Dear Friends and Supporters of Article 9,
is February already and the countdown towards the conference has
started. The Article 9 Campaign to Abolish War is gaining increased
attention and support, both locally and internationally.
Here is an update on the Article 9 debate and program of the conference.
"GLOBAL ARTICLE 9 CONFERENCE TO
program of the conference is building up. We are pleased to announce
that many renowned speakers have confirmed their participation in the
Corrigan Maguire, Nobel Peace Laureate, Peace People,
Weiss, Lifelong peace activist and President of the
Hague Appeal for Peace, USA;
Zhong Yi, movie director and strong advocate of justice
for Chinese former "comfort women" of the Japanese imperial army,
Bombande, Executive Director of the West African Network for
Peacebuilding (WANEP), Ghana;
Sirota Gordon, co-writer of the Japanese Constitution and author
of the disposition granting equality between men and women;
Turki, former soldier in the Iraqi Republican Guard, journalist
and peace activist, Iraq;
von Sponeck, former UN Assistant Secretary General & United
Nations Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq;
Vargas, Vice-President of International Association of Lawyers
Against Nuclear Arms and professor of International Law, Costa Rica;
Weeramantry, former judge in the International Court of Justice
(ICJ) and President of International Association of Lawyers Against
Nuclear Arms, Sri Lanka;
Woodsworth, former Vancouver City Councillor, co-founder of the
World Peace Forum (2006), and President of WILPF-Canada;
Wright, retired US Army colonel and diplomat, now antiwar
invitation process is still under way and we hope to get confirmation
from many more acclaimed experts in the coming weeks.
addition to the plenary session and symposiums discussing non-violent
alternatives to contemporary conflicts, the contribution of Hiroshima
and Nagasaki's experience to international efforts to abolish nuclear
weapons, the role of Article 9 in Asia, and its impact on the
environment, there will be panels and workshops on specific topics
such as Article 9 and Women, its role in Conflict Prevention, its
relevance in the age of globalization, as well as a lawyers'
discussion on Article 9, a Peace Education workshop, special sessions
on Iraq and the UN, and much more.
would like to remind you of the possibility of organizing your own
workshop on Article 9 related topics.
the idea of organizing a workshop may appear intimidating, we would
like to emphasize that if you are interested, we can put you in
contact with groups in Japan and abroad that may join your efforts
for the preparation and tenure of such events.
not miss this chance to contribute to the conference and submit an
application to the conference's organizing committee before February
|GLOBAL SCOPE OF ARTICLE 9
are delighted that more groups are expressing
their support for the campaign
an updated list of supporters, please see:
the campaign internationalizes, we have developed material about the
global impact of Article 9, including its relevance in regards to
human rights, disarmament, nuclear weapons abolition, conflict
prevention, development, the environment, globalization, UN reform
and other global issues.
read more on Article 9's global scope, please go to:
have also gathered articles and analyses providing international
perspectives on Article 9 and the global campaign. To read how
Article 9 fits into the context of the peace movement in Taiwan,
Mongolia's foreign policy, North Korean denuclearization, the US "war
on terror" and more, please visit:
OF JAPAN'S SPECIAL MEASURES LAW
months of heated debate, Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda has
renewed the so-called Anti-Terrorism Special Measures Law, which
authorizes the Maritime Self-Defense Force to refuel US vessels in
the Indian Ocean for their operations in Afghanistan.
by a vigorous opposition that compelled Japan to suspend its
refuelling activities since November 2007 and under increasing
pressure from Washington, Fukuda chose to by-pass opposition through
forceful constitutional tactics.
the opposition-controlled Upper House rejected the legislation, the
ruling coalition resubmitted the bill in
the Lower House where it could obtain the more than two-thirds
majority required to overwrite the previous decision. Such an unusual
procedure had not been implemented since 1951.
light of the difficulty to renew this bill, some government officials
for a permanent law to
dispatch Self-Defense Forces overseas whenever necessary, a move
perceived as a first step towards amending Article 9. Fukuda hopes to
discuss this new legislation in the Diet in the coming months.
ARTICLE 9 EVENTS
light of these developments and the increasing need to mobilize, several Article
9 related events will take place in the lead-up to the global conference or immediately
Northeast Asia region of the Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict
(GPPAC) will hold its Regional Steering Group meeting in Tokyo immediately following
the conference. GPPAC Northeast Asian members, with strong first-hand experience
of the role of Article 9 in the region, will have a lot to contribute to the Global
Article 9 Conference and to take back with them after the event.
For GPPAC's website, see:
the International Association of Democratic Lawyers (IADL), the world's second
oldest international NGO, will be holding their bi-annual international IADL Bureau
conference in Tokyo on 7-8 May, immediately following the Global Article 9 Conference.
IADL has been an active supporter of the Global Article 9 Campaign since 2005.
With around 30 lawyers from 20 countries planning to attend, IADL will discuss
issues relating to human rights and peace, and will develop joint statements and
For IALD's website, see: http://www.iadllaw.org
Article 9 related
events will also take place outside Japan:
Vancouver Save Article 9 - a group of over 160 people - has been campaigning against
an amendment of the Japanese constitution and promoting the adoption of peace
constitutions worldwide. This month, Vancouver Save Article 9 is hosting an event
to raise funds for the Global Article 9 Conference. The event will feature Vancouver
Sun International Affairs columnist Jonathan Manthorpe and Ellen Woodsworth, former
Vancouver City Councillor and co-founder of the World Peace Forum 2006 for a discussion
around the theme "Shifting Patterns Of Power & Influence In Asia: How They
May Affect Japan's "Normal Country" Debate."
For more information, go to:
the Center for International Studies of Russia's Marine State University is organizing
a scientific conference on April 30, 2008 in Vladivostok. Under the title "Japan:
Six decades without a Right to War," the conference will elaborate on the various
social, economic and political aspects of Japan's situation today and will discuss
possibilities of strengthening Northeast Asian multilateral security mechanisms
and building a bilateral cooperation between Russia and Japan.
More information in Russian at: www.msun.ru/div/cis/article9.htm
We are delighted that these events are taking place, as they
will greatly contribute to building pressure and increase momentum on the issue.
you for your interest in and support for the Global Article 9
Campaign to Abolish War. We hope that many of you will be able to
join the conference from May 4-6 in Tokyo. In the meantime, feel free
to contact us to share your ideas, support, experiences and
Global Article 9 Campaign to Abolish War / Peace Boat