Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Article 9 of the Constitution of Japan (CLE)

Friends interested in peace, law and/or Japan may be interested in our next class:
Professor Mark Chinen of the Seattle University School of Law will give a presentation on Article 9 of the Constitution of Japan, from noon – 1 p.m., at the WSBA Offices, 1325 4th Ave., Ste. 600, Seattle, 98101.

Article 9 has stirred controversy since the Constitution came into effect 60 years ago. The provision, which with the rest of the Constitution emerged out of the Allied Occupation of Japan, can be interpreted as prohibiting Japan from using armed force even in self-defense.

Over time, however, Japan has developed a significant military force that has grown in both strength and scope, and Japan is increasingly being asked to expand its participation in international peacekeeping missions and collective security activities, particularly after 9/11. This expansion has sparked intense debate about whether or not Japan is in violation of Article 9, which in turn has raised questions about the meaning and vitality of constitutionalism in Japan, and whether it is possible for a modern nation state to eschew military force.

Professor Chinen will give a brief presentation and lead a discussion on the history and interpretation of Article 9, as well as more recent calls to amend it. The presentation and discussion will focus on how Article 9 provides a unique window into Japan, its self-identity, its views on national security and its relationship with the United States, and more broadly, the relationship between law and peace and security, on both the national and international levels. Section members Ken Ellingwood and Jay Hastings will provide brief comments based upon their personal experiences with Japan.

Cost: WPTL Section members: Free, Non-WPTL Section members: $25, Law students: $10 (includes section membership). Guests ok on space-available basis.

Preregistration will soon be at

1 general Continuing Legal Education (CLE) credit applied for. We hope to see you there!

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