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'Article 9 Association' holds its first national exchange meeting

The "Article 9 Association" (A9A) in its efforts to protect and make the best use of Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution held its first national exchange meeting in Tokyo on June 10, marking the 2nd anniversary of its founding.

The A9A called for establishing a nationwide network irrespective of ideological or political differences and increasing public awareness of the need to defend the Constitution so that the majority of the public will support it.

The meeting was filled with 1,550 people from about 900 local and occupational A9A groups out of 5,174 such groups formed throughout Japan.

Many participants reported on their activities in cooperation with a wide range of people, and one of them said, "We ask even conservatives to join us."

Out of nine A9A founders, Miki Mutsuko, wife of former Prime Minister Miki Takeo, said, "I began this movement because I don't want young people to suffer again from the miseries caused by war."

Critic and philosopher Tsurumi Shunsuke said, "I'm opposed to the civilization that pushes ahead with wars. As the Japanese who suffered from two atomic bombings by the highly 'civilized country,' we don't have to cooperate in the (Iraq) War."

Writer Sawachi Hisae said, "Citizens continue to make efforts to defend Article 9 in each community and workplace. Such power and commitment will give birth to new wisdom."

Critic Kato Shuichi said, "The A9A is now climbing up a slope. If we keep pushing this momentum, we'll have a chance to thwart constitutional revision."

Writer Oda Makoto said, "The need for a true defense of Japan is to take a step forward to a world of nonviolence."

Nobel Prize winner in literature Oe Kenzaburo said, "I'm very glad that various independent activities in defense of the Constitution have borne such great fruit."
- Akahata, June 11, 2006

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