Let Article 9 shine -- Article 9 Committee holds public assembly

In its first major action calling for the war-renouncing Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution to be defended, the Article 9 Committee held a public assembly on July 24 in a Tokyo hotel with about 1,000 people attending.

The main speakers were from the Article 9 Committee, which was established in June by nine public figures with the aim of stopping the current moves to push through the adverse revision of the Japanese Constitution's Article 9: Oe Kenzaburo (writer); Okudaira Yasuhiro (constitutional scholar); Oda Makoto (writer); Kato Shuichi (critic); Sawachi Hisae (non-fiction writer); and Tsurumi Shunsuke (critic).

Inoue Hisashi (writer) gave the opening speech and said, "I am determined to defend Article 9 to the last because it is the crystallization of the world's pledge for no more wars."

Oe Kenzaburo, who was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1994, said, "Whether the wishes expressed in the Constitution and the Fundamental Law of Education can be reaffirmed falls on our shoulders."

Oda Makoto said, "The Japanese Constitution is a declaration of world peace in the form of a national constitution. Now is the time for us to illuminate it again."

Non-fiction writer Sawachi Hisae said, "It is humans who are paving the way for war. Why can't humans stop those moves?"

The gathering was also attended by Japanese Communist Party Executive Committee Chair Shii Kazuo, Social Democratic Party President Fukushima Mizuho, and New Socialist Party Leader Yatabe Osamu.

The Article 9 Committee will hold similar speech assemblies in Sapporo, Sendai, Kyoto, Osaka, Fukuoka, and Okinawa to call for local movements to be launched in support of the Article 9 Committee's appeal. (end)

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