Appeal to Join the 'Article 9 Association---SHIN-EIKEN'
August 1, 2005
New English Teachers’ Association
Shin-Eiken ('New English Teachers Association') is a nationwide organization of Japanese teachers of foreign languages. The organization works on creating foreign language education using democratic and scientific methods. Since its founding in 1959, with a view to helping students study foreign languages vividly and become globally-sensitive citizens, we have developed and pursued creative teaching practices, one of which is peace education.
The year 2005 marks 60th year anniversary of the end of WWII and the 58th anniversary of the establishment of the Constitution of Japan. During a 15-year long period of aggression including several wars which started in 1931, the old Japanese army killed about 20 million Asians, oppressed countless numbers, and drove 3.1 million Japanese people into death.
The Japanese people have enjoyed peaceful days during the last 60 years, free of war and large-scale international terrorism, thanks to peace provisions including Article 9 of the Constitution renouncing war. However, recently, some people are currently attempting to revise the peace constitution to weaken Article 9, against the will of the majority of the people of Japan.
The peace constitution is on the verge of being re-oriented to allow Japan to wage war overseas again, as illustrated by dispatching the Self-Defense Forces (SDF) to Iraq in support of the U.S.-led war. Under the present Article 9, although the right to collective self-defense and dispatching the SDF overseas are impossible, but the Koizumi Cabinet made the dispatch an accomplished fact by railroading its bill through the Diet. If the article is revised, they will be done without any doubt.
In March 1991, Charles Overby, American engineering-ecologist, inaugurated 'Article 9 Society?the U.S.' on the basis of his own involvement in WWII and Korean War. He asserted that the idea of Article 9 should become norms for all the world in the 21st century. He believes that people should aim at peaceful world by settling international disputes through non-violent means not through use of force.
Dr.Katsumori Hiroshi, the then representative of the 'Article 9 Society?Japan,' contributed an essay “Article 9 Association born in the U.S.” to the December 1994 issue of our monthly magazine 'New English Classroom,' in which he stressed the international significance of the provision. He died on June 9, 2004.
Coincidentally, on the following day, nine Japanese public figures, including the Nobel Prize for literature laureate Oe Kenzaburo and writer Inoue Hisashi, founded the 'Article 9 Association,' and issued an appeal to the people of Japan, “Let’s join hands for defending the Constitution.” Since then more than 2,000 local, field branches of the association have been formed around the country.
We Shin-Eiken teachers agree with the Article 9 Association principles, and we strongly wish to spread the idea of Article 9 to the rest of the world. We want to join hands with all people who agree that Article 9 must be defended. We hope that all who support the following agreement may show their support by joining the 'Article 9 Association---SHIN-EIKEN.'
1. Name :“Article 9 Association---SHIN-EIKEN"
2. Purpose : To carry out activities needed to defend Article 9
3. Activities :
(1) hold lecture and study meetings
(2) issue appeals to people in Japan and internationally
(3) other necessary activities
4. Admission requirement: Whoever supports the principles of this agreement may join.
Original proposer :
AHARA Shigemitsu , ASAKAWA Kazuya, IKEDA Masumi, KUNIHIORO Masao, SHOKEI Iwao,TAKIGUCHI Masaru,TODA Yasushi, TANAKA Yasuyuki, YANAGISAWA Tamio, NARA Katsuyuki (secretary), Charles Overby, Sarah Brock, John Junkerman, Johanna Stratton
For further information, please contact;
NARA Katsuyuki :
e-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org
Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution
Aspiring sincerely to an international peace based on justice and order, the Japanese people forever renounce war as a sovereign right of the nation and the threat or use of force as means of settling international disputes.
In order to accomplish the aim of the preceding paragraph, land, sea, and air forces, as well as other war potential will never be maintained. The right of belligerency of the state will not be recognized.