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HOME  > Past issues  > 2019 May 15 - 21  > Pro-constitutional municipal leaders confirm policy of forming ‘Article 9 Association’
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2019 May 15 - 21 [PEACE]

Pro-constitutional municipal leaders confirm policy of forming ‘Article 9 Association’

May 19, 2019
Municipal heads from throughout Japan on May 18 got together at a meeting in Tokyo, unanimously confirming that they will start preparing to establish an “Article 9 Association (A9A) of municipal leaders”.

In the gathering, 22 former mayors exchanged their views on the need to inaugurate the municipal heads’ A9A without delay under the current situation in which Prime Minister Abe’s move to change Article 9 of the Constitution is intensifying in the runup to the July House of Councilors election.

The event was called for by former mayor of Miyagi's Shiroishi City, Kawai Sadakazu, who heads the federation of A9As in six prefectures in the Tohoku region (Aomori, Iwate, Akita, Yamagata, Miyagi, and Fukushima).

A federation director and ex-Miyagi town mayor, Kano Fuminaga, cited PM Abe who said that the Constitution should be revised so that local governments will cooperate in Self-Defense Forces’ recruiting activities. He criticized the PM’s remark as an assault on the constitutional principle of local autonomy. A former mayor of Akita’s Yokote City expressed his determination to work to prevent the Abe government’s plan to deploy the Aegis Ashore anti-missile system in the prefecture. Another former mayor Yamada Kenzo, who had served as head of Nanko Town in Hyogo (currently Sayo Town) for 25 years, pointed out that the creation of a nationwide organization of pro-constitutional municipal heads will help to contribute to a victory of the opposition-citizens alliance in the upcoming Upper House election.

After the get-together, Kawai said to the reporters, “As a member of the Liberal Democratic Party, I have the experience of serving as head of the LDP youth group in Miyagi. Our challenge, I think, is to rally as many mayors as possible, regardless of their political affiliation, to the single issue of defending the pacifist Article 9 of Japan's Constitution.”

The meeting received a solidarity message from Okinawa Governor Tamaki Denny.

Past related articles:
> Abe’s Article 9 revision attempt aimed at forcing local gov’ts to provide young residents’ names to SDF: Shii [February 15, 2019]
> Municipal head in Abe’s hometown stands against planned deployment of land-based Aegis system [September 21, 2018]
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