The nine most warmongering countries in the world revealed

Japan’s moves to rewrite its pacifist constitution have sparked large protests in the country – but just how unusual is it for a country to not be involved in overseas conflict?

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Japan is close to passing a new law that would allow it to engage in international conflict for the first time since the Second World War, prompting widespread protests against militarisation.

Tens of thousands turned out on Sunday in front of the Japanese parliament in Tokyo, proud of their country’s pacifist tradition, while recent polls show the majority of the public oppose the bills.

Japan’s pride stems in part from the fact that it seems unusual not to engage in overseas fighting of any kind – but the latest research from the Institute for Economics and Peace suggests that’s not actually the case.

Of the 162 countries the IEP analysed for its 2015 Global Peace Index, 81 – exactly half and including Japan – were rated as having no involvement in external conflict.

That means that if Japan does pass its legislation it will tip the balance, making the majority of the world’s nations engaged in war.

The worst country in the world for external conflict was Uganda, according to the IEP. It has been heavily involved in fighting in the DR Congo, as well as in skirmishes with the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) of Joseph Kony in border regions.

The US came second, followed by Rwanda and then the UK, which IEP said has nonetheless improved its overall ranking in the index “as a result of its exit from the mission in Afghanistan”.

Overall, Japan is ranked as the eighth-most peaceful country in the world, second only to New Zealand in the Asia-Pacific region.

In Tokyo, the participation of students and young mothers has captured media attention, in a country where rallies have traditionally been dominated by labour union members and ageing left-wing activists.

Mami Tanaka, 35, attended with her husband and three children. She told the Associated Press: “In order to make the world a better place, where the life of not even a single child is taken away, we must take action now or Japan will make a turn for the worse. That's why I came today.”