In 1939, after graduating from the American School, Beate studied at Mills Collage, a college for women in Oakland, California. Graduating from Mills College with honors in 1943, she acquired American citizenship in January 1945. At GHQ, she became a member of the Government Section, which was to draft the new Japanese Constitution.
Rather than a direct attack on the constitution, Japanese conservatives have favored an approach of successive reinterpretation that has gradually gutted Article 9 of its original intent. Over the last several decades, after repeated “reinterpretations,” the peace constitution has become increasingly enfeebled.
The Abe government recently announced a Cabinet decision that commits Japan to the principle of collective self-defense.
Prime Minister Abe has stressed that this reform reduces the risk of Japan being involved in war.
The United States, which has long prodded Japan to shoulder more security responsibilities, immediately praised Abe’s bold move. For instance, not much unites the ruling party and the main opposition in South Korea, but Abe succeeded in forging at least temporary unity among them. Shinzo Abe has made it clear from the start that he wants Japan to have a more assertive military. After North Korea launched a rocket into Japanese airspace in 1998, Japan ramped up its participation in U.S. More recently, Tokyo got rid of the formal prohibition on exporting military hardware (though Japan had long been selling many of the same items under the pretense that they were for civilian use).
Rather than a direct attack on the constitution, then, Japanese conservatives have favored an approach of successive reinterpretation that has gradually gutted Article 9 of its original intent. The decision on collective self-defense also comes at a time when Tokyo is about to push ahead on the construction of a new U.S.
Both Tokyo and Washington put considerable pressure on Okinawan governor Hirokazu Nakaima to switch his position and support situating the new base on the island. Okinawans have long opposed the deal to build the new base, which has been under negotiation between Tokyo and Washington since the 1990s.
Japan’s rapidly evolving position on its military stance coincides with the much-heralded Pacific Pivot – or strategic realignment – of the United States.
But this shift is taking place at a time of fewer resources for the Pentagon, particularly in comparison to the massive increases of the George W. Without Japan, in other words, the pivot wouldn’t happen because the Pentagon simply couldn’t underwrite it.
Although the United States played a major role in drafting Japan’s constitution back in 1946, today Washington is pushing hard for a rewrite. But given the ratcheting up of tensions in the region connected to Abe’s strategic realignment, Washington’s calculus may turn out to be penny wise and pound foolish.
Yuriko Uno, President of TEN, met Beate Sirota Gordon when she visited the Asia Society while on a US tour in 1985. Ms Gordon talked about the difficulties in drafting the Constitution and the necessity of empowering women on Thursday, May 6, 1999. In any case, people have probably heard the phrase in reference to something gone awry at work or in life. On June 25, 2015, a week after Donald Trump announced his candidacy for president of the United States, the Census Bureau released a landmark report on the demographics of American children under the age of five.
A conversation with Alter Egos author Mark Landler, the only person who thinks more than I do about the foreign-policy differences between Obama and his former secretary of state.
It has seemed to me, for as long as I’ve been watching Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama make foreign and national-security policy, that the differences in outlook and approach between the two of them are fundamental and dramatic. To Kristin Neff, a psychology professor at the University of Texas, that’s not surprising.

Beate, at age 22, was one of twenty members of the Constitutional Assembly created in Japan in February of 1946 by General Douglas MacArthur. In 1922, her parents had become Austrian nationals: therefore, Beate was an Austrian citizen, too. While there, she became aware of the rights of women, and the discrimination against women even in a democratic country such as the U.S. From 1943 till the end of the war, she worked at the FCC?fs Foreign Broadcast Intelligence Service, at the Office of War Information, as well as at Time Magazine. Sirota Gordon did not speak publicly about her contribution to this Constitution, but since 1995, for a variety of reasons, she started to talk about it in numerous lectures and also in her memoir, The Only Woman in the Room (Kodansha International Ltd.1998).
The distinctive Article 9, which prevents the country from conducting war as a means of resolving international conflict, is showing its age.
With its latest decision, the government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has quite nearly euthanized the document. Tokyo, in other words, can use force not only in self-defense but also to help an ally in peril, even if Japan itself is not under attack.
He has also emphasized that this is not a major change in how Japan handles its foreign and military policy – and thereby does not violate the peace constitution. Japan is currently embroiled in several island disputes – with China, South Korea, and Russia – which has colored the reception of Abe’s statements in those countries. Representatives of both parties condemned the Japanese move as a threat to regional stability. The prime minister was forced to resort to pushing the change through at the Cabinet level rather than attempt to change the constitution itself. But this is not the first time that a Japanese government has reinterpreted the constitution to enlarge the functions of the military, which is still formally called the Self-Defense Forces (SDF). Some preliminary work site preparation has already begun, and drilling surveys are set to start at the end of July. The Obama administration has emphasized the importance of a shift of military and economic focus to East Asia. It is the eighth largest military spender in the world – ahead of all other Asian countries except China – and it’s planning to increase its spending substantially over the next five years. New fighter jets, naval destroyers, and surveillance drones will likely push it higher on the list. What has held Tokyo back in the past from stepping up its military cooperation with the United States has been its constitution.
The former GHQ official spoke about the difficulties in incorporating rights appropriate for Japanese women in the Constitution. So I thought it might be interesting to imagine the column a pundit like me might write next year, to explain an upset victory by Donald Trump. Hillary Clinton’s campaign message aimed at the aspirations of women and girls cost her more votes among Latino males under 40 than it gained her among suburban married white women.
The problem was that, amid deepening shortages of virtually all basic products (from rice and milk to deodorant and condoms) finding even one roll of toilet paper was nearly impossible in Venezuela—let alone finding enough for hundreds of workers. A new paper by a team of researchers from Duke University, University of Georgia, and University of Colorado looks at not only how extremely competent people are treated by their co-workers and peers, but how those people feel when, at crucial moments, everyone turns to them. Previously, if a black man or a Latino woman wanted to text a friend the thumbs-up emoji on an iPhone, a white hand would show up. I would call these differences profound, but I don’t want to be accused of hyperbole. The wounds in her daughter’s mouth from a recent wisdom-tooth surgery had gone septic. Alexis had handpicked her daughter’s new university specifically for its Greek life, big-time sports, and array of not particularly challenging majors. As Supreme Commander, Allied Powers, General MacArthur ordered the Assembly to draft a new constitution for the people of Occupied Japan.

Her father, Leo Sirota, an internationally-known pianist, was described as ?gthe second coming of Liszt.?h In 1928, he was invited by Kosaku Yamada to give a six-months concert tour in Japan. She wanted to go back to Japan, but was told that she could not go to an occupied country as a plain civilian. Sirota was chosen to write the women?fs rights clause for this constitution and, on March 4, 1946, she participated in the famous secret session between American and Japanese officials who determined which articles would be included in the final document. Japan’s ruling party and its allies don’t have the parliamentary supermajority needed to change the constitution.
Despite opposition from nearly three-quarters of the Okinawan population, the United States and Japan are planning to replace the Futenma Marine Air Force Base with a new facility at Henoko in the northern part of the island. The opposition movement is currently making plans to broaden their resistance to the base construction.
In order to accomplish this pivot, then, Washington needs to rely on the resources of its key allies: South Korea, Australia, the Philippines, and Japan. Japan has already made a commitment to the United States to purchase 42 F-35s, the mishap-prone fighter jet, at a total cost of around $10 billion.
When she became the only woman (at age 22) assigned to work on the post-World War II Japanese Constitution on General MacArthur’s committee, she saw an opportunity to make a difference. Andrea drove there immediately, located an oral surgeon in town, booked a room at the university hotel, and put her daughter to bed to recover. She and her husband, a CFO of a major Fortune 500 company, were intent on giving their daughter the ideal social experience in college.
The next year, in 1929, he was invited again to give concerts and teach at the Ueno Academy of Music, now known as the Tokyo National University for Fine Arts and Music. Therefore, she asked to be hired by General Headquarters Supreme Commander Allied Powers, as a civilian attached to the Army, and returned to Japan as the first civilian woman after the end of the war.
This extraordinary document guarantees women equal rights with men, ensures the nation?fs peaceful role in world affairs, and has remained unamended to this day. Gordon has decided to make a concerted effort to spread the word about the Japanese Constitution?fs articles on women?fs right and peace. Knowing the traditional family values and women’s point of view of Japan, as well as the struggles that Western women had been facing for the previous few decades, Ms. The speech, entitled "Sexual Equality I wrote in the Constitution," was given in her fluent Japanese on Thursday, May 6, 1999.
The next morning, Andrea went to her daughter’s classes, taking notes on her behalf. This time, the whole Sirota family went to Japan and lived in the Nogizaka district in Tokyo.
However, during his first term as prime minister, Abe pushed through a new referendum law that requires no minimum turnout. Marriage shall be based only on the mutual consent of both sexes and it shall be maintained through mutual cooperation with the equal rights of husband and wife as a basis.2. With regard to choice of spouse, property rights, inheritance, choice of domicile, divorce and other matters pertaining to marriage and the family, laws shall be enacted from the standpoint of individual dignity and the essential equality of the sexes. I went to one of the nation’s best single sex schools in Tokyo, and always felt that we were ready to stand up to boys in the society. But I have seen my friend become a stay-at-home mom after completing her studies at medical school because it was assumed by her family that the mother should stay home and take care of the child.

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