Book Review:What is deeply hidden in the Right to Collective Self-defense by Nobuyuki Matsutake / Heibonsha / Sept. 2013

5 It is said that the Abe government has decided to put off till next summer the change of the interpretation of the Constitution that forbids the exercise of the right to collective self-defense.
 In this book the author, tries to answer the question of what is really this right that the Abe government wants to materialize with such tenacity. For that purpose he brings out the real image of this right, which is not well known in Japan, through concrete examples of its use, and a review of the interpretation of International Law.
 What becomes clear with all this is the fact that this right has been used only as an excuse for invasive military attacks.
The Abe government, without giving a single glance to this reality, is just emphasizing to the people the need for this right, using freely a kind of “Fictitious Logic”. The most fictitious of this logic is that the use of the right to collective self-defense is made by normal countries, and that to forbid its use by the Constitution, as Japan does, is looked by the world as peculiar. But the fact is that it has been brought to light that the only countries that have exercised the right to collective self-defense are, the U.S.A. and the old Soviet Union, both of them specially strong military powers.
The author thinks that the reason why the Abe government sticks to the right to collective self-defense is to display to the world Japan’s military power, and to make its own objective the upkeep of the Japan-U.S.A. alliance、to show its loyalty to the military policy of the U.S.A.
 In the second part the author comes up with his counterproposal to the right to collective self-defense for the contribution of Japan to world peace. Under the principle  “not to take away the life of any person of another country”, the action for peace of Japan’s Self-defense Forces in an armed conflict should be to enter unarmed, bring about an armistice and supervise it. According to the author, the fundamental rule for any action for peace should be the following. “If another country is invaded helps it, if another country invades some other one criticizes the invader”.
When I read this, a suggestion came across my mind. If somebody is bullied help him, if somebody bullies another criticize the one bullying”.
 The fundamental principle to build a world peaceful order should be that our group personal relations are restored to what it should be normal. In amazement I could not but agree to it. (Yamamoto Keisuke, staff member of Tokyo Jesuit Social Center)

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