Foreign Policy Research Institute A Nation Must Think Before it Acts Should Japan Amend Article 9 of the Constitution?

Should Japan Amend Article 9 of the Constitution?

Common Core:
*CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.1 — Reading
Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; cite specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text.
*CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.2 — Reading
Determine central ideas or themes of a text and analyze their development; summarize the key supporting details and ideas.
*CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.3 — Reading
Analyze how and why individuals, events, or ideas develop and interact over the course of a text.
*CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.8 — Reading
Delineate and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, including the validity of the reasoning as well as the relevance and sufficiency of the evidence.
*CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.9 — Reading
Analyze how two or more texts address similar themes or topics in order to build knowledge or to compare the approaches the authors take.
*CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.2 — Writing
Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content.
*CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.3 — Writing
Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, well-chosen details and well-structured event sequences.
*CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.4 — Writing
Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
*CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.6 — Writing
Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and to interact and collaborate with others.
Introduce precise claim(s), distinguish the claim(s) from alternate or opposing claims, and create an organization that establishes clear relationships among the claim(s), counterclaims, reasons, and evidence.
*CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.9-10-.1.a– Comprehension and Collaboration
Come to discussions prepared, having read and researched material under study; explicitly draw on that preparation by referring to evidence from texts and other research on the topic or issue to stimulate a thoughtful, well-reasoned exchange of ideas.
*CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.9-10.1.b — Comprehension and Collaboration
Work with peers to promote civil, democratic discussions and decision-making, set clear goals and deadlines, and establish individual roles as needed.
*CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.9-10.1.d — Comprehension and Collaboration
Respond thoughtfully to diverse perspectives; synthesize comments, claims, and evidence made on all sides of an issue; resolve contradictions when possible; and determine what additional information or research is required to deepen the investigation or complete the task.

Students will prepare for the debate using background knowledge of the primary sources of Japan’s Constitution of 1951 and 1960. In addition, students will be reading secondary sources that represent Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s reason for amending the constitution. The first article explores Japan’s need for a bigger defense program. The second is an article by the LDP vice president who says ‘zero possibility’ of Article 9 being amended, thus exploring the political issues
against it. The third article outlines the opposing views of economic benefits and the rights of the country itself.

Students will prepare both the positives and negatives of amending the constitution. In addition they will explore the impact how such a change to Japanese military would have on Japan and the rest of the world.

This lesson will occur after the Victory in Japan in WWII after a basic understanding of Article 9 of Japan’s Constitution.
• The links to the articles used for the debate can be found under the material section. These should be read for homework prior to the day of the debate.
Students should prepare a pro and con list for the debate with at least five detailed bullets each side.
• Students should come in on the day of the debate divided into groups of 5. Two people will be on the pro-side and two people will be arguing for the con-side. One person will be the moderator. This is typically done at random. (Groups can be done in groups of three or you could use a whole class model if preferred.)
• Students can be given a few minutes to prepare further once they know which side they will be debating on.

Article by Reiji Yoshida on July 6, 2016- LDP vice-president says zero possibility Abe will revise article 9 upper house poll win

Article by Kyodo on February 3, 2016- Abe explicit call amendment Constitutions Article 9

Voices from the street by Stephen Carr on July 20,2016

Views from Gifu: Now Abe has the numbers, is it time to tweak the Constitution?

  • Rachelle Myllymaki
  • Middletown High School
Grade Level
  • High School: 9
Time Frame
  • Approximately 90 minutes

If you have any questions about this lesson plan, or if you wish to contact the author, please email us at [email protected]