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, notably on the Article 9
& Article 12 Conference - Peace Constitutions for Global
Disarmament, and related developments.
|SUCCESS OF THE ARTICLE 9 & ARTICLE 12 CONFERENCE - PEACE CONSTITUTIONS FOR GLOBAL DISARMAMENT
Held onboard Peace Boat's chartered ship the SS Oceanic on July 16, 2009 as it docked in Puntarenas, Costa Rica, the Article 9 & Article 12 Conference - Peace Constitutions for Global Disarmament was a success.
than 150 participants from Costa Rica, Ecuador, Panama, the United
States, Switzerland and Japan explored the value of Article 9 of the
Japanese Constitution and of Article 12 of the Costa Rican Constitution
in their historical perspectives and contemporary contexts, as well as
their regional and global significance.
In a passionate
message read on his behalf at the opening ceremony, Costa Rican
President Oscar Arias welcomed the holding of the event in his country
and spoke of Japan and Costa Rica's choice of "peace as a way of life"
as "the start of a long and challenging journey." He encouraged
participants to stay the course, as "the work of sustaining a lasting
peace is endless."
and video messages of support to the conference were sent, including by
US Congressman Dennis Kucinich, former Costa Rican President Luis
Alberto Monge, Colin Archer of the
International Peace Bureau, Ikeda Masanori of the Japanese Association
of Lawyers Against Nuclear Arms (JALANA), and more, praising the role
played by Costa Rica's and Japan's peace clauses in bringing about a
culture of peace.
Homero Arellano Lascano, Secretary General
of the Vice Presidency of the Republic of Ecuador, expressed his
support for peace constitutions, proclaiming that "both Article 9 and
Article 12 are tied together in two constitutions of separate
countries, but could become axes for pacifist mechanisms that today
constitute the way of Peace" and pointed at Article 416 of the new
Indeed, following the Costa Rican
precedent, his country and several others in Latin America have taken
significant steps towards peace in recent months and adopted new
constitutions in which they define themselves as pacifist countries
that promote a culture of peace and universal disarmament. They also
condemn the imposition of foreign military forces on their soils and
the use of weapons of mass destruction.
Katayama Yukio, a
survivor of the atomic bomb from Hiroshima and Eto Michiko, a third
generation survivor, both shared their personal stories and hope for a
peaceful future that is free of nuclear weapons.
The Global Article 9 Campaign has supported the work done by Peace Boat in sharing the testimonies of Hibakusha (atomic bomb survivors) as peace and disarmament educators raising awareness on the dangers of
nuclear weapons and the human costs of war. In 2008, Peace Boat took a
group of over 100 Hibakusha to more than 20 countries. This
year, another group will join Peace Boat's 67th Global Voyage, during
which they will visit Ecuador and there participate in a follow-up
conference promoting peace constitutions
around the world.
Peace educator and consultant for peace and
disarmament Alyn Ware from New Zealand highlighted the fact that many
regions, including Latin America, Antarctica, New Zealand and Mongolia,
are nuclear weapon free zones. Creating a nuclear weapons-free world is
possible, he said, by pushing for the creation of other nuclear weapon
free zones in the world and promoting the establishment of
Costa Rican activist and lawyer Roberto
Zamora compared the debates taking place around Article 9 in Japan and
Article 12 in Costa Rica. He encouraged the Japanese in the audience to
act to protect their peace clause, like he did when he challenged his
government's position on the Iraq war in the constitutional court of
Costa Rica. His action led to a landmark ruling that Costa Rica
cannot support wars in any way, nor can it support the
manufacturing of nuclear weapons.
Participants at the conference examined the links between such national peace clauses and Article 26 of the United Nations Charter, which calls for the establishment of a system for the regulation of armaments with the least diversion of the
world's human and economic resources for armaments in order to promote
the establishment and maintenance of international peace and security.
upon its history of using what would otherwise be the military budget
for education after disbanding its army, Costa Rica initiated a debate
in the UN Security Council on collective security and armaments
regulation in November of 2008.
Welcoming the initiative, the
conference discussed its significance and explored ways to develop
national, regional and global efforts towards shifting priorities by
which resources are allocated. "Is it not obscene that the world is
spending over $3.3 billion per day on weapons?", asked Jonathan
Granoff, President of the Global Security Institute, joining his voice
in advocating for a decrease in military expenditures to invest instead
in financing sustainable development and human security.
conference concluded by adopting the Puntarenas Declaration, proposing
a UN resolution that acknowledges the role peace constitutions play in
promoting global disarmament, and calling on governments to shift
priorities in the allocation of resources. The declaration calls for a
decrease in military expenditures in order to invest in financing
sustainable development, human security and peace. It also encourages
participation in the Global Forum on Peace Constitutions to be held in
Ecuador in November 2009, during which concrete functions and
responsibilities of peace constitutions will be discussed and further
Read the final declaration of the conference here.
View the program of the conference here, as well as the guest profiles here.
Read Costa Rican President Oscar Arias' message to the conference here; Secretary General of the Vice Presidency of the Republic of Ecuador Homero Arellano Lascano's speech here; as well as the transcript of US Congressman Dennis Kucinich here. More speeches will be made available on the Global Article 9 Campaign's website shortly.
event was co-sponsored by Peace Boat, the Latin
American Branch of the International Association of Lawyers Against
Nuclear Arms (IALANA), the Global Article 9 Campaign, the Faculty of
Law at the University of Costa Rica, and the Japanese Lawyers
International Solidarity Association (JALISA).
Pictures: (1) Homero Arellano Lascano, Secretary General of the Republic of
Ecuador's Vice Presidential Office, speaks about the objectives of the
new Ecuadorian constitution. (2) Carlos Vargas of IALANA (left) and
Kawasaki Akira of Peace Boat/Global Article 9 Campaign to Abolish War
(right) discuss the importance of international collaboration and peace
MAIREAD MAGUIRE AND MEMBERS OF THE FREE GAZA MISSION RELEASED
the arrests on June 30 of Nobel Peace Laureate Mairead Maguire, former
US Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney and approximately 20 human rights
activists participating on a mission of the Free Gaza Movement, the
Global Article 9 Campaign and Peace Boat issued a joint appeal calling
for their release.
being held for several days in detention, the mission members were
released and deported to their respective countries of origin, with the
last of the group eventually recovering their freedom on July 7.
liberation, the activists have described the aggressive
tactics used by Israeli forces to intercept their boat, the deplorable
prison conditions in which they were held, and how their equipment and
supplies were confiscated and destroyed.
mission aimed to break the blockade on the Palestinian territory and to
deliver medicine, toys, and home rebuilding materials to the people of
strong advocate of the Global Article 9 Campaign to Abolish War,
Mairead Maguire, who won the 1976 Nobel Peace Prize for her efforts to
reconcile Catholics and Protestants in Belfast, has been involved in
Palestinian advocacy for several years.
View a video of the mission's interception by Israeli forces, here.
the joint appeal by the Global Article 9 Campaign and Peace Boat
calling for the immediate and unconditional release of Nobel Peace
Laureate Mairead Maguire and other members of the mission, here.
Supporters of the Global Article 9 Campaign also organized a
demonstration in Tokyo to express their demands to the Israeli Embassy
and the media, and raise awareness of the situation amongst the
Read the poem Mairead Maguire wrote from here prison cell, here.
Visit the Free Gaza Movement's website, here.
View the reports by the Nobel Women's Initiative, here.
Picture credit: BBC
| DECEPTION OVER JAPAN'S THREE NON-NUCLEAR PRINCIPLES
Japanese media have recently publicized reports about the existence of
a secret agreement between the US and Japan in violation of Tokyo's
longstanding policy of not possessing or producing nuclear weapons or
allowing them on its territory.
Three Non-Nuclear Principles - as they are known - were first announced
by then Prime Minister Sato Eisaku in December 1967. Codified in
1971 by a resolution in the Diet that stipulated that Japan would abide
by them, the Three Principles have since been regarded as Japan's
national policy. Sato received the Nobel Peace Prize for them in 1974.
During his Nobel Lecture, he explained that the choice to unequivocally
renounce to nuclear weapons was based on the country's excruciating
experience of the atomic bomb and Article 9 of its peace constitution.
Today, former Japanese government
officials finally admitted that a secret deal
between the Japanese and US governments allowing port-calls and
transits of any nuclear-weapon-equipped vessels existed prior to the
formal announcement of the Three Non-Nuclear Principles.
Indeed, since the 1960s, Japan
and the United States concluded a series of confidential
agreements that tacitly allowed US military aircrafts or vessels
carrying atomic weapons to stop-over Japan's territory.
declassified US documents have long indicated the existence of such
secret deal, the Japanese government has consistently denied it
publicly and claims to uphold the Three Non-Nuclear Principles. Only
recently have former Japanese top officials, notably former Vice
Foreign Minister Murata Ryohei who served in the late 1980s,
started admitting the existence of such agreement and testified of the
existence of the accord in various media interviews.
was a great secret. The Japanese government has been lying to its
people," Murata said, describing how upon becoming Vice Foreign
Minister, he heard from his predecessor - and later turned it over to
his successor - that an unpublicized understanding existed between
Japan and the United States concerning nuclear weapons.
revelations suggest that in the 1970s, Tokyo apparently aimed at
formalizing the agreement and modifying the interpretation of the
principle of no entry of nuclear weapons into Japan. But due to changes
of appointment in the Cabinet, formalization never took place.
exposure of the secret deal between Tokyo and Washington occur in the
context of US President Barack Obama's stated efforts towards global
nuclear disarmament and at a time when Japanese and US foreign and
defense officials have started holding regular talks on the role of US
nuclear deterrence in protecting Japan.
conservatives in Japan call for "strong, effective and credible"
deterrence following North Korea's nuclear tests and insist for a more
"visible" US nuclear umbrella. Admitting the existence of the secret
agreement may be a way to implicitly or explicitly create a fait accompli paving the way to revisit Japan's Three Non-Nuclear Principles.
debate over Japan's Non-Nuclear Principles is closely related to the
one on revising Article 9 of the Constitution, as the spirit of Article
9 rejects dependence on nuclear weapons in security policies and the
basis for these principles goes back to Japan's peace constitution.
For more information about this issue, read media reports in the Japan Times and the Straits Times, for example, as well as the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs' official position.
|CANADIAN ARTICLE 9 GROUPS SEND AN OPEN LETTER TO THE JAPANESE IMPERIAL FAMILY
the Japanese imperial couple was about to visit Canada, eight
organizations in Canada issued an open letter asking Emperor and
Empress for their support in keeping "Article 9 intact in the spirit of
peace" and appealing for continued efforts in "helping bring healing
and justice to the victims of atrocities committed by Japan before and
during the Asia-Pacific War".
Co-signed by Japanese, Chinese,
Korean, Filipino and other Canadian
associations, the letter pointed to the fact the Japanese Parliament
had "yet to pass a resolution that fully admits and apologizes for
Japan's responsibility for the loss and suffering of the victims of the
The Canadian, Japanese
and Korean media provided broad coverage of the initiative. Find media reports here.
Read the Open Letter to the Emperor and Empress, here.
For more information, please visit the Peace Philosophy Centre's blog here.
Thank you for your interest in and support for the
Global Article 9 Campaign to Abolish War.
| Newsletter Editor:
Global Article 9 Campaign to Abolish War / Peace Boat