Before and during World War II, Japan’s military carried out some of the worst brutality in mankind’s history. The wartime ruthlessness and fanaticism of the Japanese were largely driven by their belief that their emperor was a god destined to rule the world. State Shinto became the national religion, promoting an ideology of Japanese racial superiority.
By the end of World War II, Japan had been fighting for 14 years. Almost 3 million Japanese were dead, with many more injured or gravely ill. Most of the population was starving, and the nation lay in ruins. But even then, nothing short of two atomic bombs was able to bring a halt to Japan’s perverse military fanaticism.
It was then, in the immediate aftermath of that tragic history, that the United States occupied Japan and drafted its constitution. U.S. officials, led by Gen. Douglas MacArthur, wanted to ensure that bellicose fanaticism would not rise again in Japan, so they included Article 9 in the new Constitution. This claus