Japan Abandons Peace Constitution

Dear Friends, On July 1, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe informed the country of his Cabinet decision to reinterpret Article Nine of Japan’s Peace Constitution. The official changes will take place in fall when the Parliament comes together. The Peace Constitution has never been touched since 1947 and consequently, the Japanese are recognized throughout the world as “War-Renouncing People”. Article Nine has been a sign of Hope to the world, a sign that Constitutional Peace is possible among major countries.

What the Prime Minister has done is to reinterpret a part of the Constitution which pertains to its military activities. That the military will create peace is a contradiction in terms. The two do not fall into the same category. The military uses weapons to kill. Peace uses non-killing weapons to create roads for human equality and dialogue.

Article Nine of the Constitution reads: “(1) Aspiring sincerely to an international peace based on justice and order, the Japanese people forever renounce war as a sovereign right of the nation and the threat or use of force as means of settling international disputes. (2) To accomplish the aim of the preceding paragraph, land, sea, and air forces, as well as other war potential, will never be maintained. The right of belligerency of the state will not be recognised.”

With changes that will allow Japanese Self-Defence Military Forces to participate in overseas missions, the last 67 years of a “non-violence” Constitution has come to an end. The slippery slope has begun. It’s like a dam. Once a crack appears it only gets bigger.

Japan’s Peace Constitution has always been a stablizing factor in Asia, encouraging dialogue and diplomacy among countries. Now MILITARY FORCE rather than NON VIOLENCE will become the new norm for solving territorial disputes and fragile relationships. A historical change is in the making which will not only affect Asia but the entire world.

Article Nine has always represented a commitment for countries to work for a peaceful world based on mutual respect and dialogue. Is the Prime Minister justified in rushing this change through Parliament without sufficient discussion and support of the Japanese people? What dangers will the future hold for our children? Without Article Nine, Japan’s historical past is entering a dangerous gate.

God Bless
Jerry Novotny, OMI

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Japan bishops issue statement opposing military shift

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The Difference is LIFE  “We will not build a peaceful world by following a negative path. It is not enough to say we must not wage war. It is necessary to love peace and sacrifice for it. We must concentrate not merely on the negative expulsion of war but on the positive affirmation of peace. We must see that peace represents a sweeter music, a cosmic melody, that is far superior to the discords of war. Somehow, we must transform the dynamics of the world power struggle from the negative nuclear arms race, which no one can win, to a positive contest to harness humanity’s creative genius for the purpose of making peace and prosperity a reality for all the nations of the world. In short, we must shift the arms race into a peace race. If we have a will – and determination – to mount such a peace offensive, we will unlock hitherto tightly sealed doors of hope and transform our imminent cosmic elegy into a psalm of creative fulfillment.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

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Websites by Fr. Jerry:

Recent Pro Life Newsletter + Archives

LifeIssues.net Website   (in English)

Japan-lifeissues.net Website    (in Japanese)

Catholic Asia-Pacific Coalition on HIV/AIDS Website

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