The Constitution of Japan, the supreme law of the state, is characterized by a pledge to renounce a war. It is, however, in the most perilous stage since its promulgation. August 15, on which Japan unconditionally surrendered in the WWII in 1945, is a day when we send our heart out to sacrifices and agonies inflicted in the last war and think over people who suffer from today's wars.
REMEMBER NO WAR PLEDGE AND ENHANCE DETERMINATION
It is 68 years since August 15, 1945. Until the hot summer day a huge number of victims had been produced. Civilians had fallen in the August 9 atomic bombing over Nagasaki, August 6 atomic bombing over Hiroshima, June 23 end of ground battles in Okinawa and March 10 air raid over Tokyo. In addition to these deaths, the imperial nation of Japan yielded another 20 million or more war casualties inside and outside of the country. It caused extraordinary miseries to far more people.
August 15 is a day of memorial of the war dead, and simultaneously we should take a fresh oath to oppose a war.
Premier Abe Wants to Recover Something Left Behind
Prime Minister Abe, however, is convinced that 68 years ago the imperial system had been left behind on August 15; he manages to recover it and elaborates propaganda campaigns smartly and in a compelling manner for the purpose.
Promulgation of a law is said to be an outcome of past records. It took the administrations long time to undermine Article Nine and justify the Self Defense Forces (SDF). A term Japan-US Alliance, which is pronounced openly today to imply a military union, used to be almost forbidden to utter.
As for the SDF deployment abroad, achievements have been steadily piled up. Poverty, a consequence of growing social gaps, has presented today an environment in which young people choose to enroll in the SDF in order to ensure their present and future lives.
The Abe government, after the July election, has successfully resolved the majority discrepancy in the Lower and Upper Houses, which Prime Minister had long wished. The administration is determined to approve a controversial law, the Secret Preservation Act, and acknowledge the right of collective defense which violates the Constitution.
Political pressures become stronger to force people to accept realities. An earlier attempt of the government to revise Article 96 seems to have been failed, but still dangers linger; the Constitution Investigation Panels work in both Houses and the Referendum Act is effective.
The US military plans to deploy aircraft Osprey in the Yokota base in the Tokyo metropolitan area. The then-Prime Minister Noda told that 'it is the US government that decided on deployment, and therefore Japan does not basically tell to do this or that, although the two are linked in the same alliance'.
If this logic goes on, the US is allowed to deploy aircraft at Yokota.
Judging from the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA), the Noda's remark is correct in the framework of the bilateral alliance. It is most of people who have been indifferent in the bilateral alliance that did not know the fact, with an exception of Okinawa people and residents living next to the US bases who suffer from dangers.
The Constitution has been eroded by the SOFA in the Japan-US Security Treaty which provides a relationship of a colonial power and a dependent state.
Be More Creative!
August 15 is not simply a day of memorial. It is essential for everyone to know about modern history of Japan which had caused sacrifices and damages to neighboring nations, learn values of the Constitution and keep them fresh in mind.
Japanese victims count 3 million, but the figure does not tell human stories. Every single death produces tragedies among his/her child or children, parents, husband and wife and friends. What does a war death mean? What does a killing mean? On August 15 we should be creative to reflect what to do.
August 13, 2013