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A plea from Japan to peace loving people in the world
To Protect and Keep
Article 9 of Japan’s Peace Constitution

Article 9 of Japan’s Constitution says:

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.

Dear friends,

Today more than ever, the world desperately needs a new path towards peace. Japan’s constitutional prohibition against the use of military force is a model for non-violent international conflict transformation and war prevention to be supported and encouraged by all peace loving countries and peoples in the world.

Originally required by the US after Japan’s surrender in 1945, this key article of Japan’s Constitution has been embraced by the people of Japan.

There have been a number of compromises in regard to Japan’s peace constitution, and right now, Article 9 is coming under attack. It is a fact that Japan as a nation does have its armed forces. The government of Mr. Koizumi supported the US led war against Iraq and the subsequent occupation. His unconditional support of the government and policy of Mr. Bush led this country to send the Self Defense Force to Iraq. This is the first time since the Second World War that Ground Self Defense Force soldiers have been dispatched to a conflict situation, and this despite strong opposition within the country and from the neighboring countries of Asia that suffered aggression and occupation by Japan’s Imperial Army in the 1930’s and 40’s.

The new government of Mr. Abe seeks to revise Article 9 of the Constitution of Japan in order to permit Japan to maintain de jure military forces to be dispatched anywhere in the world. The move is strongly supported by the US government to allow Japan to take a proactive military role in such US led ventures as “the coalition of the willing” in the War on Terror. Already a referendum bill to revise the constitution has been introduced to the national diet and the government is determined to form the bill by May 3, 2007, which is Constitution Day in Japan.

We need your solidarity to support a global action, to be organized around May 3, 2007,
to protect Article 9.

Please write to
Prime Minister of Japan

2-3-1 Nagata-cho Chiyoda-ku Tokyo 100-0014 Japan
Fax. 81-3-3581-3883

The homepage of the official residence of the prime minister provides a means of expressing views, opinions and protests to the Prime Minister and his cabinet. Please use this to communicate your protest. The address is http://www.kantei.go.jp/foreign/forms/comment.html

Sample letter

Dear Prime Minister Abe,

Article 9 of Japan’s Constitution is a clear promise by the people of Japan to the world to never repeat its history of war and colonization.

Article 9 sets the important challenge of working towards world peace through dialogue, confidence building, and mutual cooperation, and not through military means.

A change in Article 9 would instantaneously turn Japan’s already powerful Self defence force into a threat to neighboring countries, further destabilizing an area whose stability is already placed at risk by tensions on the Korean Peninsula and across the Taiwan Strait. It would therefore create a serious threat to global peace.

We join with the people of Japan in requesting that you respect and maintain Japan’s Peace Constitution with its ARTICLE 9.

Thank you very much. Your solidarity action is vitally needed. Please send a copy to Catholic Council for Justice and Peace Secretariat.

Peace in Christ,

Bishop Michael Goro Matsuura President
Japan Catholic Council for Justice and Peace
2-10-10 Shiomi, Koto-ku, Tokyo, Japan 135-8585
Email: jccjp@cbcj.catholic.jp
Fax 81-3-5632-7920

See Also: Japanese Catholics Plea for May 3, 2007
Worldwide Letter-Writing Support to Save Japan's Peace Constitution

Kyoto Journal - Perspectives From Asia