A Statesman for the Twenty-First Century?

I received a following mail and a paper from Mr. Klaus Schlichtmann. The paper is on a Japanese statesman Kijuro Shidehara. After the World War II, Japanese Constitution had to be revised. Shidehara suggested the Article 9 which declared the abolition of military force and the renunciation of war. His spirit is important for the establishment of world government.

Toshio Suzuki
Administrator of the World Government Institute

Please be careful. " @ " in E-mail address is replaced by " ! " to prevent the spam mail. For example, the correct address of " abc!w-g.jp " is " abc@w-g.jp ."

Subject: World Government; my research and publication
Date: Sun, 12 Jul 1998 22:07:25 +0900
From: "Klaus Schlichtmann" <k-schlic!hoffman.cc.sophia.ac.jp>
To: <toshio-suzuki!ma3.justnet.ne.jp>

"Initiative for UN Reform"
c/o Dr. Klaus Schlichtmann
Sophia University, Faculty of Comparative Culture
Chiyoda-ku, Yonbancho-4, 102-0081 Tokyo
home fax&phone: +81-429-892966
e-mail: k-schlic!hoffman.cc.sophia.ac.jp

To: Toshio Suzuki

12 July 1997

Dear Mr. Suzuki,

Hajimemashite! I read some of your pages on the
internet. I am also a one staff movement. I would like
to help you. Some times the English requires

With a view towards the meetings of the U.N. General Assembly that will begin in September, it may be useful to start thinking about these things and sharing some thoughts, informations and experiences. Japanese Foreign Minister Keizo Obuchi recently in Sao Paolo, Brazil, and the Brazilian Foreign Minister Luiz Lam-preia expressed concern that the "recent nuclear tests by India and Pakistan are leading some countries to shift the focus of proposed reforms of proposed reforms of the Security Council to functional improvements rather than expansion" (The Daily Yomiuri, 23 June 1998, p.1). Obuchi said that failure to pursue expansion "may undermine trust in the Security Council".

I believe that if nations can't agree to some limitations of their national sovereignty, United Nations reform will not be successful. In this context Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution is relevant. As the Japanese Prime Minister stressed in his speech before the 61st Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations on 24 September 1996, Article 9 is part of Japan's "basic philosophy", i.e. "the non-resort to the use of force prohibited by its constitution".

Shidehara Kijuro (1872-1951) who was foreign minister bnetween 1924 and 1932, and prime minister between October 1945 and May 1946, confessed in his memoires "gaiko goju-nen" (My Fifty Years Dplomacy), that he had suggested the famous "war-abolishing" clause in the constitution to General Douglas MacArthur. MacArthur himself confirmed this on several occasions. Shidehara, an internationalist and a pacifist, conveyed the idea to MacArthur on 24 January 1946. This led to MacArthur speeding up the process of constitutional revision.

At least this is what my research has revealed. I have written a book on Shidehara, and also published the following article in the "Transactions of the Asiatic Society of Japan", fourth series, volume 10, 1995, pp. 33-67, which you may like to make available on your website. I will spare you and the readers the footnotes.



Klaus Schlichtmann

Shidehara's career and active service in the Japanese foreign
ministry and government covered a span of more than fifty years.
Even during the war, in what may be called his `inner emigrat-
ion' and despite serious assaults on his person, he maintained
a seat in the Upper House of Parliament. There can be no doubt,
since he was a pacifist, that he was the most prominent among
Japanese extending `peace feelers' between 1941 to 1945, to end
the war at an early date. No doubt, his active life in the
service of the nation and of peace set the pace, in several
outstanding ways, during the first half of the twentieth century.

After the Second World War Shidehara was the `man of the

first hour'. Leading statesman and prime minister from Oktober
1945 until May 1946, because of his role in constitutional
reform, reestablishment of party democracy, the demobilization
and repatriation of Japanese servicemen, and the limitation of
the absolute, `divine' powers of the Emperor, he has to be
regarded as one of the principal architects of modern Japan.


Shidehara was born on 11 August 1872 in Kagoma village, near
Osaka, of a wealthy land-owning but non-samurai family. The same
year Shidehara was born, the Tokyo-Yokohama railway was inaugur-
ated. One year earlier, in 1871, the first ocean cable had been
laid between Nagasaki and Shanghai. The year after, 1873, saw the
introduction of compulsory military service. Following the baku-
matsu period (1853-1868) and the Meiji Restoration, the seventies
saw a general turn-about towards Western models and methods of
education. 1883, eleven years old Shidehara joined the Middle-
school in Osaka, where native speakers from the United States and
Britain taught English. According to Prof. Takemoto, Shidehara
is reported to have been "a spirited child who occasionally
needed disciplining from adults."

The intellectual climate of the post-bakumatsu early Meiji

was that of the juyu minken undo, the liberal Peoples' Rights
Movement, which owed much to Nakae Chomin (1847-1901), one of the
numerous scholars who lived through the bakumatsu, and studied
carefully the new Western ideas and their environment. In 1871
Nakae had gone to France for three years, where he became friends
with genr Saionji Kinmochi (1849-1940). In 1882 he published his
Japanese translation of Jean Jacques Rousseau's Le contrat
social, and was elected 1890 into the first Japanese parliament.
In this intellectual climate Shidehara grew up a keen and
spirited student of international law and diplomacy.

An important event was the conclusion of the Anglo-Japanese trade
agreement in 1894. The treaty stipulated that the so-called
`unequal treaties' comprising extraterritoriality for foreign
residents and restrictions in tariffs and trade, should be abol-
ished within five years. The `Triple Intervention' following
Japanese victory in the 1894-5 Sino-Japanese War, however, made
it clear to young Shidehara that there was need for young diplo-
mats to serve the country to obtain justice and equal treatment
for Japan in the comity of nations.

After obtaining an academic degree as Bachelor of Law from Tokyo
Imperial University in 1895, Shidehara in 1896, one year after
the end of the first Sino-Japanese war, then twenty three years
old, passed his exams to enter the diplomatic service. He was an
extremely bright student, and for this reason, was "from a
young age picked out for his special capacity." Shidehara, it
seems, was sponsored by both Saionji Kinmochi and Okuma Shigeno-
bu, the great liberal progressive Meiji oligarch. Saionji later
admired what came to be known as the `Shidehara diplomacy' in the
1920s, praising it for being `strong' and `positive'.

In the beginning of 1897 Shidehara was sent on his first

assignment as Vice-Consul at Inchon, Korea, a country that had
been `opened' by Japan in 1876. His superior at that time was
Ishii Kikujiro (1866-1945), with whom he developed a close
friendship and cooperation. In Korea also, Shidehara first came
into contact with Akizuki Satsuo, the one-time Japanese Consul
in Seoul, with whom he later conspired to bring about an end to
the war in the 1940s. Akizuki had also become an admiror of
Bertha von Suttner, who often repeated: "The twentieth century
will not end without mankind's getting rid of society's main
scourge, i.e. war, as a legal institution."

In Korea some reformist politicians had favoured a pro-

Japanese course. But it was not until Dr. So Chaep'il founded his
`Independence Club' (Tongnip Hyophoe) that an indigenous Korean
political reform movement in the modern sense gained momentum and
influence, and a remarkable following. Although Shidehara's
position at the Japanese legation in Inchon was not very impor-
tant, he contributed to facilitating communications with some of
the representatives of the foreign powers. In particular were the
Japanese able to carry on good working relations with the British
representatives. Thus, Shidehara and the younger sister of the
British minister developed a liking for each other. He used to
discuss matters with her, such as the forthcoming peace confer-
ence at The Hague in all likelihood, and other political issues
of international and immediate concern. ost of the time during
those three years, when the `Independence Club' thrived, and the
First Hague Peace Conference was in preparation, Shidehara served
in Korea. Little later the `Independence Club' was prohibited and
its members persecuted, resulting in an exodus of political
refugees, mostly to Japan. In any event, during this time
Shidehara gathered much practical experience, and became familiar
with the major power constellations and interests, political
ideas and programs etc.

Up until 1905, although critical voices concerning Japanese

intentions in Korea increased, John Newell Jordan for one, seems
to have "dismissed criticism of Japanese behaviour in Korea as
an `exaggeration', because her [Japan's] soldiers were regarded
as `a model of restraint' and the Japanese were undertaking `the
stupendous task' of reforms" in Korea. In fact, prior to and
during the Russo-Japanese war in 1904-5 world public opinion had
sided with Japan, who, it was thought, was pursuing a just cause
in Korea against the Russians. This changed rapidly when during
the Portsmouth peace conference after the war had ended, the
Russian delegate Count Witte, an otherwise unscrupulous and
morally questionable character, somehow succeeded in turning
public opinion, especially in the United States, against

Shidehara's next assignment was to London. He left Kobe at

about the same time the First Peace Conference was held at The
Hague in the Netherlands (8 May to 29 July 1899), to which the
Russian Tsar, Nicholas II, had officially invited. It was the
first international conference convened in times of peace where
governments officially talked about disarmament and the peaceful
settlement of disputes between nation-states, by legal procedure
(or due process of law) instead of armed struggle. It is likely
that the ongoing conference was a major topic on board the ship,
on which Shidehara sailed. The Hague Peace Conference was the
predecessor of the League of Nations, welcomed by Shidehara.

Shidehara reached London via Paris on 18 August. He stayed

in London over a year, until December 1900, attending sessions
in the British Parliament and making newspaper cuttings covering
important political events. His superior in London was Kat Taka-
aki (1860-1926), a liberal, who headed the progressive Doshikai
or Kenseikai party. Shidehara apparently was seriously consider-
ing to marry John Jordan's younger sister, but on the advice of
Kat it seems he decided to sacrifice his personal wishes for his
career. What he did not sacrifice, however, was the profound
idealism and humanism he must have shared with that woman.

From London he went as Consul to Antwerp, where he seems to

have taken the opportunity to study and discuss some of the
constitutional issues related to international law. Naturally
Shidehara was well versed in both constitutional and internation-
al law, well acquainted with the revolutionary French constit-
ution (which already contained an anti-war clause), and the
American constitution and their respective histories. It is said
that he had a good working knowledge of French.

On 30 January 1902 Japan and Great Britain concluded the

Anglo-Japanese Alliance (Nichiei dmei), for mutual assistance.
Komura Jutaro, who signed the treaty on the Japanese side, had
hailed it as "the cornerstone of Japanese diplomacy". There was
a strong desire to include Germany in the pact, but this intent
was not appreciated by Germany. The pact, however, was instru-
mental in bringing about Japan's victory in the war with Russia
(1904-1905). This was the political setting, in which Shidehara
was to emerge as one of the major players in international
politics. There were popular anticipations of great change at the
turn of the century, accompanied by hope and enthusiasm for the
coming of a new age with new possibilities, although it should
be remembered that this was still the age of colonialism and
imperialism. Nevertheless, while it lasted, the idea of peace
prevailed. A second peace conference was held in 1907, at The
Hague. In spite - or because of - its public appeal, however, in
Germany for example, the foreign ministry had ordered the press
to report negatively or not at all on the peace conferences.

In Japan specially, diplomats were more concerned with the

final abolition of the unequal treaties. The Conference therefore
was seen rather in the light of attaining equal status with the
West than in terms of bargaining for a permanent peace, a bargain
in which Japan had no voice anyway. The Japanese attitude was one
of caution, even mistrust regarding the intentions of the Western
powers. Having been under the strong influence of Prussian milit-
arism since the defeat of France by Germany in 1871, moreover,
the decision not to rely on bankoku koho, the Law of Nations, had
already been made when in the early 1870s the Iwakura Mission was
advised by the German chancellor Bismarck in Berlin that it was
better to rely on arms than on international law.

On the question of the means to achieve its ends, the Japa-

nese leadership was - and had always been - divided. For Shide-
hara, however, it was the most important question. He was firmly
convinced that the end never justifies the means. In his opinion,
this was essential for realizing any future project that could

In 1903 Shidehara married Iwasaki Masako from the famous
Tosa samurai family that had founded and controlled the
Mitsubishi zaibatsu, and which became politically associated with
the Kenseikai party of Okuma Shigenobu. The `Kenseikai cabinets'
in the twenties were identified with parliamentary democracy,
pacifism, and free economic enterprise. Masako had become a
Christian and was therefore automatically strongly inclined
towards Christian pacifism, such as Uchimura Kanzo wrote about
in his articles appearing in the Yorozu Choho around the turn of
the century, a newspaper with a circulation of 150 000 copies at
the time, whose co-editor Uchimura was. Ueda Katsumi in an essay
on Tabata Shinobu, the great legal scholar, who died in 1993,
observes: "Tabata could not discover a link which connected
Shidehara to Japan's past pacifist thinkers... although Shidehara
was not a Christian, his wife was. Tabata [himself a Christian]
presumes that God's will may have worked upon Shidehara through
his wife's Christian influence..."

From 1904 to 1911 Shidehara served in the Telegraphic and

Research Department of the Foreign Ministry. Virtually all im-
portant information concerning Japan and world political affairs
during that time passed through his office. Shidehara's col-
leagues especially came to regard his brilliant command of the
English language a `national treasure' (kokuho). Shidehara
became so much conversant with English that he used to write
manuscripts of diplomatic documents first in English and then
translated them into Japanese.

While working in the Telegraphic Department Shidehara became

closely associated with Henry W. Denison (1846-1924), an Amer-
ican, who served as advisor to the ministry from 1880 to 1915.
First contacts with Denison had been during Shidehara's Korea
days. From Denison Shidehara obtained a profound training and
thorough knowledge of international treaty law and standard
Western legal philosophy. He became acquainted with the subtle-
ties of diplomatic and juridical language and style. Also, in his
memoirs Gaiko gojunen, he relates, how he used to `memorize a few
pages from the classics every day', to improve his memory and
knowledge of English. Shidehara possessed the essential qua-
lities of the diplomat: an excellent memory, moral integrity, and
patience. From Denison Shidehara inherited the latters diaries
and diplomatic notes, collected over a period of several decades
in the service of the Japanese foreign ministry, for his own

Shidehara always appeared a perfect gentleman, sporting a bowler
hat and walking stick, having his suits made from the best
London tailor, and, after he returned from Washington, where
he became ambassador, bringing his Cadillac along with him. At
the same time, he often neglected typical traditional Japanese
customs in respect to hierarchy, such as the `superior-inferior'
relationships (oyabun-kobun), including even onshi (a particular
feeling of respect for a former teacher), giri-gimu (social
duties) and ninjo (showing benevolence). According to Bamba
Nobuya, the outstanding scholar on Shidehara and international
relations, Shidehara was "a modern `free-floating' man" and a
`loner'. His only pertinent contention was with real issues,
and he went about dealing with them in a most straightforward
manner, without caring for factions or even public opinion. Never
having joined a political party, he stood for a `non-partisan
diplomacy' (choto gaiko), as he himself called it. Although he
has frequently been called a `career diplomat', it is doubtful
whether the term applies in the case of Shidehara. The American
diplomat William Franklin Sands, who was ambassador in Japan and
Korea around the turn of the century, makes the point by contra-
sting the traditional type of the obedient burocrat with that of
the "professional executive", who has to decide and act by
himself, and formulate and enforce his political concepts.
Shidehara seems to have been of the latter type. He was the
perfect example of what the British diplomat and author Harold
Nicolson (1886-1968) describes as a basic condition for success-
ful diplomacy, i.e. to adhere to "those principles of courtesy,
confidence and discretion which must for ever remain the only
principles conducive to the peaceful settlement of disputes."

Following the failure of the Second Hague Peace Conference

in 1907 there were preparations to hold a third peace conference
in 1915, when it was hoped that the powers opposing arbitration,
and legal procedure in place of war, could be outvoted by intro-
ducing majority voting procedures, making arbitration compulsory.
Several events signalled hope in 1911: the declaration of the
Chinese Republic following the collapse of Manchu rule, Japan's
attainment of full national sovereignty and equality with the
powers, the International Races Congress in London (July), the
19th International Peace Congress in Rome (October), and other
milestones on the way to achieve some kind of world political

The Chinese revolution of 1911 had been largely made in

Japan and could have become a platform for change, corresponding
to Western political and intellectual concerns. There was
still hope that a new time of peace and prosperity might come

In September 1912 Shidehara went to Washington to become the

`right hand' of Ambassador Chinda Sutemi (later one of the chief
negotiators at the Versailles Peace Conference), at a time of
strong prejudice against Japanese immigration. This was a very
sensitive issue. Faced with a situation bearing a great potential
for conflict between the United States and Japan, it was Shide-
hara who had to handle and alleviate the grievances. Later, in
1921, Shidehara as ambassador again negotiated to obtain a
compromise concerning discriminatory legislation for immigration
in the United States.

On 7 December 1912 Emperor Meiji had died. The Taisho

period, which followed, saw a "social phenomenon, the rise of the
masses." People were becoming more self-conscious and demand-
ing civil rights and liberties. When on 21 December 1912 army-
general Katsura Tar replaced the liberal Saionji Kinmochi as
prime minister, political parties, the labour union, intellec-
tuals and businessmen protested and called for constitutional
government to be established by popular vote. This was called
the `Taisho crisis'. After mass demonstrations in front of the
parlament building the reactionary Katsura cabinet had to resign.

While the political situation in Europe deteriorated, in

December 1913 Shidehara went from Washington to London on an
assignment, as counsellor to the embassy. It is likely that these
missions were somehow related to the British efforts to avert
war, i.e. the London Ambassadors' Conferences in 1912/13, and to
the British foreign minister Edward Grey's attempt on 25 July
1914 to `reactivate the traditional system for arbitration'.

In June 1914 he became Japanese minister plenipotentiary to

The Hague and Copenhagen, a much coveted post as there were no
Japanese ambassadors in those countries, and the minister was the
highest representative. Two days after his arrival in the
Netherlands the Austrian crown prince was killed at Sarajewo (28
June), and shortly after the First World War started. Over a year
Shidehara remained in his post.

Sir Edward Grey (1862-1933) and James Bryce (1838-1922) were

the two foreign diplomats, who had a great influence on Shide-
hara. From James Bryce, the British ambassador with whom he
had associated closely while in Washington in 1912/13, he learned
never to lose sight of the long-term perspectives in internation-
al relations. "Bryce told Shidehara that the life and destiny of
a nation was eternal, and in the face of this eternal life a five
or ten year waiting period was nothing to fret about." From
Sir Edward Grey he learnt the two most important principles of
diplomacy: "high moral standards and non-partisan diploma-
cy..." The British foreign minister Grey, whom Shidehara had
met in London in 1913, became the most prominent advocate in
1916, of a League of Nations.

In October 1915 Shidehara became vice minister under Ishii

Kikujiro as foreign minister in the cabinet of Count Okuma. For
almost five years, under five different cabinets, he remained in
this post. During this time in Japan political parties started
to "control the cabinet as weIl as important political appoint-
ments." Shidehara strictly followed his `non-partisan diploma-
cy', and never joined a political party until after the Second
World War. The following sentence by Gustav Stresemann, the
German foreign minister in the twenties, and Shidehara's collegue
in office, could well have come from Shidehara: "Anybody
wrestling with the problems of the present and the future can
give his best only when he is free from the fetters (Fesseln) of

At home, Shidehara became unpopular with the military

establishment, whose activities he wished to constrain. As Ian
Nish rightly observed: "...he detested the army." Thus,
already in 1916, during the First World War, in which Japan
participated on the side of the Allies, he successfully helped
prevent the army's taking advantage of the situation by trying
to form an independent buffer state under military rule in
Manchuria which was possible due to the autonomous command
structure of the military outside Japan. By informing the
unsuspecting foreign minister Motono Ichiro (1862-1928) of the
secret plans of the military, however, the latter was able to
call back the military in time.

The Bolshevist revolution in Russia, in December 1917, led

to an interallied conference between England und France who
decided to engage in the struggles to contain the Bolschewiki.
They approached their ally, Japan, to aid in their intervention
in Sibiria and even - if necessary - advance as far as Russia.
But the "Shidehara Clique" at Kasumigaseki was against interven-
tion. In spite of such opposition, in January 1918 the Japa-
nese government sent two ships carrying troops to Vladivostok for
"the maintenance of order and for the security of the consular
corps", because the Allies maintained a big supplies depot
there. A Sino-Japanese agreement was signed in March 1918
committing China also to participate in the expedition. Japanese
troups having landed in Vladivostok eventually occupied the
coastal provinces and the Amur-valley proceding up to lake

On 24 May 1919 Shidehara conveyed to the US-government an

aide memoire stating:

Having regard to the known desire of all the Allies and
associated powers, [Japan] wishes the early reestablishment
in Russia of an orderly and efficient government with
reasonable promise of stability, and believing it proves
(?) official acknowledgement by foreign powers of the
international standing of the Omsk government will materi-
ally be much to the maintenance of peace, the Japanese
government feel the moment is opportune to consider the
question of provisional recognition to be extended to the
Omsk Government.
In 1919 a democratic-socialist wave swept across Japan. The

October revolution in Russia, in a way, had became for many
Japanese intellectuals an example to follow. Military intelli-
gence, however, had made it clear, that Russian expansion in the
South, now more menacing than ever because of its revolutionary
zeal, had to be stopped in time through Japanese military
engagement. Shidehara and other politicians like Saionji
Kinmochi, Inukai Tsuyoshi (1855-1932), Makino Nobuaki (1861-1949)
and others, however, feared that on the contrary, a military
adventure would harm the peace and Japanese-Russian commercial
relations in the area.

When Shidehara was ambassador in Washington, he tried to

bring about an honourable retreat from the Sibirian adventure.
But although he had set the line for withdrawing the troups, he
had to give in, due to the autonomous command-structure of the
military when operating outside the country. Another reason for
continuing to maintain troops in the area was the massacre at
Nikolaievsk of 700 Japanese - including women and children -
which had occured in early 1920, by the Russians, and for which
the Japanese government sought compensation. With the end of the
war the allied units were withdrawn. The Japanese troops,
however, kept their position in the coastal provinces until
October 1922 and until 1925 in Northern Sachalin.

Although Japan had the potential - and the will - to

substantially contribute to the development of those areas in
Asia that were still backward, Shidehara realized that the plan
could succeed only if Japan would join the international movement
toward greater interdependence and peaceful politics aimed at
cooperation, development and modernization. In his opoinion, even
democratic principles within a nation, however sacrosanct,
enshrined in a nation's constitution, would be of no avail if the
relations between states were not based on the rule of law.

Shidehara was chairman of the preparatory committee for the
Versailles conference. Having been highly respected as vice
foreign minister during the First World War, and for his work in
the Committee, the title of Baron was conferred upon him by
the Emperor. In a ceremony on 10 August 1920, foreign minister
Uchida Ksai declared of the `Envoy Extraordinary and Ambassador
Plenipotentiary, Shidehara Kijuro, Senior Grade of the Fourth
Court Rank, with the First Order of Merit' that

During the years of war after 1915, the said person assumed
the difficult task of Deputy Foreign Minister. In assis-
tance of the Minister, he presided over the duties and work
generated and expanded as a result of that war, and his
execution of his duties was prompt, very detailed and very
appropriate. Particularly, when difficult issues were
raised in the course of the peace conference, he always
participated and contributed greatly in crucial phases. His
preparation and policy formation has never been irrele-
Shidehara had welcomed the establishment of the League of

Nations. In a lecture at Keio University in 1928 he said:

...the horrible lesson of the World War has urged the
realization of the League of Nations. Now, organizations
like the League of Nations Assembly, the League of Nations
Council, the Permanent Court of International Justice, and
the International Court of Arbitration and the Deliberative
Council of International Disputes which are outside of the
League of Nations, all have been established in order to
regulate relations among powers by the world's public opi-
Shidehara had hoped that with the establishment of the

League and the subsequent `Washington system' a new era of peace
and justice in international relations would dawn. The idea of
`peace through law' was not novel to him. In the same lecture he
vividly described the process and its legal implications: "As
most bacteria cannot survive in sunlight, so the international
crimes which have been committed in the dark age must melt away
by themselves with the increasing light of the world's just
public opinion." This statement is interesting also, because
Shidehara here mentions an important element in the approach of
the international peace movement, i.e. public opinion.

Indeed did his attitude also reflect public sentiment in the

beginning of the twenties. In the trains soldiers in uniform were
not well respected. Besides, there was discontent over the
fact that some of the zaibatsu had made huge profits from the war
while the population was still grappling with conditions of
poverty, in spite of considerable progress. Thus, public opinion
favoured Shidehara's policy of peaceful economic development,
cooperation and international understanding. Nobuya Bamba notes

...the dominant note in the international situation after
the Great War was the general world aspiration for peace
and order. Anti-imperialism, a democratic order, and
international co-operation were common goals among na-
tions... All denounced the `old diplomacy' and agreed on
the need for establishing a `new diplomacy'. The main
elements of the `new diplomacy' were peaceful settlements,
open negotiations, multinational conferences and agree-
ments, the mobilization of world opinion, renunciation of
economic and military exploitation of weaker nations,
respect for national sovereignty, and the self-determina-
tion of all peoples.
In 1918 the Emperor had appointed Shidehara to became one

of the judges for the Permanent Court of Arbitration at The
Hague, an honour which had also been conferred on Shidehara's
elder friend and teacher James Bryce (for Great Britain in 1913),
and which until 1912 Henry W. Denison and Motono Ichiro had held
for Japan. Although this office hardly implied any responsibili-
ties - the Permanent Court of Arbitration consisted merely of a
list of judges delegated by the powers, who could be called upon
for mediation and arbitration in a dispute by the contending
parties - only persons of exceptional standing as legal scholars
or diplomats and experts in international law could be appointed.

In 1919 Shidehara became ambassador to the United States

(till 1922), where he met many "statesmen and diplomats who were
democratic idealists." Here in Washington Shidehara became
part of the social life of the diplomatic community, frequently
entertaining guests at his residence. Subsequently, he became
chief negotiator at the Washington Naval Disarmament Conference,
where he was able not only to guard Japanese interests but also
demonstrate Japanese willingness to cooperate peacefully. It was
a veritable feat of mediation and arbitration. For Shidehara's
understanding, disarmament and economic progress were closely
linked. The militarists, however, were anticipating a war with
the white powers, another `war to end all wars'. Naturally, the
militarists preparing for war, which they always anticipate, are
proven right by the very fact that they come to hold power, and
holding power eventually bring about what they claim they try to

In a positive sense, therefore, it was Shidehara's aim to

strengthen Japanese security and souvereignty in the Pacific
region and vis-a-vis China and the West. To a large extent, with
the conclusion of the new `equal treaties' between 1899 and 1911
the target had been achieved. On the other hand, the limits
within which Japan would be allowed to realize its interests most
freely and effectively had to be defined. A definite sphere of
interests corresponding to Japan's growing economy and industrial
capabilities, as well as her political role in the area had to
be found and declared. For this Japan needed the protection and
cooperation of the powers as well as the recognition of its role
as guarantor of peace and progress in the region.

The Washington Conference, which lasted from 12 November

1921 to 6 February 1922 was successful largely due to Shidehara's
untiring efforts. It had been convened following a U.S.-initia-
tive in December 1920, to hold a conference with the aim of
drastically reducing naval armaments and dealing with China.
First Britain, France, Italy and Japan, and then Belgium, China,
the Netherlands and Portugal were invited to participate.
Officially, Prince Tokugawa Iyesato was the chief Japanese
delegate, but ambassador Shidehara as minister plenipotentiary
had the qualifications and credentials to assume `de facto'
leadership of the entire negotiating team. Prof. Toru Takemoto
comes to the conclusion that: "Together with the London Confer-
ence of 1930, the Washington Conference can be regarded as the
major accomplishment of the Shidehara diplomacy." Another
contemporary critic observed that "the policy of the Japanese
Delegation was consistently successful. That policy was... to
make impossible the military intervention of any western power
in the Orient."

Germany having been defeated, Shidehara was able to return

Shantung to China as well as most of the rights granted in the
Twenty-one Demands, Japan had imposed on China in 1915. Thus
China "received the satisfaction she had failed to obtain at
Versailles." This dissatisfaction having been the main reason
for China not having signed the Versailles Treaty. In Ishii
Kikujir's words, Japan's interests in China - like those of
Great Britain - basically were "(1) the maintenance of China's
independence and territorial integrity, and (2) the maintenance
of equality of opportunity for the commerce and industry of all
nations." Following the conclusion of the Washington Treaties,
in Japan military expenditures were reduced successively and
drastically over the years.

Shidehara's success was based on strict adherence to

principles, in particular his method of peaceful negotiation and
compromise, by which he was able to reconcile his idealism with
his pragmatism while enhancing Japan's prestige in the world.
There was no `continuation of politics by other means', such as
war, should diplomacy fail. This meant, as Shidehara's admired
friend, the British ambassador in Washington, James Bryce,
explained in a lecture in August 1921, that nation-states had to
submit to institutions of conciliation and arbitration. Shidehara
agreed with Bryce on the issue of the creation of "a competent
and impartial Council of Conciliation" and an "Arbitral Tribu-
nal", to resolve disputes between nations. The idea was in
line with that of the International Court at The Hague and the
League of Nations whose beginnings Shidehara had witnessed in
1899. Naturally, even in those days the question was how these
institutions would "affect the souvereignty and absolute indepen-
dence of States", and in particular how the cultural, racial
and social differences among "the various branches of mankind"
could be reconciled. These were pertinent issues Shidehara and
his collegues discussed. Also, this "pacifism based on philo-
sophical reasoning" was typically American. In the words of
Harold Nicolson, "it was not the telephone that, from 1919
onwards, brought about the transition from the old diplomacy to
the new. It was the belief that it was possible to apply to the
conduct of external affairs, the ideas and practices which, in
the conduct of internal affairs, had for generations been
regarded as the essence of liberal democracy." This was quite
apart from the fact that traditionally it had always been held
by professional diplomats that "the purpose of diplomacy was the
preservation of peace." Thus, in the inter-war period "[t]he
Covenant of the League of Nations... might well have established
something like the rule of law among nations." Shidehara was
the first politician, who without much ado translated these
principles in international relations into practical politics.


The June 1924 general elections led to the establishment of a
party government, and Shidehara became foreign minister in the
cabinet of Kato Takaaki. He was now able to "put his ideas
into practice" with more vigour. In a press conference on the day
of his assuming office he said:

"In diplomacy, the days of plotting and clandestine manipu-
lations have gone, and the great way of peace and justice
has come... I want to respect and strictly reinforce the
spirit so clearly expressed in the Paris Peace Conference
and the treaties signed in Washington."
Shidehara stated that "he was convinced that there are

infinite similarities in the nature of mankind despite their
differences in race, religion and language, and that conflicts
arose because some people tend to exaggerate superficial
differences." Bamba states that "idealism and pragmatism... in
Shidehara's diplomacy... were beautifully harmonized." In a
declaration on his China policy, Shidehara had unmistakenly
confirmed on 1 July 1924:

"It goes without saying that Japan and China have the clos-
est relations in politics, economics, and culture... We
must offer friendly co-operation to China as much as pos-
sible, if she seeks it. At the same time, however, we
should not interfere in her domestic affairs.
In the years prior to the conclusion of the Kellogg-Briand

Pact, the famous war-renouncing Pact, Shidehara concluded a
number of trade agreements - among others with Afghanistan,
Czechoslovakia, China, Ethiopia, Greece, and Mexico - worked for
the recognition of Chinese tariff autonomy, and concluded an
agreement with France on Japan's trade with French Indo-China.
His `diplomacy of cooperation' (kyocho gaiko) or `economic
diplomacy' (keizai gaiko) was successful and famous. He also gave
diplomatic recognition to the Soviet Union - partly, it has been
said, to obtain concessions on oil in Siberia, and negotiated a
revision of the Treaty of Commerce and Navigation with Germany.
In Tokyo, in December 1925, he opened the `Near East Trade
Conference' and in September 1926 the `South Pacific Trade
Conference'. At the same time, he was responsible for preparing
the Paris Peace Pact outlawing wars of aggression. All this won
Japan the epithet of a country "knocking upon the doors of the

Another interesting story is Shidehara's association with

the German ambassador in Tokyo, Dr. Wilhelm Solf, a liberal who
had been involved in the establishment of the Weimar parliamenta-
ry democracy. Solf was a powerful personality, an indologist and
former colonial administrator, and Shidehara made efforts by
confiding in him, to make him a collaborator in his scheme for
world peace and economic cooperation. However, while Solf was
a colonialist and attracted to such personalities as Goto Shimpei
(another colonialist), Shidehara in stark contrast abhorred the

Obviously, with his personal connections in Washington,

London and Paris (Saionji), Shidehara on the Japanese side was
the chief motivating force in the preparations for the signing
of the Pact of Paris, renouning war. A true pacifist and interna-
tionalist, if he had been in office, should also have received
the Nobel Peace Prize, when Frank B. Kellogg won the Prize for
signing the Pact, and after Gustav Stresemann, the German Foreign
Minister from 1923 to 1929, and Aristide Briand, had already won
the prize in 1926 for their efforts at the Locarno Conference.
Indeed, his diplomacy had, in Harrison Holland's words, led to
"solid successes on the diplomatic front". For a time at least
an "image of power and prestige.. existed... when Baron
Shidehara Kijuro was foreign minister." Scholars seem to agree
that hardly before and perhaps never after has there existed such
independent, creative and imaginative foreign policy in Japan
than in the twenties, a policy that radiated so far and wide that
one is almost reminded of the Indian Emperor Ashoka's missions.

However, in the spring of 1927, prior to the collapse of his

cabinet, there had been a press campaign against the foreign
office, when Chinese boycotts and attacks on foreigners,
including Japanese merchants, were reported and Shidehara had
remained - as it was then interpreted - `weak' and `inactive'.
In fact, Shidehara, in March the same year, had given instruc-
tions to the Japanese minister in Peking, Yoshizawa Kenkichi, to
prepare for the evacuation of Japanese subjects, including the
legation in the Peking-Tientsin area, to avoid clashes. On 2
April, after Chinese nationalists had once more attacked foreign
settlements in Nanking and other cities, Shidehara informed the
British ambassador in Tokyo, Sir John Tilley:

"I am convinced that there is no other way but a peaceful,
diplomatic measures to settle the [Chinese] problem ...even
if China should become a communist nation, we do not have
to be too afraid of it ... no matter how the present
situation in China develops, the powers should leave China
to its own course and wait for the result with patience.
There is no other way but this. Being anxious about the
present Chinese situation and making impossible demands
upon her without carefully deliberating the consequences
are not measures for statesmen to take."
On another occasion he said:
"...if China became a communist nation, foreigners could
live in and trade with China after a few years. For in-
stance, after the Russian Revolution, European Powers were
afraid of its influence. But with the restoration of normal
diplomatic relations, the Japanese were allowed to live,
trade, and do business in Russia without any particular
Shidehara's policy coincided with that of the American

foreign minister Frank B. Kellogg. The Japanese ambassador
Matsudaira Masano had informed the Americans in Washington on
Shidehara's instructions that the Japanese government opposed (1)
any kind of blockade, (2) bombardment, or (3) occupying areas in
China. To this Kellogg agreed wholeheartedly.

However, from April 1927 till the beginning of July 1929

Tanaka Giichi became Prime Minister, following the collapse of
the Kenseikai government. Tanaka also held the portfolio of
foreign minister. Being a military man, he followed an aggressive
policy (had gaik), sending troops to China, first to Shantung
in June 1927, after boycotts had occurred. Tanaka's action
changed the whole situation, and encouraged military intervention
by the other powers. As a consequence violent anti-Japanese
movements and boycotts in many cities from Shanghai to Canton
increased. To quell the protests an enforcement was sent and on
20 April 1928 a further dispatch led to the `Tsinan Incident'.
The total number of troops in Shantung now was 15,000. On 9 May
a fourth dispatch was sent. In spite of these occurances, in
August Uchida Kosai was sent to Paris to sign the Kellogg-Briand
Pact. In December 1928 Japanese soldiers assassinated Chang Tso-
lin, the Manchurian warlord in charge of the Three Eastern
provinces, which the Japanese military wanted to seize, a move
Shidehara had always opposed.

Chang Tso-lin's assassination and Tanaka's inability to

tackle the situation led to the fall of his cabinet, and
Shidehara became foreign minister for the second time. Once more
the tide turned, and there was great relief in China, including
the business community. On the Japanese side, businessmen like
Inoue Junnosuke, who was assassinated by ultranationalists in
1932, an industrialist, banker, and finance minister from 1923-
24, like other businessmen at the time, shared Shidehara's
conciliatory approach and
applauded his economic diplomacy (keizai gaik). "If we try to
cure our economic problems by territorial expansion, we will
merely destroy international cooperation."

To conduct a positive China policy, Shidehara sent Saburi

Sadao, his "trusted right-hand man" at the time of his ambassa-
dorship in Washington, as minister to China. Relations between
the two countries improved steadily, when suddenly, late in
November the same year, Saburi was found dead with a pistol in
his hand. In November 1930 prime minister Hamaguchi Yuko (1870-
1931) was shot in Tokyo station by a young ultranationalist, but
did not die until three months later. Until March the following
year Shidehara acted as interim prime minister, and returned to
being foreign minister in the following cabinet under Wakatsuki
Reijiro (1866-1949). In the beginning of that year, on 21
January, the London Naval Reduction Conference was opened, and
eventually a treaty was signed against strong opposition by the
military factions. Sidehara himself was physically assaulted by
Seiykai party members, when the treaty was endorsed by the Diet
in February 1931. One Mori Kaku, who had been vice-minister of
political affairs under Tanaka, attacked Shidehara saying that
the treaty was an infringement on the `supreme command' of the

The great merits which Shidehara had acquired in Washington

and as foreign minister in the twenties and beginning of the
thirties, however, were completely annihilated by a combination
of adverse circumstances and events such as the Manchurian
Incident of 1931, the Great Depression, and also in 1931 the
publication of a book about the American `Black Chamber' which
had decoded Japanese secret messages exchanged between Tokyo and
Washington during the Washington Disarmament Conference. The
publication led to a public outcry, contributing to Shidehara's
resignation in December that year.


A series of "patriotic assassinations" by ultranationalists had
marked the change. Yet, until 1938 and even later, Shidehara was
hoping that the tide would turn. He gave interviews occasionally,
and remained alert. Hirota Koki, one of his former subordinates
in Washington, became foreign minister in 1933. There still
seemed to be some hope. But it was the time of his `inner
emigration', although he still frequently occupied the luxorious
mansion in the Mitsubishi estate in Rikugien in Bunkyo ward, near
Komagome station, given to his family to live in in 1932. Around
1937, after the beginning of the Second Sino-Japanese war, when
it became too dangerous for him to stay in Tokyo, he moved to his
residence near Kamakura.

Another intellectual, though not a politician, propelled

into `inner emigration' was Minobe Tatsukichi (1873-1948), who
had propounded the so-called `Emperor-Organ Theory' (tenn kikan
setsu), which was "influential in academic and official circles"
(Nagao Ryichi). Minobe's theory of the Emperor as a mere `organ'
of the state undermined the militarists ideology of the Emperor
as the divine origin and source of a world-conquering national
polity, the kokutai. In 1935, although a member of the House of
Peers, he was charged with lese majeste for propagating his
theory. The Emperor, apparently, however did not support the
militarists' view:

"We can discuss whether the monarch of the state possesses
sovereignty, but to argue about whether or not the organ
theory is good or bad only shows the ignorance [of the
ultranationalists]. Personally, I prefer the state-sover-
eign theory to an emperor-sovereign theory, but in a
monarchical state like Japan, it does not make any differ-
ence, anyway... How many men of Minobe's stature can you
find in Japan today? I truly regret losing that schol-
Shidehara was not inactive during his `inner emigration'.

In his memoirs he gives an account, how in the 1930s the Soviet
ambassador visited him on occasion in his Rikugien residence.
When in 1936 negotiations between Japan and the Soviet Union
about fishing rights in the Northern Pacific were deadlocked,
Shidehara's council was sought by the ambassador, and subsequent-
ly the issue could be solved. Obviously, "the confidence the
international society had in Shidehara was not limited to the
Anglo-American world, but stretched far beyond that boundary."
Shidehara was not an anti-communist, strictly speaking, and he
valued people more than systems.

There is also a story, how in 1940 Shidehara, who as a

jshin (unofficial advisor to the Emperor), until the end of the
war, was a member of the House of Peers, was asked to join the
Imperial Rule Assistance Association (taisei yokusankai), a
united front for mobilizing support in the war effort, and which
was responsible for the dissolution of political parties,
following the conclusion of the Tripartite Pact. Shidehara
refused to "join the fascist bandwaggon", risking imprisonment
and denunciation as a traitor, and only narrowly escaped
prosecution through the kindness of a young police officer.

In his memoirs, Shidehara also refers to a secret meeting

in July 1941 in the house of Tokugawa Iemasa between himself and
prime minister Konoe Fumimaro (1891-1945). The purpose was to
prevent Konoe from starting a war in Indochina. If he, Konoe,
would not call back the fleet (which had already set sail), he
said, war with the United States would become inevitable.

In November 1941 Yoshida Shigeru was asked to approach

Shidehara and ask him to draft a plan to avert confrontation and
war with the United States. Shidehara consented, and in November
Yoshida was able to present the so-called `Proposal B' to British
ambassador Robert Craigie and U.S. ambassador Joseph Grew in
Tokyo. Both reacted favourably. The proposal was negotiated in
Washington by Nomura Kichisaburo, who was also trying to arrange
a top-level meeting between president Roosevelt and prime
minister Konoe. Unfortunately, as Prof. Takemoto among others has
pointed out:

"One significant reason for the failure in setting the
proposed Konoe-Roosevelt Conference in September of 1941
was the American government's obvious lack of confidence in
the Konoe cabinet. By decoding Japan's secret diplomatic
messages, the American government, ironically, had enough
information to misunderstand the inner workings of the
Konoe cabinet and the negotiations being undertaken by
Admiral Nomura Kichisaburo..."
However, `Proposal B' written by Shidehara nearly succeeded

in "reducing the Tripartite Pact to a dead letter".


Shidehara was a pragmatist and an idealist, a pacifist and a
`real'politician at the same time. Amongst numerous Japanese
extending `peace feelers', probing into the possibilities of
ending the war - for the most part individual initiatives - a
group around Akizuki Satsu, Shidehara Kijuro, Yoshida Shigeru,
and Kuroki Yukichi (1896-) deserves special mentioning, as they
strove to bring about an early ending of the war in East Asia
(dai ta sens). Kuroki Yukichi in his biography on Akizuki
devotes a whole chapter to the `Dai toa senso no soki kowa' (The
Movement for an early end to the Great East-Asia War), in
which Shidehara participated.

It is possible that at least one of the participants also

had knowledge of the wartime Japanese and German nuclear
programs. There were attempts at coordination; German submarines
brought secret plans concerning nuclear research to Japan. Akizu-
ki, who in the twenties, having terminated his diplomatic career,
was president of the Yomiuri Shimbun for several years, could
have had some knowledge and told Shidehara about it. In any
case, there was a general awareness of the dangers lying ahead
with regards to the development and eventual use of ever more
destructive weapons of mass destruction. Japanese efforts in
general, to bring about an early end to the war intensified
between September 1944 and July 1945, and the Emperor himself
became personally involved. The channels were through Moscow,
Switzerland (Basel), Lisbon, and Sweden. There were some contacts
between Christian organizations. Also, after the fall of the
Tojo cabinet on 18 July, the jushin or senior statesmen having
been given "free access" to the Emperor were discussing ways out
of the dilemma, while the war ministry was preparing for the
Allied landing, determined to fight to the last.

There is a story about the army entering Shidehara's

compound near Kamakura to prepare for the anticipated Allied
landing, by setting up barricades and defenses, which Shidehara
refused to allow. The officer in charge got so angry that he took
his knife and slammed it into the tatame floor near where
Shidehara was sitting. Shidehara remained quite unperturbed. It
is well-known that the Japanese population, too, would have tried
to fight an invasion by any means, and consequently suffered
severe casualties.

After the war, Shidehara relates in his memoirs how the

thought to write the abolition of war into the constitution came
to his mind when he was travelling by train between Kamakura and
Tokyo through the devastated landscape, the people hungry and
"wailing in the fields", following his appaointment by the


Shidehara became prime minister on 9 October 1945, by imperial
mandate. In his inaugural speech he said:

"I am determined to render the last service to the nation
and the emperor at the time of the most unprecedented
changes in the nation's history... It goes without saying
that our responsibilitiey is to work for the everlasting
development and welfare of the nation by establishing a
politics... guided by the great principles of international
justice and coexistance of mankind, and in the final
analysis to contribute to the cultural progress of the
Within a short span of time, Shidehara reintroduced an

effective political party system, organized the repatriation of
Japanese soldiers to their homeland (as head of the First and
Second Demobilization Ministries, i.e. the former War and Navy
Ministries), took care of the purge, and was the chief Japanese
government official responsible for the revision of the constitu-

On 11 October he visited General Douglas MacArthur for the

first time. The constitution had to be revised, and Matsumoto
Joji was appointed chairman of the official Kempo Mondai Chosa
Iinkai, the `Committee to Investigate the Question of the Con-
stitution'. One of the main issues was the revision of the `mili-
tary provisions' in the old Meiji Constitution providing for the
military's autonomy in external affairs, by stipulating that
the military was only responsible to the Emperor and therefore
not subject to parliamentary control. Until 26 January the
committee had met fifteen times. On 4 January 1946 the
`Matsumoto Committee' presented a `draft A' of the revised Meiji
Constitution, which contained the normal provision for a military
institution. Out of this, a `draft B' was formulated, which had
all provisions for the military eliminated. On 23 January,
however, it became clear that `draft B', without the military
provisions, was not to be accepted, and the proposal to be
finally presented to the occupation, `A', containing the normal
provisions, dealing with defense and military regulations, was
to be the official one selected. Just at this point, one week
before the actual presentation of proposal `A' (containing the
military provision), and also, incidentally, one day after the
LP presented a draft constitution of its own (like other
political parties and private individuals also had done),
Shidehara suggested the article to General Douglas MacArthur, the
Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers (SCAP) and Head of the
Occupation forces in Japan.

Having been sick, Shidehara had had time to think out his

scheme, and he paid a visit to MacArthur on 24 January 1946, on
the pretext of thanking him for some Penicillin he had received
earlier. Knowing all that he knew, and being the man he was, it
is not surprising that he proposed the war renouncing clause to
the general. The next day MacArthur called Washington. It was his

There can be no doubt that the `war-abolishing' clause was

drawn up by a legal person, such as Shidehara had been.
Shidehara `confessed' his bout of having suggested the later
Article 9 to MacArthur in his memoirs, published in 1951.
Probably to most Japanese, his confession didn't come as a sur-
prise. General Douglas MacArthur afterwards repeatedly confirmed
Shidehara's claim. People working with the Allied occupation and
well acquainted with Japan for a long time like Harry Emerson
Wildes have also early on confirmed Shidehara's authorship.
MacArthur having consented to Shidehara's proposal to renounce
war in the constitution, the Emperor ordered the speedily drafted
constitution, conceived by the Americans and containing Article
9, to be accepted by the Japanese Upper and Lower House as well.
Thus, it is Shidehara in the first place, and then MacArthur and
then the Emperor who are responsible for the inclusion of Article
9 in the revised constitution drafted by MacArthur's staff at
GHQ. No doubt, the renunciation of war corresponded to the
`spirit of the times' (Zeitgeist). It is said that Shidehara
was so moved that he shed tears, when the announcement was made
in the Diet later that year, that the constitution containing the
provision renouncing war was accepted. In fact, the Japanese
Prime Minister Yoshida in his diet speech had referred to the
"example Japan is setting to the world", and, according to The
Economist, the Japanese were "almost as pleased with themselves
as if they had won the war".

In this connection it is important to note that it was also

Shidehara who had had a hand in drawing up the Emperor's `human
declaration' (ningen sengen), abdicating his claim to divinity -

first in English and then in Japanese, proclaimed by the Emperor

on New Year's day 1946, and already containing a pacifist propos-
al. This limitation of the Emperor's absolute powers preceded
Shidehara's suggestion of Article 9 limiting state sovereign-


Shidehara, who was quite old by now, failed to be reelected in
the general elections held in May 1946, and became Minister of
State in the cabinet of Yoshida Shigeru. Also, he became head of
the Nihon Shimpot, the `Japan Progressive Party', for the first
time in his life joining a political party, because he wanted to
have a say in Japan's future peace politics. He was also one of
the witnesses to the International Military Tribunal for the Far
East. Though he must have seen the occupation in a peculiar
light, he had at last succeeded in making his point. The London
Economist wrote in November 1946, after the constitution had been
accepted with overwhelming public and parliamentary support:

"...the new Constitution can be regarded as a product of
Imperial initiative; having been discussed and adopted by
a democratically elected House of Representatives, it can
also be regarded as a product of popular will... The new
Constitution is... quite admirably democratic and corrects
the notably undemocratic features ot its predecessor...
with the clauses by which Japan renounces to wage war... No
nation has ever before thus adopted complete non-violence
as part of its political structure; not even Mr. Gandhi's
India is proposing to do so... Japan has moved to a higher
moral plane... The cynic may say that, as Japan has been
disarmed anyway.., this spectacular renunciation of war is
only making a virtue of necessity. But, after all, there is
a skill in making a virtue of necessity; it is judo, the
'soft art', in which the wrestler throws his opponent by
yielding quickly in the direction of pressure."
Following his fait accompli Shidehara was twice elected into

the House of Representatives and from February 1949 served as
Speaker of the House. Also after the war, Shidehara lent his name
in support of the World Federalist Movement.

Prior to the San Francisco Peace Treaty in 1951, he met John

Foster Dulles and other diplomats, trying to bring about a
peaceful solution in accordance with the principles of Article
9, to avert future conflict, and war. On 10 March 1951 he died
of a heart attack.


The chance that a country like Japan would take up `Western'
humanistic, pacifist ideas, and help realize vital Western moral
premises which the (victorious) Western powers sometimes or other
had claimed to possess, was great. Of course, in a world still
largely dominated by power politics rather than law and justice,
with nations still unwilling to cede souvereign rights for the
common weal, `Shidehara diplomacy' may - even today - seem too
idealistic to pursue.

Yet, confronted with many conflicting theories we tend to

forget reality: that today's problems can only be solved, if and
when war is abolished first. To say that what never happened can
never be - like outlawing war and establishing a universal regime
based on the rule of law - is to deny the facts of evolution.
Furthermore, the scope of global challenges has made it necessary
to focus all our attention and resources on their solution. One
essential condition to accomplish this task, is to outlaw war,
and its dealings. As we have witnessed these days in former
Jugoslavia, war is barbaric.

The experience in the twentieth century, of two great,

devastating world wars, the holocaust, genocide and ethnic
slaughter, as well as numerous regional wars and conflicts, have
shown that the realistic option is not containment (the German
jurist Karl Schmitt's `Hegung des Krieges') but the organization
of peace which promises a solution to the malaise. Yet, even
today, after the end of the Cold War, it is not the organisation
of peace, based on legal premises, but organized chaos: national
military security arrangements struggling - often in vain and in
the face of growing public disillusionment - to maintain legitim-
acy and public support.

To safeguard their interests, `rich' nations, at least in

the eyes of many developing countries, seem to be determined to
maintain a regime based on power rather than law and justice,
bringing with it the militarization of the United Nations as a
matter of course. At the same time, as has recently (and repeat-
edly in the past few years) been pointed out, in spite of measur-
able progress in disarmament, world-wide arms trade is still
booming, with arms producers adopting "aggressive marketing
strategies" that are likely "to have detrimental consequences for
international security", and policymakers "subordinating
national security concerns to short-term economic consider-
ations", instead of pooling their security concerns and
agreeing to limitations of their national sovereignty, to
bring about a comprehensive system of collective, global security
that would serve the interests of the populations most likely to
become the victims in future conflicts and war. Even worse, as
V.S. Arunachalam, former scientific advisor to the government of
India, has pointed out, the dynamics of arms trade and industry
is such that "it is not uncommon for a president or prime
minister to persuade personally the leader of a potential buyer
nation to purchase his country's armaments, singing the praises
of these wares and offering many inducements." These are
mostly the leaders, once more, of the rich nations, knocking
at the doors of the poor; thereby they seem to suggest that it
is better to get ready for a major conflict, regional or global,
perhaps in the not too distant future.

Unfortunately, too, political leaders are attended by a host

of academics who have nothing else to do than to serve these
short-term and therefor short-sighted objectives. The term
`academic lackey' is too insulting to be used here, but it would
be quite appropriate under the circumstances, especially with
respect to countries where academics are government employed
bureaucrats, often depending for their research programs on
political party support from their respective state legislatures.
If one doesn't want to assume ill-will on the part of the policy-
makers in some of the big powers' governments, one must come to
the conclusion that they haven't understood at all the issue of
Article 9.

After the end of the `Cold War', Article 9 - which is

essentially aimed at paving the way for an effective world peace
organization - should (have) become a guiding principle in the
process of restructuring the United Nations, making it work the
way its founding fathers had intended, while at the same time
preempting militarization of the organization! In fact, during
the cold war, some scholars had constructed strong arguments and
sentiment against Article 9, obfuscating the issue. Shidehara had
emphasized with regards to Article 9:

"No precedent for this kind of constitutional stipulation
can be found in the constitution of any other country.
Furthermore, at a time when research on atomic bombs and
other powerful weapons is continuing unabated, there may be
people who think that the renunciation of war is utopian
nonsense. However, no one can guarantee that, with subse-
quent technological advance and development, new destruc-
tive military weapons tens or even hundreds of times more
powerful than the atomic bomb won't be discovered. If such
weapons are discovered, the possession of millions of
soldiers and thousands of warships and airplanes will still
not ensure national security. When war starts the cities of
the fighting countries will be totally reduced to ashes and
their residents will be annihilated in a few hours."
MacArthur was right, it seems, when he suggested in

connection with Article 9: "The leaders are the laggards!" In
stark contrast, Shidehara was a far-sighted politician and a true
democrat - a politician for the twenty-first century. Modern
Japanese history would be incomplete and even quite incomprehen-
sible without our understanding this great man.