Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution: A Conflict Transformation Perspective

Degree Name

MA in International Education

First Advisor

Tatsushi Arai


Often in peace activism, advocacy of an issue can create pro/anti dualism around an issue. While advocacy work is very important, in some cases where a shared future for sustainable peace needs to be envisioned, advocacy can shut down dialogue. Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution can be seen as such an issue.

This research asks the following question, “In viewing the controversy surrounding Article 9 as an episode manifesting from deeper conflicts, what opportunities for growth and transformation toward a more sustainable positive peace in Japan can be explored?”

The context of Article 9 in this paper takes into consideration post-war industrialization, the incorporation of neoliberalism, issues of security and ecology, as well as the long-lasting effect of deep trauma resulting from Japan’s defeat in WWII.

Using the tools and lessons from Conflict Transformation, this paper analyzes the deeper roots of the controversy surrounding Article 9. It explores what greater systems and subsystems Article 9 (the issue) is a part of, in order to identify the resulting polarization or perceived incompatibility of goals. Recommendations for the building of a sustainable positive peace incorporate this analysis.


Peace and Conflict Studies

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