Foreign Policy Research Institute A Nation Must Think Before it Acts Reforming the Japanese Constitution: Is it time to change article 9?

Reforming the Japanese Constitution: Is it time to change article 9?

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.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.R.10 — Reading
Read and comprehend complex literary and informational texts independently and proficiently.
*CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.1 — Writing
Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.
*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.
*CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.7 — Writing
Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects based on focused questions, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation
*CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.8 — Writing
Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources, assess the credibility and accuracy of each source, and integrate the information while avoiding plagiarism.
*CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.9 — Writing
Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
*CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.11-12.1 — Comprehension and Collaboration
Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 11-12 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.
*CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.11-12.1.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.11-12.1.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.11-12.1.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.
*CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.11-12.2 — Comprehension and Collaboration
Integrate multiple sources of information presented in diverse formats and media (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) in order to make informed decisions and solve problems, valuating the credibility and accuracy of each source and noting any discrepancies among the data.

• Read and learn to distinguish between primary and secondary written texts (sources)
• Identify, comprehend, and explain the structure of written arguments and claims made in specific primary and secondary sources
• Learn and summarize key concepts presented in course activities and readings through identifying, analyzing, and explaining specific claims or ideas offered in primary and secondary sources
• Learn and practice skills of critical oral expression and dialogue through interpreting and analyzing primary and secondary sources in small-group and large-group discussions
• Learn and practice the evaluation of evidence (primary and secondary sources) as a means of forming and supporting a written or oral argument about a historical topic or question
• Use conflicting evidence when necessary in learning activities to achieve historical accuracy; demonstrate the ability to evaluate and explain multiple, complex sources or ideas when explaining a thesis statement
• Develop the ability to determine, within reasonable limits, the magnitude and significance of historical changes that take place within a society or culture.
• Develop the capacity to recognize diversity, complexity, and the moral dilemmas inherent in the study of the history

Open/Warm-up: “What branch(s) have war powers?” “Do you think this design of power is appropriate for the federal government?”
• Teacher will introduce the Warm-up question and give the students 5 minutes to write a response.
• Teacher will a 2-3 minute information collection from the students’ responses. Modification: teacher could role-model on board a list of ideas explained by the students

Discovery Activity: Japanese Constitution (40 minutes)
• Teacher-lead lecture addressing the following information (20 minutes)
1. end of WWII; Japanese Surrender
2. authors of the constitution; goals of the constitution
3. present day foreign relations with China, South Korea, and North Korea
Modification: teacher could prepare this information in a PowerPoint for visual learners
• Teacher will handout Student Ready Handout 2 – Japanese Constitution and place the students into pairs (20 minutes)
Modification: partner students with stronger reading abilities with students with reading learning differences
Modification: modify the sections that the students should read (Suggestion: Introduction, Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3)
• Students will read the sections together and complete the Student Ready Handout 3

Comparison Activity: War Powers (20 minutes)
• Teacher will shift students into groups of three with no two students remaining together
• The groups create a Ven-Diagrams on large post-it sized poster sheets provided by the teacher that explains similarities and differences in war powers (location in the document, actually powers, what department of government has war powers) and hang their finish poster at is designated spot around the classroom.
Modification: teacher could create a Ven-diagram handout to use as a step before they got to the larger sheet

Gallery Walk (10 minutes)
• Teacher will instruct the students to walk around the classroom and view all the posters. (3-5 minutes)
• Teacher will lead a wrap up mini-lecture identifying the similarities and differences between the two country’s constitutions/war powers.

Reflection Essay: “Do you think it is time for Japan to reform Article 9? Why or why not?”

https://www.fpri.org/ (background and current events)
https://www.mofa.go.jp/ (background and current events)
https://www.loc.gov/law/help/war-powers.php (war powers)
https://www.loc.gov/law/help/japan-constitution/article9.php (Article 9)

Author
  • Kathy Hagee
  • Rolling Hills Prep School
Grade Level
  • High School: 12
Time Frame
  • 1 – 90 minute block

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