JAPAN: A Judge Says No

Article Nine of the constitution that the U.S. military government imposed on Japan in 1946 states clearly that "land, sea and air forces, as well as other war potential, will never be maintained." Despite that stern injunction−and persistent criticism from left-wing groups−Japan's self-defense forces have been gradually built up to a strength of nearly 260,000 men. Now, a judge has ruled that the forces are unconstitutional.

The ruling, by Sapporo District Court Judge Shigeo Fukushima, came in response to a suit brought by a group of farmers who challenged the government's release of some state...

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