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HOME  > Past issues  > 2019 November 13 - 19  > Pro-constitutional municipal leaders form ‘Article 9 Association’
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2019 November 13 - 19 TOP3 [PEACE]

Pro-constitutional municipal leaders form ‘Article 9 Association’

November 18, 2019

Aiming to protect the war-renouncing Article 9 of the Constitution beyond differences in political ideology, beliefs, or positions, an “Article 9 Association of municipal leaders” was formed on November 17.

The inaugural meeting took place in Tokyo on the day and adopted an appeal pointing out that it is vital to strengthen grassroots-level struggles to block any move to change Article 9. Stating, “We will hold the principle of Article 9 up high as is done by more than 7,000 A9As established in various communities and fields throughout Japan,” municipal leaders in the appeal expressed their determination to uphold and implement this principle. They also made a commitment to promote pro-Article 9 movements by drawing on residents’ input.

Currently, 131 people, including 13 incumbent mayors, gave their endorsement to the association.

In the meeting, former mayor of Miyagi's Shiroishi City, Kawai Sadakazu (head of the federation of local A9As in six prefectures in the Tohoku region) was elected as a co-leader of the newborn A9A. Delivering a speech, Kawai said that as his political philosophy, he believes that to ensure the safety and security of the citizens is the mayor’s responsibility. Referring to the ongoing constitutional revision movement, he said, “When war breaks out, people will no longer live safely in peace. Taking this meeting as a starting point, we should strengthen our grassroots efforts to defend Article 9.”

Two incumbents and four ex-municipal heads appeared on the stage and expressed their support.

Matsushita Reiko, mayor of Tokyo’s Musashino City, won her first election two years ago. Citing the controversy generated during the Aichi Triennale, Matsushita said that freedom of expression constitutes the very foundation of democracy and thus the general public needs to defend this right. She also noted that Musashino City during the war experienced U.S. bomb attacks because wartime Japan’s leading warplane maker, Nakajima Aircraft Company, was located in the city. She expressed her intent to introduce a project to tell horror of war and pass down the pricelessness of peace to future generations in collaboration with citizens’ movements.

Waseda University Professor Emeritus Asakura Mutsuko spoke on behalf of the Article 9 Association and expressed her expectations for local leaders’ efforts. Okinawa Governor Tamaki Denny and two former Shiga governors, Takemura Masayoshi and Kada Yukiko (currently House of Councilors member), sent messages in solidarity to the meeting.

Past related article:
> Pro-constitutional municipal leaders confirm policy of forming ‘Article 9 Association’ [May 19, 2019]
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