On April 15, on the occasion of the Global Day of Action on Military Spending (GDAMS), 15 Japanese and 24 Korean civil society groups issued a joint statement expressing concerns on the expansion of military spending and military buildup in East Asia and calling for the peaceful resolution of the current tensions in the region.
The statement calls on all East-Asian state governments including Korea and Japan to:
- Resolve the nuclear problem in the Korean Peninsula in a peaceful manner based on a regional cooperation;
- Suspend Missile Defense development and its deployment;
- Stop the construction plan of the naval base on Jeju Island, South Korea;
- Phase out US bases in Okinawa, Japan;
- Promote peace talk on territorial disputes.
Further, the statement calls for the conversion of the Korean armistice into peace treaty and refers to Article 9 of Japan's constitution as a mechanism for regional peace.
A press conference was held in the Parliament in Seoul, with the participation of 15 South Korean parliamentarians, followed by a public event in front of the Parliament building.
Download the Korea-Japan Civil Society Joint Statement in English here.
Read the Statement in Japanese here.
Read the Statement in Korean here.
Global Day of Action on Military Spending (GDAMS)
On April 15, 2013, the third Global Day of Action on Military Spending (GDAMS) was held.
April 15 coincides with the release of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute’s (SIPRI) annual figures on world military expenditures. It is also Tax Day in the US and in the Philippines. In Japan, the date comes less than a month before celebrations for the anniversary of the Constitution (May 3), which in the current context, promise to raise the issue of Japan’s deplorable path to militarization.
While each location will craft its own approach, all actions have a common focus on calling attention to the overall size of global military spending and reaching out to different sectors, including labor, religious, social justice, development, youth… as well as policy-makers, to strengthen and multiply the impact of GDAMS.
More information about the Global Day of Action on Military Spending, including videos and statements, can be found on the GDAMS website here.