This post is also available in: German
After the horrors of World War II Japan installed article 9 in its constitution which generally renounces war as a means of conflict resolution and this way forbade the building up of an army. In fact Japan possesses so called “self-defense forces” but this article helped to keep Japan out of wars in the last decades. Now political forces try to change this paragraph in order to give Japan the possibility to participate in operations. Therefore the Japanese branch of the International Fellowship of Reconcilitation has proposed, as a means of protest, to award the Japanese citizens the Nobel Peace Price and ask for our support.
Article 9 of the Constitution of Japan
We sincerely demand that all the nations of the world enjoy peaceful relations based on justice and order.
To attain this ideal, we, the Japanese people, renounce war as a nation’s sovereign right.
To settle quarrels among nations, we will employ neither the threat nor the use of force.
From now onward, so as to attain this objective, we will never maintain an army, an air force, or a navy,
and never use any weapons to kill people in war; thus we will not ever need any organization of people
formed for military objectives.
The Japanese people do not recognize that “killing people in war is not a criminal offense”.
We will never recognize this sovereign privilege of a nation
From a letter of Kyoko Litaka, general secretary, Japanese branch of the International Fellowship of Reconciliation (IFOR):
Our Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had won his post by the general election last July by a manipulated election system. He and his party actually received the support of not more than half, but his party won seats for nearly 70 % in the Congress.
Abe’s grandfather was a militaristic politician, Nobusuke Kishi. He was sentenced as one of the war criminals in World War II, but was released by dealing with the U.S. Occupational Headquarters Kishi, then became a prime minister and tried to pass the Military Security Treaty between the USA and Japan in 1960. But he faced big opposition by Japanese citizens and was forced to resign his post. Shinzo Abe, as his grandson, determined that he would regain a “strong Japan” by strengthening the Military Security Treaty with the USA.
Abe forced to pass the “National Secrecy Law” last December, imitating that of the United States. This Law would forbid Japanese citizens their basic human rights to obtain information, to express their own opinion, to organize a group to protest against the policy of the government, etc. This destroys the democratic system in Japan, putting it into the pre-war regime of the World War ll.
University professors, writers, journalists, common citizens all opposed this law. We sent many postcards, fax messages to the congressmen, and joined the peace march. However, the Prime Minister Abe and his party ignored us by cutting down the discussions very short during the Congress session and forced to enact the law by “over-one-half “majority votes. It was really a nightmare!
This Secrecy Law will go into effect within one year. Therefore, we are trying by every possible means to stop Abe from enforcing the law which could put people in jail whom the government decides “undesirable and dangerous”.
Most Japanese now oppose the re-operation of nuclear plants because dangerous radioactive materials are accumulating while no good way is found in the world to safely keep those wastes. Moreover, nuclear weapons can be produced from the nuclear plant operation. Furthermore, Abe went abroad to export the nuclear plant system on behalf of some businessmen who seek for profit. The global world is poisoned by lust for money.
What the world really needs now is to build good human relations instead of more weapons. We do not need more comfort, but need safe and peaceful living for everyone. The Article 9 is needed for our world to renounce war!