffirmed the importance of Japan's assistance efforts to foster peace in Afghanistan, but also fulfilled the purpose of creating a cohesive environment of trust among the participating countries and institutions.

Press Information

Related Media Reports

25 November 2009

Can Japan bring peace to Afghanistan? (The Foreign Policy)

*Click the title above to read the Japanese version of this release.

The following article was published on the website of Foreign Policy magazine
Can Japan bring peace to Afghanistan?
Josh Rogin reports on national security and foreign policy for The Cable at ForeignPolicy.com
Wed, 11/25/2009 - 7:31pm
As far as we know, the U.S. government isn't focused on engaging the Taliban or other militants waging war on the Afghan government and international forces, but there is one country actively working on a plan to reconcile the warring factions in Afghanistan: Japan.
A conference held behind closed doors in Tokyo finished the last of its three days of meetings Wednesday, bringing together representatives of the governments of Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and others to discuss how a peace within Afghanistan might be negotiated. Among the participants was Mohammad Masoom Stanekzai, an advisor on reconciliation to Afghan President Hamid Karzai.
Stanekzai has often advocated for internal Afghan reconciliation and in his capacity as a visiting fellow at the U.S. Institute of Peace last year, he wrote that "A multitude of factors suggest that the time is ripe for a reconciliatory process," and "A comprehensive and coordinated political reconciliation process must be started."
The conference ended with a list of recommendations, obtained by The Cable, that will now be sent to Japanese Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada as he charts out Japan's future policy on Afghanistan.
The Japanese government, now led by the Democratic Party of Japan, has been searching for a new role in Afghanistan after announcing it would end its military refueling mission there but also increase its aid contribution by $5 billion.
Leading an international effort to negotiate a détente between the Afghan Taliban and the Afghan government could be how the DPJ forges a new identity for Japan's foreign policy, which has long been tethered to U.S. foreign policy. The DPJ has called for a more independent position in the Japanese alliance with Washington.
"Since Japan enjoys an excellent reputation with Afghanistan and the immediate neighbors of Afghanistan, it is highly desirable that Japan play a key role within the international community in supporting the peace and reintegration program led by the Afghan government," the recommendations state.
Earlier this year, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton set out the conditions under which she believes reconciliation with certain members of the Taliban could be achieved.
"We understand that not all those who fight with the Taliban support al-Qaida, or believe in the extremist policies the Taliban pursued when in power," she said at the Council of Foreign Relations on July 15, "And today we and our Afghan allies stand ready to welcome anyone supporting the Taliban who renounces al-Qaida, lays down their arms, and is willing to participate in the free and open society that is enshrined in the Afghan Constitution."
But Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Holbrooke said Nov. 23 that "there has been no direct meetings between American officials and Taliban officials ... we are not having direct contacts with the Taliban."
The conference was organized by World Conference of Religions for Peace Japan committee and was arranged with help of the group Japanese Parliamentarians for Shared Security and with cooperation of the Japanese foreign ministry.

Foreign Policy is a bimonthly American magazine founded in 1970 by Samuel P. Huntington and Warren Demian Manshel. Foreign Policy won the 2009, 2007, and 2003 National Magazine Award for General Excellence. It is published by The Washington Post Company in Washington, D.C., USA. Its topics include global politics, economics and ideas.
Josh Rogin is staff writer for The Cable of The Foreign Policy Magazine.

13 October 2009

Focus given to the Northeast Asia nuclear-weapon-free zone at the PNND Annual Assembly

*Click the title above to read the Japanese version of this release.

(New York 13 October) Parliamentarians and experts from around the globe gathered at the 2009 PNND Assembly, which took place in New York on October 11th and 12th. The two-day conference on “the role of parliamentarians in advancing nuclear abolition” was divided into several sessions and speakers from a dozen countries tackled the challenges of nuclear disarmament before an audience of one hundred legislators and specialists.

The event notably enabled PNND South Korean Co-President Mikyung Lee and Japan Council Member Tadashi Inuzuka to meet for the first time. Both parliamentarians decided to develop a plan that would bring Japanese and Koreans together in promoting a Northeast Asia Nuclear-Weapon- Free zone.

According to a draft treaty based on a NGO working paper adopted in 2008 by a DPJ’s parliamentary group, Northeast Asia Nuclear-Weapon-Free zone should rely on current six-party talks with a 3 (ROK, DPRK and Japan) plus 3 (China, Russia and the United States) framework, non-dependence to nuclear weapons, negative security assurances and obligations to educate current and future generations on the consequences of atomic bombings.

The last session was followed by a public panel on “advancing the UNSG’s five-point plan on nuclear disarmament”. Chaired by Jonathan Granoff, President of the Global Security Institute, the discussion group saw the participation of Mr. Inuzuka from the National Diet of Japan, Mr. Kucinich from the U.S. Congress, Mr. Lee from the ROK Assembly, and Ms. Zapf from the German Bundestag.

The Annual Assembly ended with the PNND Council meeting on October 12th, where various matters, such as activity reports, regional updates, partnerships and funding, were discussed and decided upon.

A delegation of senior PNND members then met with United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon and presented him the Parliamentarians’ Statement Supporting a Nuclear Weapons Convention.

16 June 2009

UN expert on Somalia implores the Japanese legislatures for a "cerebral approach" in the new antipiracy bill

*Click the title above to read the Japanese version of this release.

The five prominent pirate centers in Somalia
(Click the map to see in full size)

(TOKYO 16 June) Appearing before the Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defense at the Upper House of the National Diet (Japanese parliament) on Tuesday to discuss the efficacy of a Japan's original Anti-Piracy Measures Bill, the UN expert on conflict prevention, Mr. Desmond J. Molloy of Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, implored the Japanese legislatures to take a more "cerebral approach" in dealing with the Somali pirates issues off the coast of defacto dysfunct Somalia.

In his testimony, Mr. Molloy appealed to the Members of the Committee that in dealing with the Somali-originated pirates, the international flotilla is not a sustainable or cost-effective solution. Rather, Mr. Molloy suggested that instead of continuing with the "contingency activitiy," intelligence and policing activity will have a "greater impact". Referring the current opearation as only causing a so-called "cockroach effect," where one will be faced with dispersal of the bug even if one squashes one out of a swarm of them, Mr. Molloy made the following recommendations to the legislatures in considering drafting laws to counter piracy in the Gulf of Aden:

  • Careful mapping of key actors in piracy
  • Sustained pursuit of criminal prosecution of major (warlord) perpetrators by UN and Western interests
  • Confiscation of foreign criminally acquired assets of those families engaged in piracy (most leading families have dual citizenship in Western countries with assets located there)
  • Acknowledgement by the international community regarding the pillage of fish resources and toxic dumping in Somali territorial waters; sanction against those perpetrating this theft
  • Community based compensation through community capacity building investment with context sensitive organizations such as SAACID
Mr. Molloy's argument was well-received and legislatures from all parties engaged in a heated dicussion over whether Japan's participation in the flotilla is indeed a viable short-term solution to the problem, and how Japan can maximize its valuable experience in the Straits of Malacca, where Japan Coast Guard successfully managed to install RECAAP or Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery in Asia.

As its name stands, RECAAP is a regional cooperation organization to counter piracy in Asia which was created by the initiative of Japanese authorities. Another testifier argued that in the longrun, though it make take decades, a Somali-version of RECAAP could be envisioned.

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