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February 2008
Global Article 9 Campaign to Abolish War

Newsletter #2
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Dear Friends and Supporters of Article 9,

It 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.



The program of the conference is building up. We are pleased to announce that many renowned speakers have confirmed their participation in the event, including:

Mairead Corrigan Maguire, Nobel Peace Laureate, Peace People, Northern Ireland;

Cora Weiss, Lifelong peace activist and President of the Hague Appeal for Peace, USA;

Ban Zhong Yi, movie director and strong advocate of justice for Chinese former "comfort women" of the Japanese imperial army, China;

Emmanuel Bombande, Executive Director of the West African Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP), Ghana;

Beate Sirota Gordon, co-writer of the Japanese Constitution and author of the disposition granting equality between men and women;

Kasim Turki, former soldier in the Iraqi Republican Guard, journalist and peace activist, Iraq;

Hans von Sponeck, former UN Assistant Secretary General & United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq;

Carlos Vargas, Vice-President of International Association of Lawyers Against Nuclear Arms and professor of International Law, Costa Rica;

CG Weeramantry, former judge in the International Court of Justice (ICJ) and President of International Association of Lawyers Against Nuclear Arms, Sri Lanka;

Ellen Woodsworth, former Vancouver City Councillor, co-founder of the World Peace Forum (2006), and President of WILPF-Canada;

Ann Wright, retired US Army colonel and diplomat, now antiwar activist;

The invitation process is still under way and we hope to get confirmation from many more acclaimed experts in the coming weeks.

In 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.


We would like to remind you of the possibility of organizing your own workshop on Article 9 related topics.

While 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.

Do not miss this chance to contribute to the conference and submit an application to the conference's organizing committee before February 15!

Information on self-organized workshops and application forms can be found at:

We are delighted that more groups are expressing their support for the campaign and conference.
For an updated list of supporters, please see:

As 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.
To read more on Article 9's global scope, please go to:

We 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:


After 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.

Exasperated 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.

After 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.

In light of the difficulty to renew this bill, some government officials are calling 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.



In 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 after it.

The 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:

Likewise, 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 actions.
For IALD's website, see:

Article 9 related events will also take place outside Japan:

In Canada, 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:

Similarly, 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:


We are delighted that these events are taking place, as they will greatly contribute to building pressure and increase momentum on the issue.

Thank 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 expertise!

In Peace,

The Article 9 Team

Newsletter Editor:
Celine Nahory
International Coordinator
Global Article 9 Campaign to Abolish War / Peace Boat

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