Japan’s Peace Constitution(“Eiga nihonkoku kenpo”)
2005 / Japanese, English, Korean, Chinese, Arabic / Color / Video / 78 min
Director, Editing: John Junkerman
Photography: Otsu Koshiro
Music: Soul Flower Union
Producer: Yamagami Tetsujiro
Appearance: John Dower, Hidaka Rokuro, Beate Sirota Gordon, Noam Chomsky, Chalmers Johnson, Han Hong-koo and others
Production Company, World Sales: Siglo
Prompted by the dispatch of Japan’s Self-Defense Forces to Iraq, the debate surrounding the constitution heated up in 2005. The movement in Japan towards a hasty revision is reconsidered from a broader global perspective. Who does a constitution belong to? In this collection of interviews, intellectuals from around the world talk about the significance of the peace constitution and the story behind its enactment.
[Director’s Statement] Though it is said that Japan’s constitution was imposed on the country by the U.S. occupation army, pressure from the U.S. is likewise being imposed on the current move to revise the constitution. Japan boasts a “peace constitution,” but it is participating in the American war in Iraq. The constitution renounces the use of arms, yet Japan maintains a massive military force. I began this film, from the contradictory vantage of an American in Japan, hoping to make some sense of this contradiction-laden subject. The further I dug, the more contradictions I encountered.
John Junkerman is an American documentary filmmaker living in Tokyo. His previous work, Power and Terror: Noam Chomsky in Our Times (2002), was translated in more than ten countries and continues to be screened around the world. Other works include Hellfire: A Journey from Hiroshima (1988), which was nominated for an Academy Award, and Uminchu: The Old Man and the East China Sea (1990).