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HOME  > Past issues  > 2017 May 31 - June 6  > Veterans for Peace JAPAN founded
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2017 May 31 - June 6 [PEACE]

Veterans for Peace JAPAN founded

June 2, 2017
Former Self-Defense Forces personnel and citizens, who are concerned about the current ominous moves toward Japan’s participation in war, on June 1 at a press conference in the Diet building announced that they launched a Japanese version of the Veterans for Peace (VFP).

The VFP JAPAN, as an affiliated group of the U.S.-based NGO VFP, will work to help stop the construction of a new U.S. base in Okinawa’s Henoko and work to achieve world peace. Eight founding members of the VFP JAPAN will call on other former SDF officers to join the group.

Izutsu Takao, an ex-member of the Ground SDF Rangers, said that he started to have a strong sense of impending crisis when the Abe government approved Japan’s use of the right to collective self-defense and forcibly enacted the controversial war laws. He expressed his determination by stating, “Now that SDF personnel may be dispatched on overseas assignments with the possibility of engaging in combat operations, I came to believe that my duty as an ex-SDF officer is to tell the general public the terrible reality of the potential is of Japan participating in foreign war.”

He referred to the recent incident in which Kawano Katsutoshi, the chief of the Joint Staff Office (JSO), told foreign journalists that he “would very much appreciate” Abe’s proposal to constitutionalize the SDF. The ex-SDF officer criticized this remark for “blatantly violating the SDF Act which puts a strict limit on the SDF’s political engagement”. At the same time, Izutsu pointed out, “The authorities are now desperately trying to silence SDF members from saying anything in regard to constitutional issues.”

Also present at the press conference, Sam Coleman of the U.S. VFP cited the fact that one out of every three Vietnam veterans suffered from PTSD after returning home. He expressed concern about the possible rise in the PTSD incidence rate among SDF servicemen who returned from South Sudan.

Past related articles:
> Top SDF officer should remember his obligation to abide by Constitution[May 25, 2017]
> 1st GSDF group returns to Japan from UN PKO in South Sudan[April 20, 2017]
> Ex-US servicemen: we’ll inform fellow Americans about Okinawans’ anti-base movement[September 9, 2016]
> UN human rights expert shows concern over independence of the press in Japan[April 21, 2016]
> Abe is telling a pack of lies about war legislation: SDF members[June 14, 2015]
> Need to protect Article 9: ex-SDF member in Akahata interview[October 6, 2014]
> Ex-SDF members oppose PM’s attempt to allow Japan’s exercise of collective self-defense right[April 23, 2014]
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