We recently received this from a US reader. It was in the form of an invitation, since the reader is a well known activist. We have omitted the sections that do not apply to general readers. If interested, please contact the organizers.
Article 9 of Japan’s Constitution states that Japan renounces both war and military capability. This article has unique value in today’s global society.
Across the world, more and more countries are adopting pacifist constitutions that not only prohibit war in favor of peaceful resolution of conflicts, but also ban weapons of mass destruction – including nuclear weapons. Having experienced the horrors of World War II, Japan’s adoption of Article 9 is one of the earliest manifestations of such a legal norm. The preamble to the Japanese Constitution guarantees the right to live in peace, an important concept that overlaps with the notion of the ‘Human Right to Peace’ which is currently being debated by the United Nations Human Rights Council.
In spite of this, the Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzo and his Liberal Democratic administration are maneuvering to distort the pacifist constitution by revising Article 9. This coincides with dangerous moves to justify Japan’s former invasion and colonization of countries across the Asia Pacific region. In the face of these threats, many peace-loving Japanese citizens have joined together to oppose this constitutional revision, and are working to spread the value of Article 9 around the world. While there may be some Japanese politicians who have appalled the world with statements that approve of war-time slavery, the Japanese people do not approve of these statements. The movement to protect human rights and peace is spreading across Japan, and has forged links with youth activists, and others campaigning for nuclear weapons abolition, to end end nuclear power after the Fukushima disaster, and to protect employment, education and living standards.
After the great success of the “Global Article 9 Conference to Abolish War” of May 2008, which attracted 30,000 participants, the ‘Global Article 9 Conference in Kansai 2013’ will be held in Osaka in October 2013. We ask you to consider attending, and further cooperation not only in preventing constitutional revision but also in together spreading Article 9’s message of peace around the world.
Program Schedule (Outline)
October 12 (Sat) International guests arrive in Osaka.
Welcome reception (evening)
October 13 (Sun) International Conference (afternoon)
(Sessions on Disarmament, East Asia etc)
Venue: Kansai University (Capacity: 1000ppl)
October 14 (Mon) Global Article 9 Conference in Kansai 2013 (Main Event – all day)
Venue: Osaka Central Municipal Gymnasium
Co-initiators of the ‘Global Article 9 Conference in Kansai 2013’
Ikeda Kayoko (Translator)
Niikura Osamu (Secretary General of International Association of Democratic Lawyers, Lecturer at Aoyama Gakuin University)
Yoshioka Tatsuya (Peace Boat Co-Founder and Director)
Kido Eiichi (Osaka School of International Public Policy)
Matsuura Goro (Catholic Bishop)
Organizing Committee for the ‘Global Article 9 Conference in Kansai 2013’
501 Kotobuki Building, 2-8-16 Fukushima
Fukushima-ku, Osaka 553-0003