Dear Friends and Supporters of Article 9,
less than ten weeks left before the Conference, the pace is
accelerating. As we enter the final planning stages, we are receiving an increasing number of messages of
support from Japan and from abroad. Thank you very much!
"GLOBAL ARTICLE 9 CONFERENCE TO
Snapshot: Iraq Session
US-led war and occupation in Iraq are at the core of the worldwide
peace movement and grass-roots pacifist mobilization. In light of the
tragedy taking place there, military and government officials have
spoken out against the policies of their governments and engaged in
opposing the war and occupation.
Ann Wright served 29 years in the US Army and as a State Department
official before publicly resigning in 2003 in direct opposition to
the Iraq War. Since then, she has been deeply involved in the peace
movement in the United States, working with Cindy Sheehan at the Camp
Casey demonstration, picketing at Guantánamo, and serving as a
witness at the trial of Lt. Ehran Watada.
a segment of the plenary session, Iraq
Aid Volunteer and
former Japanese hostage in Iraq Takato Nahoko will organize a
discussion among US and Iraqi youth on how the war has affected them.
Delgado (26 years old) joined the US Army on September 11, 2001 and
began a year-long tour in Iraq in April 2003. As a Buddhist, he soon
began to openly question whether he could participate in the war in
good conscience. Witnessing abuses at Abu Ghraib prison, he
applied for and received conscientious objector status on pacifist
principles. He has been actively involved in the anti-war movement
Turki (30 years old) served as a soldier in the Iraqi Republican
Guard between 2001 and 2003. After the war, he was taken twice in US
custody for speaking out against US attacks on Falluja and Ramadi. He
is now an aid worker in Ramadi, involved in repairing of schools,
establishing medical clinics, and providing emergency relief to
them, famous Japanese writer and journalist Amamiya Karin (33 years
old), once a right-wing activist and punk singer, distanced herself
from her past to become actively involved in social justice and
sharing experiences and bringing their own perspectives, the
participants in this session will will engage with Japanese youth and
provide them with models of young individuals who chose to change the
course of their lives and get involved in the peace movement.
February 22, a press conference was held to
announce the program and further details of
the Conference, as well as information about lead-up events
dozen high profile Japan-based co-initiators of the Global Article 9
Conference were present, including Executive Director of Greenpeace
Japan Hoshikawa Jun, Academy Award Nominee
Film Director John Junkerman, Okinawa International University
Political Scientist Douglas Lummis, President of Japanese Lawyers International
Solidarity Association (JALISA) Niikura Osamu and Iraq Aid Volunteer Takato
Around 50 media representatives attended the event, including
journalists from international networks. As well as comprehensive
coverage in the Japanese language, several articles have been
published in English, including in the Japan Times and Kyodo News. In
addition, Agence France Presse ran an
article that appeared in many newspapers throughout Asia and beyond.
|ARTICLE 9 PEACE WALK
Article 9 Peace Walk is a pre-event of the Global Article 9
Conference to Abolish War. Planned and organized at the grass-roots
level, the 71-day Peace Walk will carry the message of Article 9
throughout Japan, mobilize support and raise funds in support of the
Peace Walk marchers departed from Hiroshima's Peace Memorial Park
on February 24. Participants include lawyers, students, monks and former US soldiers.
will stop and organize events in
Kobe, Osaka, Kyoto, Nagoya, Fuji, Yokohama and many other towns along
the way. They
will reach Tokyo on May 3 to join the
memorial gathering on the day of the 61st anniversary of
the entry into force of the Constitution, and then arrive on May 4 at
Makuhari Messe Convention Center for the opening of the Global
Article 9 Conference to Abolish War.
more information about Article 9 Peace Walk, see:
JAPANESE DEBATE ON ARTICLE 9
the last few weeks, several developments have kept Article 9 related
debates at the forefront of public attention.
a four-month interruption, the Maritime Self-Defense Force resumed
its refueling mission in the Indian Ocean. The
mission remains however very controversial, as the Japanese Diet
continues to be divided over the issue and lingering suspicions that
MSDF fuel had been diverted for use in Iraq have not been cleared.
resumption of the refuelling mission comes amid distrust and
criticism of the Defense Ministry and the Self-Defense Force,
following the collision of a Maritime SDF destroyer with a fishing
boat. The destroyer Atago, equipped with an Aegis defence system, was
on its way back from Hawaii following missile launching exercises.
Initial investigations show negligence occurred at several levels and
raise questions over the accountability of the Japanese SDF.
addition, a series of incidents involving US servicemen, including
two alleged rapes (one of the victims a 14-year-old girl), have
exacerbated the long-held resentment against the US
military presence in Okinawa. Women's groups have repeatedly
condemned the recurring violence exerted by US servicemen against
women. Additional problems include environmental pollution, noise, and the
deterioration of public security near US bases. These incidents occur
as Washington and Tokyo are seeking to relocate a major Marine air
base in the face of strong local opposition.
more information about this debate and its relation to the Global
Article 9 Campaign and Conference, please read Agence France Presse's
article "Japan, US agree tighter watch over US troops"
(February 21, 2008)
PARTICIPATE IN THE CONFERENCE
you are planning to attend the Global Article 9 Conference, we
recommend that you start looking into transportation and
accommodation, as the Conference is taking place during Japan's
Golden Week holiday season, one of the busiest travelling
times in Japan.
Week celebrates four national holidays: the birthday of former
Emperor Showa Day - former Emperor Hirohito's birthday (April
29); the anniversary of the the
Constitution, which entered into force in 1947 (May 3); Greenery Day
(May 4); and Children's Day (May 5).
check the web site in mid-March for registration procedures and a list of acommodation in the vicinity of the Makuhari
Messe Convention Center.
count on your participation in the Conference and look forward to
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
| Newsletter Editor:
Global Article 9 Campaign to Abolish War / Peace Boat