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HOME  > Past issues  > 2008 November 19 - 25  > Article 9 Association holds its 3rd national exchange meeting
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2008 November 19 - 25 [PEACE]

Article 9 Association holds its 3rd national exchange meeting

November 25, 2008
More than 900 people attended a meeting in Tokyo on November 24 to share their experiences in activities to defend the war-renouncing Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution in order to deepen their conviction and further develop the movement.

It was the third nationwide exchange meeting of the “Article 9 Association,” which was founded in June 2004.

The meeting confirmed that 493 Article 9 Associations was newly established since the last exchange meeting in 2007, bringing the total number to 7,249.

Writer Sawachi Hisae, one of the nine founders of the Article 9 Association, said that the movement has come to involve a wider range of people, often attending local assemblies with children, grandchildren, husbands or wives. “I am sure that this movement will not be and should not be easily dismissed.”

Nobel Prize winner in literature Oe Kenzaburo, philosopher Tsurumi Shunsuke, and constitutional scholar Okudaira Yasuhiro also spoke.

Taniyama Hiroshi of the Japan International Volunteer Center, who has been an NGO aid worker in Afghanistan, said that Japan can be a mediator for peace by making the best use of Article 9.

Former Kashimadai Town Mayor Kano Fuminaga, who represents the Mayors’ Article 9 Association in Miyagi Prefecture, said he joined with 15 other former municipal heads in the prefecture to found the association based on the idea that the move to revise Article 9 threatens residents’ safety. He said that the association sent out a statement to about 1,800 mayors throughout Japan and received many positive responses.

The meeting published a statement encouraging members to use individual ideas and local characteristics in order to create major voice in support of the Constitution.

The statement called on association members to make efforts to continuously study political developments in order to strengthen the movement to frustrate the attempt to adversely revise the Constitution and the government’s interpretational adverse revision of the Constitution. It also called for continuous efforts to create Article 9 Associations in every school district throughout the country.

Participants continued discussions in 12 workshops to share experiences and exchange ideas on how to further develop the movement of Article 9 Associations at workshops and schools.
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