An effort to end war and oppression -- Akahata editorial, December 5

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit meeting supported Indonesia's proposal to hold an Asia-Africa summit meeting to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Bandung Conference. The proposal to hold the memorial conference was initially made by cabinet ministers of Non-Aligned Nations when they convened in Bandung in July 2003.

At the International Conference of Asian Political Parties held in early September in Beijing, Japanese Communist Party Central Committee Chair Fuwa Tetsuzo stressed the significance of the 10 Principles of Bandung and called on Asia "to send out a message of its common will for establishing an international peace" on its 50th anniversary. The Beijing Declaration adopted by the ICAPP calls for peace, cooperation, and democratic international relations to be promoted based on the 10 Principles of Bandung.

Ten Principles of Bandung

Representatives of more than 60 parties, ruling and opposition, from almost all Asian countries attended the 3rd ICAPP. The fact that the 1955 Bandung Conference was referred to at the meetings of the ICAPP, ASEAN, and the non-aligned movement is a manifestation of a major current emerging with a call for efforts to turn Asia into a region of peace and cooperation.

The effort can be traced back to the 1955 Bandung Conference, a meeting held by Asian and African countries, ten years after the end of World War II. Many Asian countries were devastated by Japan's colonization and war of aggression and became independent after the war. The Chinese Revolution won a victory in 1949. The Korean War ended in truce in 1953. And immediately after that, Vietnam won a victory in 1954 in its war against France. About 30 countries convened in Bandung, Indonesia, with a view to eradicating war and oppression.

The ten principles in the Bandung Declaration for the promotion of world peace and cooperation called for disarmament and abolition of nuclear weapons, and rights of nations to self-determination based on the purposes and principles of the United Nations Charter. The principles also included: Fundamental human rights, sovereign rights of a country, equality among races and states, non-interference in other countries' internal affairs, prohibition of aggression, threats, and use of force, and for peaceful resolution of international disputes.

The 10 principles of Bandung are relevant today as we seek to establish a peaceful order.

Of course, this is not an easy task to accomplish. Asia's history after WWII shows that peaceful and cooperative relations have been built on enormous sacrifices and ordeals as well as twists and turns.

Japan participated in the Bandung Conference. It was called upon to proactively do its part for peace and cooperation in Asia by implementing the 10 principles of Bundung.

The ASEAN members have concluded the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia that provides for the principles of national sovereignty, equality, non-interference in each other's internal affairs, and peaceful resolution of conflicts. Papua New Guinea, China, India, Pakistan, Japan, Korea and Russia have signed this treaty, which covers half of the world population. This is an achievement of the effort to preserve the Bandung principles in the present-day world. The treaty also shows the way to solve remaining issues of the Korean Peninsula.

Take advantage of the Constitution

The Japanese government should act appropriately as a signatory country of the Bandung Declaration and the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia. However, the government continues to believe that Japan's "international contributions" should be in strengthening the Japan-U.S. military alliance, adversely revising the Constitution, keeping the SDF stationed in Iraq, and enabling the SDF to use force abroad. Running counter to the Asian trend, that will be the way to isolate Japan in the region, hamper its own development, and fail to meet the expectations of other Asian peoples.

Japan must not lose sight of the post-WWII history of Asia and its future. The task now is for Japan to increase its international cooperation and contribution by taking advantage of the constitutional principles of peace and democracy. (end)

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