GLOBAL ECONOMIC VIEWPOINT
Rather than letting Japan work on its self-defense
all by itself, it is
About Article 9 of the Japanese constitution: Depending on how you read it, the present self-defense forces may be constitutional or unconstitutional. And I don't think that is the way things should be.
As an independent sovereign country, we have to have self-defense capabilities. In case there is an incursion into our territories, we have to repel such attacks. And I believe it is the military that embodies that spirit, that attitude of ours. Even by going to the length of fighting militarily, we must be able to defend the safety and everyday life of the people.
And if the military embodies that sort of spirit,
then I believe the
Article 9 does actually give up fighting forces. So there was a rather strong argument, in Japan as well abroad, that the self-defense forces themselves were unconstitutional. Yet, as I have said ... there can be nothing unconstitutional about self-defense. An amendment to the Japanese constitution ought to make that point clear.
Having said this, we also have to make clear that Japan will not resort to force in order to resolve international disputes. That stipulation is important. For example, there are many countries that support Japan's becoming a member of the U.N. Security Council. In fact, Japan's contributions to the United Nations are the largest in the world alongside the United States. So there is good reason for Japan to play this international role.
At the same time, though, we shouldn't let people think that we can do exactly the same things as the other five permanent members. If Japan wants to become a member of the Security Council, we should raise our hand in a way that will not mislead the Japanese or others. We have to make it explicit that Japan must abide by Article 9 of its constitution in any international role that it plays.
I say this because the five permanent members of the Security Council take it for granted that the use of force is often the way to resolve international conflicts, that resorting to threats of use of force or use of force can be tolerated as a means of resolving international conflicts in certain cases.
Japan is different. Should there be an international
It is with that clear understanding that I believe Japan should raise its hand and say it wants to become a member of the Security Council.