Article 9 Association sharply increased in number during past year

The Article 9 Association, established at the call of nine public figures, including Inoue Hisashi (writer), Oe Kenzaburo (writer), Kato Shuichi (critic), and Tsurumi Shunsuke (philosopher), marked its first founding anniversary on June 10.

In response to the appeal calling for the defense of the war-renouncing Article 9 of the Constitution, local associations have been established throughout the country. The number of associations has particularly risen since January 2005, to 2,007 as of the end of May.

A total of 27,400 people attended speech assemblies sponsored by the Article 9 Association in 9 cities between July 2004 and March 2005.

More than 100 local organizations have been established in the following prefectures: Hokkaido, Aomori, Tokyo, Kanagawa, Nagano, Aichi, Osaka, and Kyoto.

Also, Article 9 Associations were established in various circles related to medical services; movies; science; poetry, including tanka (traditional Japanese poem) and haiku (ibid. with seventeen syllables) poems; sports; mass media; women; religion; agriculture; and fisheries.

The Article 9 Association-Osaka was established at the call of 14 artists and other public figures, including Katsura Beicho (rakugo-ka or traditional comic storyteller, a national living treasure), Yoshida Tamao (Bunraku puppet player), and Fujimoto Giichi (writer).

Kanagawa citizens formed a unique Article 9 Association for Newspaper Ads.

Recently, similar associations have been established in university campuses, which totaled 44 at the end of May (preparatory associations are included).

Celebrating its first anniversary, the Association plans to hold a rally on July 30 in Tokyo. - Akahata, June 10, 2005

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