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Presentation at the University of Michigan, April 15 2011.

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Presentation on theme: "Presentation at the University of Michigan, April 15 2011."— Presentation transcript:

1 Presentation at the University of Michigan, April

2  Based on book authored by the presenter (Winkler, Christian 2010: The Quest for Japan’s New Constitution, Routledge)  Tale of two “Constitutions”, i.e. condition of nation and supreme law  Problems of discussing Constitutional Reform 1. Polarizing nature of the debate 2. Widely accepted “myths” concerning the nature of the quest for Constitutional reform and the supposed consensus within pro- reform camp 3. Very strong focus on Article 9

3 Conservatives evidently do not like Japan’s present state of affairs Keep proposing visions for a better tomorrow that entail more or less bold changes To change Japan for the better, revision of the “symbol” and “key element” of postwar Japan, i.e. the Constitution viewed a necessity ⇒ Are the conservatives’ amendment proposals reflective of their visions for a better Japan?

4  27 Constitutional amendment proposals published between 1980 and 2009 by conservative politicians, parties, intellectuals, media organizations  Based on analysis of revisions proposed to Articles 1, 2, 9, 11-13&97, 24 as well as stipulations pertaining to environmental protection and the duty to defend the nation and obey by the law

5 Criticism of Postwar Japan Vision for a Better “Post- Postwar” Japan Constitutional Reform Draft

6 Theme 1 Emperor System Chapter 1: Emperor Theme 2 National Security Chapter 2 / Article 9 Theme 3 National Society Chapter 3: Rights and Duties

7 CriticismVisionReform draft Wide-spread support for symbolic Emperor- system and popular sovereignty Retention of current system: Vision = reality Symbolic Tennō- system and popular sovereignty retained in drafts BUT: Tennō not „doorman of PM‘s office“ Emperor as formal head of state Explicitly state position (“head of state”) Fear of abolitionUnalterable traditionPosition based on tradition, not will of currently living people Against female TennōRetention of exclusively male lineage Retain Article 2 in its current form

8 CriticismVisionsReform draft (Re-)interpretation of Art. 9 reached its limits “Normal army”Delete Art.9 P.2 Add National Army US-Japan Alliance still one-sided Strengthen alliance with US Enable collective self- defense “One-Nation Passive Pacifism” doesn’t work More assertive national security policy Add stipulations for SDF dispatch abroad Days of bilateral alliances are over Build either regional or value-based multilateral alliances X

9 CriticismVisionReform draft “Gone-too-far” individualism, ego- centrism, materialism Dignified nation whose people are compassionate and proud of their country’s history and traditions, think beyond materialism Limit rights Revised Fundamental Law on Education Disproportion between rights & duties Add new duties Limit rights Lack of national identity Revised Fundamental Law on Education Decline of the traditional family Revival of traditional family Add protection of family to Art.24 Destruction of natural environment Beautiful environmentFair environment to be protected

10 ModerateCentristReactionary Democratic Art.1Emperor as formal head of stateSovereign Authoritarian Based on people’s willBased on tradition Popular sovereigntyAuthoritarian 11-13No changes Limitations on fundamental human rights Rejection of fundamental human rights 9 Right to (collective) self-defense SDF missions abroadN/A Universalistic C.3 N/ADuty to defend the nation Traditionalist Ban of conscriptionN/AForced conscription 2♂+♀♂+♀Exclusively male lineage 13,24Individual dignity, essential equality of sexesRejection C.3Environmental protectionN/A Illustration originally published in Winkler 2010: 173

11 Illustration originally published in Winkler 2010: 176

12 Illustration originally published in Winkler 2010: 188

13 1950 – Differential Moderate18%16% -2% Centrist46%65% +19% Reactionary36%19% -17%

14  Drafts reflective of development of postwar conservatism and its visions  Constitutional reform drafts since 1980s neither radical reform (“break-away from postwar regime”) nor attempts to bomb Japan back to the 1930s  Reactionary tendencies a thing of the past, instead genuinely conservative

15 Thank you for your attention


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