Japan's Peace Constitution
Japan's Peace Constitution
Japanese title: Eiga Nihon-koku Kempo
78 min/DVD,Video/A Siglo Production, 2005
Directed by John Junkerman
Produced by Yamagami Tetsujiro
Camera by Otsu Koshiro
Music by Soul Flower Union
In 2005, sixty years after the end of World War II, the conservative Japanese government is pressing ahead with plans to revise the nation's constitution and jettison its famous no-war clause, Article 9. This timely, hard-hitting documentary places the ongoing debate over the constitution in an international context: What will revision mean to Japan's neighbors, Korea and China? How has the US-Japan military alliance warped the constitution and Japan's role in the world? How is the unprecedented involvement of Japan's Self-Defense Force in the occupation of Iraq perceived in the Middle East?
Through interviews conducted with leading thinkers around the world, the film explores the origins of the Constitution in the ashes of war and the significance of its peace clauses in the conflicted times of the early 21st century. Key interviews include:
Pulitzer Prize-winning historian John Dower
Paris-based social theorist Hidaka Rokuro
Beate Sirota Gordon, drafter of the equal-rights clause of the Constitution
Political philosopher and activist Douglas Lummis
Political scientist Chalmers Johnson
Kang Man-Gil, president of Sangji University, South Korea
Shin Heisoo, co-representative, Korean Council for Women Drafted for Military Sexual Slavery by Japan
Korean historian Han Hong Koo
Chinese filmmaker and writer Ban Zhongyi
Syrian writer Michel Kilo
Lebanese journalist Josef Samaha
Linguist and social critic Noam Chomsky
Director John Junkerman is an American filmmaker, living in Tokyo. His first film, Hellfire: A Journey from Hiroshima, was coproduced with John Dower and nominated for an Academy Award. His 2002 film, Power and Terror: Noam Chomsky in Our Times, also produced by Siglo, received widespread theatrical distribution in Japan, the US, and Europe.
A companion book in Japanese, including the complete interviews with John Dower, Hidaka Rokuro, Chalmers Johnson, Noam Chomsky, Beate Sirota Gordon, and Han Hong Koo has been published by Foil.
Additional information on screenings and sale of the film can be found at the Siglo website, www.cine.co.jp, or by calling Siglo, in Tokyo, 03-5343-3101
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