NCCJ: Statement on the Imperial System and Fukushima

AKW Fukushima 2011

Statement on the Imperial System and the Great East Japan Earthquake Recovery & Nuclear Plant Issue


Japan’s postwar constitution was enacted with profound remorse over the war the nation initiated while under imperial sovereignty and, accordingly, affirms that sovereignty rests with the people, advocates peace and commits to respect for fundamental human rights. However, although the existence and acts of the Emperor are strictly stipulated in relevant provisions in Chapter 1 of The Constitution of Japan, the word “symbol” in reference to the Emperor is only loosely interpreted. It is a fact that powers are now emerging that aim to return sovereignty to the emperor. With exception of the war years, so-called “royal visits” by the emperor and the imperial family have taken place since the early Meiji era (1868-) with only slight modifications and are a consistent centerpiece of the visual domination that is indispensible to the imperial system. However, these acts by the emperor are not the “acts in matters of state on behalf of the people” stipulated in Article 7, and are, therefore, in violation of the Constitution.

The excessive coverage of Japanese Self Defense Force activities in the areas affected by the disasters of March 11th, the promotion of nuclear energy by conservative influences and the imperial visits to the devastated region via Self Defense Force vehicles are the methods of the imperial system in visually dominating the recovery of the country through powers that continue to deny the Emperor’s responsibility for the war. These visits to the disaster-stricken region by the Emperor and imperial family are the workings of the logic of what Mr. Tetsuya Takahashi has termed Yasukuni Shrine’s “emotional alchemy.” In other words, the war dead – victims of national policy – are enshrined as heroic spirits (gods) of Yasukuni Shrine and through the Emperor praying on the premises, emotions of bereaved families change “magically” from profound sorrow to joy. This is the deception behind honoring the spirits of the war dead. This type of act by the emperor and use of the emperor obscures the nature of the problem. That is to say that it obscures the mistakes and responsibility behind the policies of recovery and nuclear energy made by politicians, business leaders and the government. ...

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