Japan’s Apology to Her WWII Asian Victims
One of the most meaningful forms of apology is one that encompasses action. Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution is an action of reconciliation, enacted on a daily basis. Therefore this form of apology is a living document, infinite in its scope providing Article 9 remains a vital part of the constitution. Most official government apologies are words only and relatively short in duration. Japan’s apology via Article 9 may become a template for world peace, not only an apology but also an inspiration for all nations.
As for Japan vs Switzerland or any other “peace” country, Article 9 and the peace constitution are not perfect, and the so-called security pact with the U.S. (really meaningless in the aftermath of 9/11) Japan as a major industrial power in the world must be given credit for not engaging combat troops in any war for 68 years, not one soldier or civilian attacked or lost in that time. The U.S. has been after Japan to drop Article 9 since 1950, but the Japanese people insist on keeping their peace constitution. I draw a sharp distinction between governments and their people. Major industrial governments are Empire builders. Their people protest, but have little power to do more. The Japanese government is to a large extent dictated to by the U.S., the most warmongering nation in history. Do you see the American people rising up to overthrow their leaders?
Consider this. If Abe is successful in abolishing the peace constitution, the Japanese government will be free to develop nuclear weapons. That idea has never been discussed while Article 9 is on the books. Do the Chinese people want the Japanese people to have nuclear weapons? How about Korea, the Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia. Do Okinawan people need nukes. All the major industrial powers maintain nuclear arsenals, with missiles ready to launch. Abe cannot compete on the world stage without nuclear weapons. Is that preferable to having a peace constitution?
The United Nations mandate established in 1945 was to abolish war making. Article 9 has achieved that for 68 years. Peace is possible – imperfect as it is. As Noam Chomsky says, “Article 9 should serve as an inspiration and a model for the world to follow.”