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Article 9 of the Constitution of Japan

The Constitution of Japan has the Article 9 "No War" clause.

Article 9 of the Constitution of Japan was added on its adoption in 1947 and concerns the military of Japan.

ARTICLE 9. Aspiring sincerely to an international peace based on justice and order, the Japanese people forever renounce war as a sovereign right of the nation and the threat or use of force as means of settling international disputes.

In order to accomplish the aim of the preceding paragraph, land, sea, and air forces, as well as other war potential, will never be maintained. The right of belligerency of the state will not be recognized.

Soon after the adoption of the constitution of Japan in 1947, there was a desire on the part of the US occupation forces for Japan to take a more active military role in the struggle against communism.

Some historians attribute the inclusion of Article 9 to Charles Kades, one of MacArthur's closest associates, who was impressed by the spirit of the 1928 Kellogg-Briand Pact renouncing war. MacArthur himself claimed that the idea had been suggested to him by Prime Minister Shidehara. The article's acceptance by the Japanese government may in part be explained by the desire to protect the imperial throne. Some Allied leaders saw the emperor as the primary factor in Japan's warlike behavior. His assent to the "No War" clause weakened their arguments in favor of abolishing the throne or trying the emperor as a war criminal.

Article 9 has had broad implications for foreign policy and has been reinterpreted by the ruling government as renouncing the use of force in international affairs, but not renouncing a national right to self-defense. The institution of judicial review as exercised by the Supreme Court, the status of the Self-Defense Forces, and the nature and tactics of opposition politics. This interpretation, which is opposed by many in the left-wing in Japan, allowed for the creation of the Japan Self-Defense Force. In practice, the Japanese Self-Defense Forces are very well equipped and the mariatime forces are widely considered to be stronger than the navies of Japan's neighbors.

Since the late-1990s, Article 9 has been the central feature of a dispute over the ability of Japan to undertake multilateral military commitments overseas. During the late 1980s, increases in government appropriations for the Self-Defense Forces averaged more than 5 percent per year. By 1990 Japan was ranked third, behind the then-Soviet Union and the United States, in total defense expenditures, and the United States urged Japan to assume a larger share of the burden of defense of the western Pacific. Given these circumstances, some have viewed Article 9 as increasingly irrelevant. It has remained, however, an important brake on the growth of Japan's military capabilities. Despite the fading of bitter wartime memories, the general public, according to opinion polls, continued to show strong support for this constitutional provision.

Analogues of the article 9 existed in the in the German post-war Grundgesetz. Both Eastern Germany and Western Germany had similar laws and the rearmament of these states also happened under pressure of their corresponding allies the United States and the Soviet Union. The constitution has changed over the years from "no army" to "army for self-defence or defence of NATO-allies" to include also participation in UN-missions.