International Symposium held on 40th anniversary of Non-Aligned Movement

Marking the 40th anniversary of the first summit conference of the
Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), the two-day International Symposium (the first
in Japan) was held in Tokyo from September 15.

Discussion in the International Symposium on the Non-Aligned Movement for
development of this movement - Respect for National Sovereignty, Peace,
Solution of Hunger and Poverty focused on the issues of the increasing gap
between the rich and the poor under economic 'globalization,' and the
struggle to get foreign military bases withdrawn.

Japan's 36 participants (from trade unions and democratic organizations),
including critic Hatada Shigeo and the Japan Asia Africa Latin America
Solidarity Committee President Akiniwa Toshio, called for the holding of the
symposium in Tokyo.

At the first day session, panelists' speeches were made by Rachadi
Iskandar, retired ambassador of Indonesia; Pham Van Chuong, president of the
Vietnam Committee for Afro-Asian Latin-American Solidarity and Cooperation;
Julio A. Muriente Perez, president of the New Independence Movement of
Puerto Rico (NMIP); Sugie Eiichi, professor emeritus of Chukyo University;
Ogata Yasuo, Japanese Communist Party International Bureau director; and Dr.
Morad Ghaleb, president of the Afro-Asian People's Solidarity Organization
(AAPSO)(paper report).

Sugie said the significance of the NAM is to challenge the international
order under big powers. Iskandar referred to the South-South cooperation
against globalization.

Perez spoke about the NAM's support for the independence of Puerto Rico
and removal of military bases from the Island of Vieques.

Chuong stressed the importance of paying full respect to the right to
self-determination of all nations and non-interference in the internal
affairs of other countries.

Ogata said, Japan's participation in the NAM will "open up a grand
prospect to produce big changes in Japan's relations with the U.S., Asia and
the world, which in turn will enable Japan to establish a foreign policy for
peace and social progress, a foreign policy we need in the 21st century." He
also called for further solidarity between the NAM and NGO.

Quoting the final document of the 12th NAM Summit Talks in 1998, Chuong
from Vietnam said that the NAM has been opposed to any terrorist actions,
and such selective and unilateral measures against terrorist actions that
violate the U.N. Chapter should not be allowed.

All the panelists denounced the terrorist attacks in the U.S., and also
said that the incident must be resolved through peaceful means based on the
United Nations Charter and international law.

Eighteen diplomats from 15 embassies in Japan attended the symposium. (end)