Hiroshima Peace Science Volume 23
2001 発行

Conscientious Objection in Japan in Contrast to that in Europe

Ichikawa, Hiromi
In this short paper, I will briefly survey conscientious objection in Japan from Meiji period to the present in contrast to that of Europe. The idea of right to conscientious objection has been developed from ancient Roman Empire and especially during and after the two world wars. And now in Europe conscientious objection is recognized as one of the basic human rights. In Japan as conscription was introduced, there were several revolts against it. Now a few people tried to and did escape from conscription by various means. They did not have any idea to refuse any governmental order for one's conscience. Christians also tried to follow both the State's and the God's order. After the defeat in 1945, Japan has no conscription and therefore the right to conscientious objection has never drawn attention. But we can see some ideas in connection with conscientious objection among civil movements.