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HOME  > Past issues  > 2008 July 30 - August 19  > Give life to Japan’s post-war determination to make efforts in defense of peace
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2008 July 30 - August 19 [HISTORY]

Give life to Japan’s post-war determination to make efforts in defense of peace

August 15, 2008
Akahata Editorial

August 15 marks the 63rd anniversary of the end of the Japanese war of aggression.

More than 3.1 million Japanese people and more than 20 million people in Asia and Pacific regions died during the 15-years of the Japanese military wars of aggression and colonization in Asia and the Pacific.

This is the time to mourn for all of the war victims, remember the hardships the Japanese people experienced in the post-war period, and renew our determination to work hard in our quest for peace.

The current of peace spreading throughout the world

After the war, Japan established the Constitution declaring that the Japanese people “resolved that never again shall we be visited with the horrors of war through the action of government” (Preface of the Japanese Constitution).

In Constitution Article 9, Japan renounced war, prohibited the use of force or threat of force, and declared that it would not maintain military forces while denying itself the right of belligerency.

Those forces who justify Japan’s past Asia-Pacific war as “for self-existence and self-defense” or “to liberate Asia” have been trying to turn Japan into a nation that can fight wars in defiance of the Japanese people’s remorse for the past war. The Japanese people have rejected such attempts by raising the voice of the people in opposition.

In last year’s House of Councilors election, the Abe Cabinet, the first post-war cabinet to promise to revise the Constitution, was defeated, and thus the call for constitutional revision was frustrated.

Now, the renunciation of war and the resolution of international disputes by peaceful means, as established by Japan after the war, are spreading worldwide.

Guided by the following principles: “Mutual respect for the independence, sovereignty, equality of all nations;” “Non-interference in the internal affairs of one other nation states;” and “Settlement of differences or disputes by peaceful means,” the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC) has been increasing its membership both within and beyond the region. Such regional communities for peace are also being formed in the Americas and Africa.

All these communities have a common belief, which is to settle regional disputes or pending problems through tenacious diplomatic negotiations. The idea to solve problems by military means is becoming outdated. At a public assembly held in July to celebrate the JCP 86th anniversary, Japanese Communist Party Chair Shii Kazuo said that the world is now becoming more convinced that “conflicts or quarrels may not disappear from human society, but the wisdom of mankind can prevent these conflicts from turning into wars.”

Nevertheless, the United States pushes ahead with its war of aggression against Iraq and the military campaign in Afghanistan. Subservient to the U.S., the Japanese government sends its troops abroad and even tries to make a law for permanent overseas deployment. As such, the attitude of the government is running counter to worldwide trends. In particular, Japan’s maneuver is completely impermissible on grounds that it tramples on the sentiment of the people, who suffered during the war, and overturns postwar Japan’s deep remorse for its war of aggression.

The party of peace and against the war

Before and during the war, JCP members kept fighting against the war of aggression and colonial rule, literally at the risk of their lives. In postwar Japan, in order to not repeat the road to war again, the party has confronted such schemes as the adverse revision of the Constitution and the overseas dispatch of the troops.

As a party to defend peace, the JCP makes all-out efforts to have Japan contribute to the world, where a big wave for peace is rippling in line with the constitutional principles for peace and democracy. That is the way to embody the resolve for peace. - Akahata, August 15, 2008
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