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HOME  > Past issues  > 2013 November 13 - 19  > Article 9 Associations hold 5th national conference
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2013 November 13 - 19 [PEACE]

Article 9 Associations hold 5th national conference

November 17, 2013
About 600 representatives of Article 9 Associations around the nation on November 16 held the fifth national conference in Tokyo.

At the meeting, three of the nine founders of the A9A, Oe Kenzaburo (Novel Prize writer), Okudaira Yasuhiro (constitutional scholar), and Sawachi Hisae (author) delivered speeches.

Oe said, “Eliminating nuclear reactors and defending Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution, these are what we should do to pass the world down to future generations.”

Okudaira and Sawachi said that a secrets protection bill, which Prime Minister Abe Shinzo aims to enact, will undermine the Constitution, and both called for the killing of the bill.

As part of this conference, a symposium took place to discuss the government’s attempt to legalize Japan’s exercise of the right to collective self-defense. Meiji University Professor Urata Ichiro and former Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Yanagisawa Kyoji talked as panelists.

Urata pointed out that if we allow PM Abe to change the conventional constitutional interpretation, that would amount to deleting Article 9.

Yanagisawa, who had been involved in the dispatch of the Self-Defense Forces to Iraq, said, “Japan did not fire a single shot in Iraq. We should maintain our country’s brand image as a peaceful nation,” receiving applause from the audience.

Following the symposium, representatives of grass-roots A9As across the country reported on their activities. Aoyama Kohei of the Chuo University A9A said that they are planning to organize a “Peace Night Nine” rally in December along with students from other universities. “We hope the rally will be a good chance to think about our future and Article 9. We are seeking to attract as many as 800 participants,” he added.
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