In the background of Gulf War, Japan was requested by the UN and US to dispatch SDF to Iraq for executing the no.678 resolution of UN Security Council. However, due to the yoke of its constitution article 9, as well as the domestic tide of opposition from the majority of Japanese citizens and jurists, Japan had been taking an ambiguous attitude to avoid direct response. Public opinions and voices came internationally reprimanded and claimed that Japan, as a member of the UN, should have taken more constructive actions to fulfill its responsibility and obligation.
Therefore, on June 15th 1991, against the domestic strong voices of adverseness, Japanese government still forcibly passed the International Peace Cooperation Law with stalling tactics. This law is aimed at legalizing the participation of Japan’s SDF troops in the UN’s peace-keeping operations, in the name of “Contribution to the World Peace”.
Nevertheless, there are numerous controversial disputes about International Peace Cooperation Law. These problems can be catalogued into five, which are the unconstitutionality of Jieitai, the unconstitutionality of dispatching troops overseas, the unconstitutionality of collective self-defense right, the unconstitutionality of weapon use and evacuation, and the unconstitutionality of the non-democracy of Diet.
Due to these five disputes and debates concerning its unconstitutionality, most jurists have a tendency to deny the rationality of the existence of this law. However, this kind of theory is still too constricted and narrow-minded. Nowadays, when it comes to the topics about the relation between International Law and municipal law, the main stream doctrines acknowledge the supremacy of International Law over municipal law. In other words, according to International Law, despite the fact that International Peace Cooperation Law is considered a municipal law which is against constitution, Japan, as a member state of the UN, is obligated to take the responsibility of abiding by the UN’s regulations as well as operations of resolutions. Japan, as one of the strongest and developed nations in the world, should not use the excuses of the faultiness of its municipal law to defy the International Law.
Therefore, while participating in the UN’s operations, Japan should take the UN’s commands and regulations as its guiding policy. Even if this will be criticized because of its unconstitutionality, it should be considered the problem of the amendment of its constitution instead of the International Peace Cooperation Law itself.