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HOME  > Past issues  > 2013 August 21 - 27  > Women support the pacifist Constitution: Japan Mothers Congress
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2013 August 21 - 27 [WOMEN]

Women support the pacifist Constitution: Japan Mothers Congress

August 25 & 26, 2013
The 59th Japan Mothers Congress was held on August 24 and 25 in the capital region, with about 7,500 people taking part. The participants confirmed their resolve to defend the war-renouncing Japanese Constitution.

On the first day, the plenary session took place at Makuhari Messe in Chiba Prefecture. Representing the organizing committee, New Japan Women’s Association Chair Kasai Kimiyo said to the audience, “Let’s start a new campaign to block the Abe government’s move to go against the tide of history, by joining hands with various women’s groups and building up circles of friends.”

Lawyer Ito Makoto delivered a commemorative speech titled, “Toward a country where the Constitution lives.” The meeting adopted an appeal calling for actions to highlight the importance of the Constitution in people’s everyday life and create a nuclear weapon-free world in which everybody can live in peace with human dignity.

Tamashiro Yuriko, 43, participating from Okinawa, expressed her deep anger at the deployment of the crash-prone U.S. Osprey transport aircraft to Okinawa, which the Japanese and U.S. governments forced through in defiance of local opposition. “Okinawans are concerned that Ospreys’ dangerous training exercises will spread across the nation. Let’s work together to remove all the U.S. military bases from the country and abrogate the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty as soon as possible,” she said.

Mihara Mitsuko, 66, joining the gathering from Ishikawa Prefecture, said, “I’m worried that the ruling Liberal Democratic Party will rush into revising the Constitution by abusing its majority in the Diet. I will work to support the Constitution so that my sons are not drafted into the military.”

On the second day, a total of 35 workshops and symposiums were held in Tokyo. At the Tokyo Metropolitan Hibiya Public Hall, Komori Youichi, a professor in the Graduate School of the Tokyo University, and Arthur Binard, a well-known American poet, appeared on a talk show. Komori criticized the LDP-proposed constitutional amendment for intending to undermine Article 21 of the Constitution, which guarantees the freedom of expression, as well as the party’s intent to introduce a provision like the prewar Public Peace Maintenance Law that allowed the power to ban political rallies and censor publications. Binard stressed that the general public need to wear “lenses” in order not to be deceived by the power establishment and mass media.
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