This House Regrets the Remilitarization of Japan


This is a pretty straightforward value-judgment motion which weighs the pros and cons, benefits and harms, of a remilitarization action, in the specific context of the motion happening in Japan.

Expect both teams to agree not to discuss about the ramifications of remilitarization (or cancelling the remilitarization) in the future. Motions circulating around the wording of this house regrets always (oh, well, almost always) have a timeframe orientation more towards to the past until the present instead of the future. Another version of this, is, “DO NOT FALL INTO THE TRAP OF MISINTERPRETING THIS MOTION AS ‘THIS HOUSE WOULD STOP JAPAN FROM REMILITARIZING’”. There. We said that.

So, harms and benefits. Pretty simple. The part where this starts to get a little bit confusing is where Team Affirmative and Team Negative might have different mindsets regarding actors. One of the directions where this debate could unfold might be Team Affirmative regrets this motion because remilitarization is harmful towards Taiwan, whilst Team Negative insists that Japan’s own citizens are of higher importance compared to Taiwanese. One. Example. Just one of thousands of the other possible scenarios.

A good rule-of-thumb is to have an agreement on the scale of importance various actors possess towards the integrity of this motion. More on Team Affirmative. Read along.

Anyway, yeah, pretty straightforward value-judgment motion. Let’s go.

Team Affirmative

The whole underlying premise for Team Affirmative, as are other value-judgment motions, is to prove that the harms outweigh the benefits. Sure enough you will spend a lot of time thinking of various harms remilitarizing might pose and explaining what kinds of hail it might unleash onto the world, but at some point you have to prove that your case (the harms) outweigh your opponents’ case (Team Negative’s benefits). That’s your one sole single burden of proof. Never forget.

Now, since you’re the Team Affirmative, you’re going to be the one that sets up the debate. Rule of thumb, declare an appeal towards Team Negative in order to have some sort of agreement on the scale of importance of various actors. Remember, always try to make the setup as fair as possible (or favoring your opponents’ – your worst case, their best case). However, this setup is expected to be kind of redundant, as it is kind of a no-brainer to have this scale of importance, in decreasing levels of priority:

  1. The whole world, in general (as, in, trying to prevent a WW3)
  2. The stability surrounding North-East Asia, politically and militarily
  3. Interests of Japanese, as a country (the government, mainly, and then expectations of its future)
  4. Then the citizens
  5. Then the Chinese, Koreans, Taiwanese, and others living in North-East Asia. Of course, still with the interest of the government over the citizens.

“If it is going to be rendered redundant in the end, why would I want to bring that up as a setup in the first place you sheetfaces?”

Well, for one, it doesn’t consume too much of your allocated speech time. What? Like, only around 30”-1’ out of 7°20’? And second, it helps to have this form of agreement “So, we agree, Team Negative, that upon the instance of the interests of Japanese happening to be in conflict against the interest of the Chinese, we agree that the Japanese one exceeds the Chinese?” It will provide an immense help in which you (both of you, actually, Team Affirmative and Negative):

  • Do not need to argue about the scale of importance anymore (the less places – branches, actually – where both teams have disputes, the better). Less sub-debates to talk about means that both teams can focus more on the more pressing matters at hand.
  • Leaves the less appealing actors. Having this order of actor importance will compel both teams to analyze the debate from the perspective of (a) instead of (f) – and that is what adjudicators want. What is the point of analyzing the interests of the Koreans and the Japanese with the adjudicators reaching a conclusion of “oh, okay, so we are going to regret this motion – Team Affirmative wins, then (or maybe not)” and then giving the winning and then delivering the verbal adjudication and constructive but still having the question of “but will this trigger WW3?” in the end of the debate session?
  • Less burden of proof, that is for sure already. But, it is not only less now, it becomes more specific. The burden of proof is now different in which you no longer identify how a certain party’s interest trumps over another’s, it is in analyzing whether or not a certain party’s interest is IN LINE with another’s. You’re taking (e), and your opponents happen to be taking (c)? Let them. Try proving how your (e) is closer to (a) than (c) is. Conflicts and intersections of interest are always more important than orders of priority.

And that’s all for your to-do checklist.

  1. Because it will trigger past hatred and past trauma.

There is this Article 9 of Japan’s constitution, written under the direction of American occupying forces, though: “Aspiring sincerely to an international peace based on justice and order, the Japanese people forever renounce war as a sovereign right of the nation and the threat or use of force as means of settling international disputes. In order to accomplish the aim of the preceding paragraph, land, sea, and air forces, as well as other war potential, will never be maintained. The right of belligerency of the state will not be recognized”. And then, refer to this:

Still remember Pearl Harbor? Pepperidge Farm remembers. Just kidding. No, actually, yes. Seriously. No kidding. Calling a surprise attack on the Pearl Harbor with full of Japanese suicide bombers as inhumane would be an understatement. Although it’s true that there were no such things as war ethics and guidelines and/or whatchamacallit, part of the reason why Japan had to demilitarize was to further convince the world that they mean their apology. Storytell your way out of this argument and satisfy all remaining burdens of proof:

What triggers trauma? What triggers past hatred? It couldn’t be denied that there have been ongoing efforts to suppress those feelings. What are the actions that cancel those efforts? The efforts that trigger? Then to this remilitarization. What are the traits this action has? What is the atmosphere it would likely bring? Connect them, aaand you’re good to go. Okay, next!

  1. Because the society is not ready yet.

This is a form of a.. timeframe challenge. But here is the catch: this is unlike the other proposal motions, like as usual, where Team Affirmative has the burden of always having to interpret the proposal motion as “going to do it straightaway” whilst Team Negative on the other hand can interpret the proposal motion as either “won’t do it no matter what how or when or where” or “okay we agree to do that but wait”. It is possible for Team Affirmative to implement that challenge in this motion. Anyway, notice where your interests and your opponent’s interests intersect should you run this argument: both of you agree that it is important for a country to be militarily sufficient. Or well-equipped. Orr… threatening. Or menacing. Whatever. *MegaSableye dabs*

Anyway, burdens of proof for this point include the different “readiness” society might possess (again, remember – which society?) according to varying levels of military equipment upgrade process. Take a look at India, for example, it is quite a good guess that Indians won’t feel too comfortable if Pakistan (hack, or even maybe their own Indian government themselves) suddenly declare that they are going to build nuclear silos. Or invest in war drones. But, please, explain this point better than how we just did using only 40 words. It’s real. We counted them.

So, anyway, yeah, characterize the scale of citizens’ readiness, as well as governments’ comfortableness in budget allocation and expenditure. And remember that there are various levels of reception, varying depending on their country’s development, geographical location, political ideals and beliefs, and philosophy.

Last, remember to explain that status quo is progressing. It is just a matter of time. So, they remilitarized too soon. Should have waited a bit more.

  1. Because Japan will lose.

Contradiction alert! Explaining this point will likely knife each and every component of elaboration you might have thought out in Team Affirmative Argument 2. Just a fair warning from us. The rest is food for thought for you. Hehe.

Pay attention to the current progress of military development in China, Russia, and Korea (both Koreas). Since it has been established as precedence that the reason behind Japan’s remilitarization was in order to defend itself against potential impending strikes from those three countries, then it is just common to analyze the difference in their past, present, and expected future military power, isn’t it?

Russia and Korea both are already in possession of some nuclear silos. China is undertaking some research and development towards it. It might seem that Russia and Korea are winning at face value, but considering the difference between China’s 2000 military power (pre-democracy) and their current one, its development speed far exceeds even double of Russia and Korea, combined.

Now, let’s analyze hostility likelihood. Senkaku islands are conflicts of interest between China and Japan, so they are likely to clash on that ideals. On the other hand, the current ongoing dispute between Russia and US in terms of their ideals might come to an end. Thanks Obama Trump. Chances are once they decide to join forces, they are going to prepare themselves against potential upcoming forces that might challenge their ideals: China.

Anyway, the point is, it would be better if Japan just focus on what they do best: economic and technological development. Don’t add another fish to the fray. Do what you do best, then when a potential conflict should manifest, side with the country whom you consider to have the stronger military power.

Team Negative

  1. Because Japan needs to defend herself.

The rising tension in North East Asia means that there are lots of political instability going over there. There is a necessary demand for Japan to fulfill. Military needs.

Pay close attention as this point is likely going to have a clash with Team Affirmative Argument 3.

That China is acting hostile towards Japan is common knowledge. We see that they have been expanding their influence and territory to the South China Sea, garnering alliance from Indochinese countries and at the same time trying to conquer Senkaku islands. These actions from China has each and every potential to violate Japan’s sovereignty.

Now, burdens of proof for Team Negative:

What is the nature of pacifism (you know, because, that Article 9, practically “forces” Japan to assume a pacifistic stance)? That Article 9 is already on top of this post entry, you can read it at Team Affirmative Argument 1.

What are the harms if pacifism continues to persist? So it is already established by now that pacifism should not remain permanent until forever.

Now, what are the criteria so that in order to change from a pacifistic stance into an offensive one (or, okay, at least, defensive first instead of offensive) is considered as justifiable?

Justify how changing stance from pacifistic stance into defensive is not harmful as of the present, considering other current issues. Or, even if it is harmful, should you choose to concede this point, its harms are not as exaggerated as what Team Affirmative might blow up beyond proportions.

  1. Because with all the chaos happening, the public won’t notice (or care) anyway.

Crimea. ISIS. Boko Haram. Israel. Palestine. Kurdish-Turkish. Rohingya. Generally speaking from a person who lives far away from the North East Asia area with their own conflict zones, the rest of the world has so many sheets to cater to that this person (an average reasonable person, might as well as mention it) won’t have that much leeway to care about some random country out there assuming a different stance in terms of its military ideals. But, now, even if we shift our focus to the perspectives and reception of people who happen to be living in proximity to North East Asia, then we still have other more pressing matters that will outshine Japan’s remilitarization: nuclear silos in Russia and Korea, alongside with their commendable leaders, the unstable Putin and the genius Jong-Un.

  1. Because US and Russia is likely going to be on the same page.

First things first, China is an up and growing power. And a 3rd party is needed, for a balance of power. This is standard issue in strategy, a scenario of 3 different parties with differing interests is the best equilibrium a conflicting situation can have. If there is only A and B, what happens is another Cold War. Not a desirable situation. But if we have A, B, and C, equilibrium is reached in the sense that if any of A or B or C shows signs of aggression, then the other two parties will team-up in order to destroy the aggravating one. This will hinder any tendencies of any party to attack. So what happens under such a scenario is massive improvement in the economics of these three different parties, and even if they decide to invest in military, it will be defensive in nature instead of being offensive.

So, now we talk about the situation in North East Asia first. We CANNOT have only China and Korea as the strong militaries. That condition means that there is only two different parties. Russia, also belonging to the same geography, is not an answer. Because post-Trump election, Putin and Trump are likely going to be buddies. Trump idolizes Putin, and US won’t be there to protect the rest of the world against Russia imperialism. If China decides to also go Imperial Mode, then (1) Japan should be able to protect herself, and then (2) we as the rest of the world need to make sure that there are as many different parties with opposing ideals as possible. Japan would provide us with an extra option, instead of us having to choose to side with the maniacal Trump-Putin alliance or the homicidal China or the unstable Korea. At this point, might as well as mention that NATO and EU will be rendered obsolete after US decides to withdraw themselves from all international issues, thanks Trump. This will leave Putin’s Russia to do whatever he wants without any party left to check him.

Some Last Notes

MegaSableye: “When you are debating in a motion where there are lots of actors, like these – you have China, and then you have UN, and then you have Japan, and Russia, and Taiwan, and not to mention it’s different when you mention ‘Taiwan’s citizens’ and ‘Taiwan’s government’ – please refrain from using pronouns. Do not – I repeat, DO NOT – use ‘him’ or ‘her’ or ‘them’ or ‘they’ or ‘he’ or the likes of those. USE THEIR PROPER NOUNS. Or else everybody will get lost on which pronouns refer to which nouns.”