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HOME  > Past issues  > 2021 November 17 - 23  > Int'l symposium at Japan Peace Conference discusses ways to build nuclear-free, peaceful Asia
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2021 November 17 - 23 [PEACE]

Int'l symposium at Japan Peace Conference discusses ways to build nuclear-free, peaceful Asia

November 22, 2021
An international symposium took place online as part of the 2021 Japan Peace Conference on November 20, and symposium panelists discussed ways to reduce the rising military tensions in areas surrounding Japan, depart from the logic of nuclear deterrence, and break away from military alliances.

Ann Wright of the Veterans for Peace (VFP) from the U.S. talked about the NATO expansion in the Pacific as well as the intensified threat of confrontation between the U.S.-NATO alignment and China. She said, "To resolve the issue, cooperation, dialogue, mutual respect, and peace diplomacy are the most acceptable means to do so. We should make each government recognize this."

Lee Jung Kyu, senior researcher at the Institute for Unification and Peace Policy of Hanshin University, South Korea, said, "A vital challenge shared among citizens' solidarity and peace movements in both South Korea and Japan is to transform the East Asia order from being based on military alliances and military-centric security policies to one based on 'multinational cooperation for peace and coexistence'." He stressed that denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and a peace-building process in the region will be a springboard for multinational cooperation.

Walden Bello, chairperson of Laban ng Mas, the Philippines, pointed out that the U.S.-China battle over supremacy in the South China Sea is creating a hair-trigger situation. He said, "Our role is to prevent the United States from launching a preemptive strike and to eventually eliminate all conditions which cause such a situation."

Kawata Tadaaki, executive director of the Japan Peace Committee, pointed out that the Japanese ruling party of Liberal Democratic Party and its right-wing partners are using a "contingency involving Taiwan" as an excuse to promote arms buildups while firmly clinging to the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty. He said, "Only by pursuing security which actively utilizes the war-renouncing Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution and by seriously making diplomatic efforts in a peaceful manner can we establish true security in Japan and true peace in Asia."

Whether to seek collaboration to avoid U.S.-China conflict is necessary, Prof. Bello responded, "There is a lack of a multilateral system to avoid conflict in the western Pacific and East Asia. The important thing is to build a multilateral mechanism to resolve conflicts." Lee said, "South Korea should work harder to play its role in transforming the present order in East Asia to one based on multilateral cooperation."

Past related article:
> Calling for an end to military alliances and foreign military bases, 2020 Peace Conference held online [November 22, 2020]
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