2021: Article 9 & Okinawa
Article 9 of the Japanese
Peace Constitution and Peace
in Asia -Prayer from Okinawa
ー 沖縄からの祈り ー
The 7th Global lnter-Religious Conference on Article 9
of the Japanese Peace Constitution
Article 9 of the Peace Constitution & Okinawa
KOBAYASHI Takeshi, Okinawa University, Okinawa Christian University
April 25 , 2020
A heartfelt welcome to all of you who have come together from throughout the world. I am very
pleased that we have done our best to overcome the novel coronavirus and are fortunately able to
gather here in Okinawa.
This year’s Global Inter-religious Conference on Article 9 has a theme of “Article 9 of the Japanese
Peace Constitution and Peace in Asia – Prayer from Okinawa.” For the keynote address I would like
to consider The Constitution of Japan – referred to by the people of the world as the “Peace
Constitution” – here in Okinawa, particularly the significance of pacifism as shown in Article 9. This
Constitution supports the effort humankind has put toward living as people in peace, while at the
same time, the people have made this Constitution their own and protected it from hostile politics.
This mutual relationship is said to be one of the distinctive features of Japan's postwar history.
In this keynote address, I would like to look at these types of characteristics of the Peace
Constitution from the perspectives of universality and uniqueness.
1 The Integrated Structure of Article 9 of the Constitution of Japan & the Right to Live in Peace
Article 9 of the Constitution of Japan, as is already well known, stipulates renunciation of all acts
of war (paragraph 1) as well as rejection of both the maintenance of any war potential and the right
to belligerence (paragraph 2); it is the standard that forms the foundation of a pacifism that
completely denies war. At the same time, paragraph 2 of the Preamble of the Constitution,
recognizes that all peoples of the world have the right to be able “to live in peace, free from fear and
want.” This right, referred to as the “right to live in peace,” along with the Article 9 renunciation of
war form two pillars of pacifism. ...