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Constitution and Narrative in the Age of Crisis in Japan

Sat, June 25, 8:30 to 10:20am, Shikokan (SK), Floor: 1F, 110


Prime Minister Shinzō Abe has achieved a definite political victory by passing the so-called security bills, not by changing the text of article 9, but by changing its interpretation. However, this victory is no more than an illusion. The security system, born through a convoluted process of deliberation, not only violates the constitution but lacks legislative rationality in the first instance and hence is unusable. Further, the Japanese people’s thinking about security remains completely unchanged, since the bills’ passage avoided constitutional deliberation. Put concisely, the year 2015 was consumed in the process of drawing out Prime Minister Abe’s personal narrative of fulfilling the dream of constitutional revision that his grandfather Kishi Nobusuke left unfinished. Japan, a country of the rule of law, is in danger of changing to a country steeped in the prime minister’s personal narrative. If the LDP’s draft for a new constitution is enacted, Japan will abandon its universal principles and retreat into a narrative of isolation. My presentation will confirm this thesis through a comparison of the LDP’s draft for a new constitution and text of the present constitution.