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HOME  > Past issues  > 2019 October 30 - November 5  > Concerned citizens publish statement calling for cancellation of planned arms trade fair
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2019 October 30 - November 5 [POLITICS]

Concerned citizens publish statement calling for cancellation of planned arms trade fair

November 1, 2019

A group of citizens opposing the holding of arms trade fairs in Japan on October 31 submitted to the ministries of defense, foreign affairs, and industry a statement calling for the cancellation of the planned arms expo in Chiba Prefecture.

The event in question is supported by the Abe government and scheduled to be held for three days from November 18 at Makuhari Messe in Chiba City in Chiba Prefecture which is struggling to recover from heavy damage caused by the recent typhoons and heavy rains.

The citizens’ statement urged the Chiba Prefectural government to retract its permission given to the expo organizers to use the facility. It also demanded that the Abe government withdraw its sponsorship of the fair; not participate in any arms fairs abroad; and reinstate and enforce the lifted-arms embargo principles.

The statement was initiated by the head of Network Against Japan Arms Trade (NAJAT) and 18 other concerned citizens. So far, 130 people, including academics, journalists, religious figures, and parliamentarians, expressed their support for the statement.

On the day, a group of initiators and supporters of the statement held a press conference in the Diet building.

NAJAT head Sugihara Koji said that since the Abe administration abandoned Japan’s self-imposed restrictions on arms exports, Japan began hosting arms trade shows.

Journalist Shiba Rei, who covers stories of conflict-ridden parts of the world such as Palestine, referred to the fact that Israeli companies will take part in the “merchants of death” fair in Chiba. Pointing out that Israeli weapons kill innocent civilians in Gaza, he said, “These firms use this experience as one of their selling points. I can’t tolerate the entry of companies violating international humanitarian law into Japan.”

Past related articles:
> ‘Merchant of death’ fair held in Tokyo amid public protest [October 16, 2016]
> Lifting arms embargo is integral to Abe’s attempt to build war-fighting Japan: Yamashita [April 2, 2014]
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