JEAIL > Volume 8(2); 2015 > Articles
Research Paper
Published online: November 30, 2015

Collective Self-Defense or Collective Security? Japan's Reinterpretation of Article 9 of the Constitution

Jaemin Lee
Seoul National University School of Law
1 Gwanak-ro, Gwanak-gu Seoul 151-742 Korea
Corresponding Author:

ⓒ Copyright YIJUN Institute of International Law
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The concept of self-defense takes such an important place in the UN Charter and international law. The concept of collective self-defense should also be interpreted and applied within the clear parameters of stated principles of the UN Charter. This is not a concept that can be elastically applied so as to cover a wide range of instances that require military action by like-minded States acting in response to contingent situations. The discussion of collective self-defense within the specific context of Japan at the moment, however, seems to involve issues larger than or beyond the traditional concept of self-defense. Arguably, some aspects of the issues posed seem to fall under the collective security realm which is reserved to the authority of the UN Security Council or which at least requires authorization or delegation from the Security Council. Using the term collective self-defense to address a wide spectrum of military contingencies to be tackled by collective security regime may not square with the provisions of the UN Charter.

Keywords : Self-Defense, Collective Self-Defense, Collective Security, UN Security Council, Chapter VII Enforcement Action

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