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Farewell to Pacifism the Changing Facet of Japan's Constitutional Identity

Part Name
Farewell to Pacifism the Changing Facet of Japan's Constitutional Identity
Duc Tien Nguyen
Publication Year
Vol. 10 Issue. 2 Page. 343-388, 2020
Constitutional theory; Constitutional law; Constitutional identity; Constitutional dialogue; Constitutional change; Comparative law; Pacifism; Japan’s Constitution.
The term ‘constitutional identity’ has gained increasing popularity
in constitutional jurisprudence. However, it remains a contested concept
that accommodates diverse approaches to both national and transnational constitutional
issues. Drawing on Gary Jacobsohn’s work, the article will outline a
theoretical framework to locate the identity of a constitution through a comparative
law lens. To put it in perspective, the article argues that pacifism – lying at
the heart of Japan’s postwar Constitution– may be considered a constitutional
identity of Japan. On top of it, this identity is gradually changing. The article
attempts to capture its dynamic by probing recent constitutional discourses on
Japan’s self-defense stance.
Table Of Contents
I. Introduction
II. Towards a Theory of Constitutional Identity
A. Constitutional Text as a Starting Point
B. “Bounded Fluidity” – a Contextual Reading
C. Constitutional Disharmony and Dialogical Articulation
III. Critical Reflection on Constitutional Identity Theory
A. National Identity and Constitutional Identity
B. Beyond the Juri-centric Mindset
IV. Pacifism as Japan’s Constitutional Identity
A. Article 9 and Its Original Intent
B. Article 9 in Context and Its Dynamics
V. Concluding Remarks
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