Friends and Supporters of Article 9,
are pleased to send you some information about the Global Article 9
Campaign to Abolish War's recent activities and related developments.
ROW OVER REVIEWING JAPAN'S BAN ON ARMS EXPORTS
At a meeting of the Japan Association
of Defense Industry held on January 12, Defense Minister Kitazawa Toshimi
suggested in his address that the government would consider reviewing Japan's
ban on arms export.
"I believe it's about time
to review the basic policy on the principles," Kitazawa said, trying to
generate a debate ahead of discussions on Japan's National Defense
Program Guidelines and their revision by the end of the year. His remarks echoed
a report issued last August (before the elections) by a panel of experts
calling on the government to review Japan's ban on arms exports.
In order to diffuse the controversy,
Prime Minister Hatoyama Yukio immediately dismissed Kitazawa's remarks,
insisting that Japan should adhere to its three principles on arms exports.
"Japan has declared to the
world that it is a peaceful nation, and one of its promises is to stick to (the
ban on arms export)," he said. "Under the current circumstances, the
ban is something that must be maintained."
Others in the government
coalition also opposed Kitazawa's remarks. "I can't figure out why on
earth he can make such a statement. We strongly protest it," reacted head
of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) Fukushima Mizuho.
Established in 1967 in the spirit
of Article 9 of the Constitution, Japan's three principles on arms exports do
not permit exports of weapons to Communist block countries, to countries subject
to United Nations sanctions, and to countries involved in international
conflicts. The export ban was virtually extended to all countries in 1976, in
conformity with Japan's position as a peace-loving nation.
FROM TOKYO TO D.C. - OPPOSING US BASES IN OKINAWA
In mid-January, Dr. Abe Tomoko and Mr. Hattori Ryoichi, parliamentarians
from Japan's Social Democratic Party (now part of the ruling coalition since
September 2009), visited Washington to discuss how to resolve the current
standoff between Japan and the US over the relocation of military bases in
Despite overwhelming opposition from the people of Okinawa
and earlier signs by the new Japanese government it would try to renegotiate
the terms of the agreement, Tokyo has balked to Washington's demands that Japan
abide by a 2006 agreement to close the current Futenma base, relocate 8,000
Marines in Guam, and build a new base at some other location in Okinawa.
Through a series of meetings with US Senators,
Congressmen, policy specialists and think tanks, the two parliamentarians insisted
on the need to revisit the 2006 Japan-US agreement, pointing out the fact that
the agreement was made under the previous regimes of both countries. They
called for the return of the Futenma Air Station without any condition on the
prior establishment of a new base in Henoko, in Okinawa.
By addressing the severity of problems caused by US
military in Okinawa, the SDP representatives claimed that Japan's new ruling
coalition government firmly stands on "lessening of the burden of Okinawa" and
is currently in the process of discussing a proposal to replace the agreement.
Dr. Abe and Mr. Hattori emphasized that calling for the
renegotiation of the agreement was not attempting to weaken the US-Japan
alliance as implied by some media articles, but rather to develop a more equal
and sustainable relationship between two countries.
They also participated in a meeting organized by the Pacific Freeze with NGO representatives, in which they discussed strategies to
express opposition to the construction of a new US base in Okinawa. Suggestions
included public outreach and campaign, advocacy and the possibility of filing a
At the same
time in Tokyo, a new peace action
network was formed. Made of U.S., Japanese, Canadian, New Zealand, Australian,
Welsh, Mexican and other citizens living in Japan, US for OKINAWA is committed to forming liaisons with Okinawan and
Japanese peace groups in opposing the bases in Okinawa, as well as adding their
voices to the International Network for the Abolition of Foreign Military Bases
(NO Bases) calling for the dismantling of the more than 1,000 foreign military
bases across the world, and for the creation of sustainable alternatives to
economies that presently remain dependent upon their existence.
For more information about actions in the US, visit the
Pacific Freeze website here.
Follow 2010 Okinawa on Twitter here, and watch video clips regarding the US military bases in Okinawa on youtube here.
For more information about US for Okinawa, click .
To join the
network or receive more information, write to us.for.okinawa [@] gmail.com.
PETITION AGAINST NAVY BASE ON JEJU ISLAND, SOUTH KOREA
The Global Network Against
Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space is inviting organizations and concerned
individuals from around the world to sign a petition voicing their protest with
the US and South Korean governments about the plan to build a Navy base on Jeju
Island, South Korea - also known in the region as the peace island.
The construction of the naval
base threatens to destroy coral reefs listed by the UNESCO as world heritage
environmental sites, and to disrupt fishing and the way of life of the people.
Local residents of the nearby village
of Gangjeong have mobilized to resist and call for their island to remain free
of military bases. The protesters, mostly elderly people, set up a tent camp, barricaded
the site where the construction is to start with cars, and hanged yellow flags
reading 'No Naval Bases'. On January 18, the police brutally raided the
peaceful protest, wounding many including elderly people and arresting 46
people notably Catholic Fathers and City Mayor Kang Dong Kyun.
The base is to host US and South
Korean Aegis destroyers equipped with missile defense systems. The move is seen
as a provocation to China, thus making Jeju Island a prime military target.
For more information, pictures
and recent updates of the situation, visit the No Base Stories of Korea blog.
To sign a petition and express
your support, please send your name, group name, and city/state or country to globalnet [at] mindspring.com.
Picture Credit: Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space
ARMS DOWN - CAMPAIGN FOR SHARED SECURITY
Since November 2009, Religions for Peace's
Global Youth Network has launched a year-long global campaign towards
disarmament for shared security.
ARMS DOWN - Campaign for shared security seeks to abolish nuclear weapons, stop the proliferation of conventional
weapons, and redirect 10% of military expenditure to achieve the UN Millennium
Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015.
The campaign launch was organized by
Religions for Peace in partnership with the Arias Foundation for Peace and
Human Progress and the University for Peace. Costa Rican President Oscar Arias
Sánchez and United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon offered support for
this initiative that seeks to advance disarmament for shared security
Religions for Peace is the world's largest
multi-religious coalition advancing common action among religious communities
The ARMS DOWN - Campaign for shared security
echoes Freres des Hommes' 10% Option, IPB's Disarmament for Development
Campaign and the Global Article 9 Campaign, as well as Peace Boat's MDGs
Join our efforts and sign the petition
asking governments to make an official pledge to cut their military budgets by
10 percent and to re-allocate those funds toward development.
Signed petitions will be delivered to the
United Nations Secretary General, the permanent members of the Security
Council, as well as to Heads of State and Members of Parliament in your
Read more about ARMS DOWN - Campaign for
shared security here.
Read more about Freres des Hommes' 10%
Option here, as well as IPB's Disarmament for Development
Campaign here. Also visit Peace Boat's MDGs Campaign blog here.
Picture Credit: Religions for Peace
FOR PEACE AND HUMAN NEEDS: NUCLEAR DISARMAMENT NOW!
countdown towards the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference
in May has started.
international campaign of individuals and organizations working towards the
common goal of nuclear disarmament has mobilized around the rallying appeal
that "nuclear disarmament should serve as the leading edge of a global trend
toward demilitarization and redirection of resources to meet human needs and
restore the environment."
few days ahead of the NPT Review Conference, on April 30-May 2, an
international conference will take place in New York bringing US and
international participants together for analysis and to plan future actions for
nuclear weapons abolition, peace, environmental sustainability, economic
grassroots movement, the For Peace and Human Needs: Nuclear
Disarmament Now! campaign has started a new website calling for
signatures for a petition to be delivered to the White House and the United
Nations at the time of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference
new site also provides resources on the NPT and the general debate, as well as
a list of the well over 200 participating organizations, among which many are
supporters of the Global Article 9 Campaign.
Among the many initiatives for disarmament undertaken in the context of the NPT Review Conference, Peace Boat is organizing a third "Global Voyage for a
Nuclear-Free World" that will sail from April to July, 2010.
Hibakusha (atomic bomb survivors), as well as students, educators, mayors,
diplomats and politicians from around the world onboard, this voyage will visit
nuclear weapon states (Russia, France, China), countries renowned for their
initiatives in peace and disarmament issues, and send a delegation to the NPT
Review Conference in New York in May.
Peace Boat is currently looking for passionate
people to participate in this project and travel with the Hibakusha to inform
the world about the reality of nuclear weapons and spread the message for a "nuclear-free
the website "For
Peace and Human Needs: Nuclear Disarmament Now!" here.
For more resources on the NPT Review Conference, including NGO information, calendar of events and more, go to WILPF's Reaching Critical Will website here.
Information about Peace Boat's third "Global Voyage for
a Nuclear-Free World" onboard the 69th voyage will soon be available here.
|SEND US YOUR NEWS AND UPDATES!
We would like to reiterate our invitation to supporters of the Global Article 9 Campaign to share with us reports
of activities and calls for actions related to the Campaign. From a
conference, to a sign-on letter or a protest, please send us
information at article-9 [@] peaceboat.gr.jp.
newsletter is a great forum to keep ourselves informed of the many
initiatives taking place around the world - let's use it!
Thank you for your interest in and support for the
Global Article 9 Campaign to Abolish War.
| Newsletter Editor:
Celine Nahory, International Coordinator
Global Article 9 Campaign to Abolish War / Peace Boat