The Choice Is Ours: What Is the Future of the Japanese Constitution?

Produced & Directed by Hisako Matsui

The Japanese Constitution tells us “how I as an individual can live a decent life.”

We live in a rather strange nation where “the superiors somewhere up there” decide what we the people should decide.

Hisako Matsui have directed several masterpiece films including Yukie (1998), Oriume (2002), Leonie (2010), and What Are You Afraid of? (2015), her 1st documentary film on the feminists’ activities in Japan.
In November of 2016, Hisako released the renewal version of her 2nd documentary film on the Japanese Constitution; the original version was released in May of 2016, with an eye on the general election 2 months later.

Now, our rights guaranteed in the Constitution are facing a critical situation.
The Constitution declares “renunciation of war,” but we may end up joining the nations with the right of belligerency.
We, sovereigns of our nation, naturally have the rights and responsibility to choose how we live and how people constitutes the body politic.
Unfortunately, more and more people in Japan are staying away from politics; we are on the verge of giving up the final stronghold of the Constitution.
This film focuses on the opinions of such unknown citizens as students, housewives, or freelance workers, as well as on those of the intellectuals from various fields.

This film is one of the must-see films; it records exactly what you want to watch and what you want to listen to now.
In early January of 2017, this film ranked No. 10, in the Culture Film Section of the Cinema Reports Japan.
Luckily, this film has a disk with English subtitles for the shows in the international communities inside and outside Japan.

CONTENT

  1. Young people speak up!
  2. The Constitution and Constitutionalism
  3. Lessons from history (From defeat in the WWII to formation of the Constitution)
  4. People as leading player in the nation (the sovereignty of the people; and the fundamental human rights)
  5. Liberation from the feudalistic family system (equality of the sexes)
  6. Process of following in the footsteps of the US and search for independence from the US (history of US-Japan diplomacy after the end of the war)
  7. Have people in Okinawa enjoyed the Japanese Constitution?
  8. Article 9 (“renunciation of war”) of the Constitution is losing its validity.
  9. The Constitution in our lives (all the people shall be respected as individuals: freedoms and rights guaranteed shall be maintained by the constant endeavor of the people)
  10. Do you start with the “State of Emergency Clause” (the problems of the LDP amendment draft)

***Two requests from the director Matsui:

  1. Please watch the film.
    This film was started and made with just one person’s idea, and was completed thanks to donations from hundreds of people.
    We hope circles of audiences will spread into bigger ones.
    This is a new form of resistance by the silent majority.
    We wish you could join our activities by going to watch the film, and by hosting the film show.
    And let’s think and talk together.
    It’s not politicians, but we, the people that decide the future of this nation; we have the right of choice and responsibility guaranteed in the Constitution.
  2. Please plan to hold a show of the film.
    Thanks to all of you, the citizen-initiated film shows have been held over 700 times all over Japan by the end of November, 2016, since it was released in early May in 2016.
    As a result of the election of the House of Councillors in July, 2016, the ruling parties gained two-thirds of the seats in both houses. Now the revisionists have the initiative to propose their amendment bill to the diet. We the people have to recognize more seriously the significance of the problems about revising the constitution.
    We do have to prepare for the upcoming National Referendum in the near future. In order for every one of us to choose the future of the Constitution, you’re highly encouraged to find an opportunity to show the film to whomever available in your community and talk about the various problems of the Constitution.
    The film is 2 and a half hours long. You are very welcome to have an intermission in between.
    Let’s work together to promote more and more film shows in your community all over Japan and overseas. We seriously wish that the people, sovereigns of our nation, to have more knowledge and concern about the Constitution. At the same time, we sincerely wish that foreign people could have an opportunity to watch the film and understand our Pacifist Constitution.

***List of the shows in the international communities inside and outside Japan.

  1. On August 30, 2016, at Black Box, a major film theater in Dusserdolf, Germany. We were delighted to have 140 people (40% of them were Germans) as audience.
  2. On December 20, 2016, at Ferris University, Yokohama, Japan.
  3. On January 21, 2017, at German East Asiatic Society (OAG), Tokyo.

We’re expecting a show at the University of Seoul, Korea, on February 16, 2017.

To the shows above, Director Matsui was invited to join the talk session after the show for an hour. She’s invited to Seoul too.

*** To apply for a film show outside Japan:
The terms and conditions:

  1. A disk with English subtitles either in Blue Ray or DVD is available.
    Please specify which disk you want to use.
  2. A sample disk is available when you plan a show. In case you want a sample disk, please send email or fax below.
  3. The cost: \25,000 including postage (by EMS).
    Please pay the amount in the Japanese yen into the account below:
    Name: Essen Communications, LTD.
    Bank and branch: Bank of Mitsubishi Tokyo UFJ, Akasaka branch (branch #609)
    Deposit Account#: 0570156
  4. After we confirm your payment, we’ll send a disk to arrive 1 week prior to your scheduled show date.
    We’d appreciate it if you return the disk at your own within a week after the show.
  5. When you have questions, please contact us by email or Fax:
    Email: info@essen.co.jp
    Fax: 03-3523-0212 (Japan)

***A Message from the director

First of all, we’d like to extend our sincere gratitude to your interest in this film.
The Japanese Constitution declares renunciation of war and tells us how every individual can live a cultured life in pursuit of happiness. In the past few years, our government has shown their growing interest in amending our current Constitution. The documentary film, The Choice Is Ours: What Is the Future of the Japanese Constitution? (2016), attempts to look at historical materials and listen to some citizen’s opinions so that the Japanese people, for whom the Constitution guarantees our sovereignty, may get to know more about the Constitution and will hopefully be more aware of our Constitutional rights.
Basically, the content of the film, instead of simply showing such politically divided messages as given either by the rightists or by the leftists, tries to introduce diverse opinions and arguments from the viewpoints of ordinary citizens.
Last but not least, this film was made and completed thanks to the donations by lots of citizens in all Japan. We wish that this film will reach as many people as possible in the whole world as well as in Japan. Moreover, we hope that this film will afford good opportunities for everyone to consider and discuss our Constitution. Thank you so much again for your support and interest in this film.

Hisako Matsui
Director of the Film
January 24, 2017

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