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HOME  > Past issues  > 2018 January 24 - 30  > ‘No War Network’ official criticizes Abe’s move to undermine Article 9
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2018 January 24 - 30 [POLITICS]

‘No War Network’ official criticizes Abe’s move to undermine Article 9

January 24, 2018
A founder of “No War Network”, a group formed by humanitarian NGOs to oppose the war laws, was interviewed in an Akahata article published on January 24, criticizing Prime Minister Abe Shinzo’s move to revise Article 9 of the Constitution. The founder, Taniyama Hiroshi, is the president of the Japan International Volunteer Center (JVC).

The JVC is a Tokyo-based international NGO that provides humanitarian aid in Afghanistan, Iraq, and other countries. Before assuming the office of the JVC president, Taniyama served as the chief of the JVC branch in Afghanistan for four years from 2002.

Taniyama said, “Seventy-two years have passed since the end of World War II. The reality does not quite agree with Article 9 which prohibits Japan’s use of force abroad. Despite this stipulation, Japan played a supporting military role in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The war in Iraq has already killed more than 200,000 civilians. Prime Minister Abe intends to change the Constitution to fit this reality of the SDF participation in foreign wars. A revision to Article 9 means that Self-Defense Force troops will be allowed to go abroad and use force when the need arises.”

“The conflict between the Constitution and reality is mainly caused by the Japan-U.S. security alliance and the continued presence of U.S. bases in Japan. Personally, I think that in order for Japan to fully implement Article 9, there is no way other than to remove all U.S. bases from Japan. As long as U.S. bases are in the country, people’s suffering from such facilities continues and the SDF may someday find itself in a position to attack other countries as a U.S. military ally.”

“Many international NGOs based in Europe and North America are not categorically against war. Such organizations include even the International Committee of the Red Cross which opposes inhumane ways of waging battles. Only Japan-based NGOs call for the renunciation of war. A country may be forced to use arms as a last resort and it is unlikely that war will be eradicated in the near future. However, Article 9 aims to create a peaceful world that can exist without resorting to the use of arms. Our ultimate goal is to achieve this aim.”
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