Dear Jill and all activists espousing demilitarization, nuclear abolition and a true peace-in-action.
It was all accomplished 68 years ago and who noticed? Peace and prosperity, no military, lowest homicide rate among industrial nations, no hand guns, no assault weapons allowed, excellent health care at 5 dollars a visit on demand, marvelously healthy diet, affordable housing, great educational system (with a few quirks), a gem of a public transportation system and until very recently a healthy democracy. Of course I’m talking about the Japanese Constitution which both Noam Chomsky and Helen Caldicott called a model for the rest of the world to follow – especially Article 9 and the Preamble to the constitution which forbids Japan to ever again make war. Japan is also the only major industrial power to eschew nuclear weapons. All of this which the rest of the world ignored, a gift of peace on a silver platter.
Now of course that wonderful gift is under siege by their own government, bullying and illegally trashing their own constitution. Now too a slumbering infant has awakened. The youth of Japan, stung by the lies, obfuscations and blatant disregard by the Abe administration for the will of the people, has arisen in record numbers staging dramatic protests and demonstrations to retain their beloved constitution in concert with labor unions, academics, hibakusha and older generations who have long battled for their human rights guaranteed by their peace constitution.
Instead of re-inventing the wheel may we encourage you to join forces with WILPF, Veterans for Peace and the Jane Adams Peace Association to campaign for a resolution to bring a version of Article 9 as an amendment to the U.S. constitution. Strong connections have already been made in Japan for mutual support including Naomi Takasu (founder of committee to nominate Art. 9 for the Nobel Peace Prize), Global Article 9 Campaign to Abolish War, Peace Boat, Hidankyo, Allen Nelson Peace Project, academics from Ristumeikan University and Okinawa. Here in America we have gained endorsements and support from the Japanese-American Museum in Los Angeles, Georgia WAND, MASS PEACE ACTION, American Friends Service Committee and the Smedley Butler Brigade of Veterans for Peace.
In Boston Mary Popeo and David Rothauser are producing independent films focused on the abolition of war and nuclear weapons. Mary’s new film, “I Am An American,” projects the energy and enthusiasm of American College students expressing their concern and support for Article 9 as a true force for world peace. David’s films, “Hibakusha, Our Life to Live,” and “Article 9 Comes to America,” presents Japanese, Korean and American A-bomb survivors stories while his Article 9 film challenges pre-conceived concepts of war, peace and nuclear weapons.
Dear Jill and all activists espousing demilitarization, nuclear abolition and a true peace-in-action.
Citizens of the world need to look into their own mirrors. What does the proliferation and expansion of nuclear weapons mean to each individual? Faced with the obvious result of global suicide if there is a nuclear conflagration or worse, omnicide, he and she who reflects on their own survival and the survival of loved ones and the survival of life on the planet are faced with two choices; passively allow the power brokers to continue playing “nuclear roulette” with their lives until a nuclear conflagration becomes unavoidable, or unite with their brothers and sisters world wide to form a movement of civil disobedience whose focus, concentration and perseverance are so powerful and relentless that the nuclear weapons states will be overwhelmed to the point of nuclear weapons abolition. At this point in history, Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution comes closest to being the mechanism for achieving nuclear abolition and world peace. The impending tragedy is that most of the world knows nothing about Article 9 and the power brokers from the U.S. and Japan foolishly conspire to defeat the most powerful peace constitution of their own making. Their blind addiction to world domination becomes the vortex that drags all humanity into an endless abyss of nuclear holocaust. The addiction of 5 nation states should be the challenge of our survival. Heed the face in the mirror.
Japan’s Apology to Her WWII Asian Victims
One of the most meaningful forms of apology is one that encompasses action. Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution is an action of reconciliation, enacted on a daily basis. Therefore this form of apology is a living document, infinite in its scope providing Article 9 remains a vital part of the constitution. Most official government apologies are words only and relatively short in duration. Japan’s apology via Article 9 may become a template for world peace, not only an apology but also an inspiration for all nations.
As for Japan vs Switzerland or any other “peace” country, Article 9 and the peace constitution are not perfect, and the so-called security pact with the U.S. (really meaningless in the aftermath of 9/11) Japan as a major industrial power in the world must be given credit for not engaging combat troops in any war for 68 years, not one soldier or civilian attacked or lost in that time. The U.S. has been after Japan to drop Article 9 since 1950, but the Japanese people insist on keeping their peace constitution. I draw a sharp distinction between governments and their people. Major industrial governments are Empire builders. Their people protest, but have little power to do more. The Japanese government is to a large extent dictated to by the U.S., the most warmongering nation in history. Do you see the American people rising up to overthrow their leaders?
Consider this. If Abe is successful in abolishing the peace constitution, the Japanese government will be free to develop nuclear weapons. That idea has never been discussed while Article 9 is on the books. Do the Chinese people want the Japanese people to have nuclear weapons? How about Korea, the Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia. Do Okinawan people need nukes. All the major industrial powers maintain nuclear arsenals, with missiles ready to launch. Abe cannot compete on the world stage without nuclear weapons. Is that preferable to having a peace constitution?
The United Nations mandate established in 1945 was to abolish war making. Article 9 has achieved that for 68 years. Peace is possible – imperfect as it is. As Noam Chomsky says, “Article 9 should serve as an inspiration and a model for the world to follow.”
Good to hear from you and thanks again for attending my film. I value your thoughts and ideas. I teach at a Japanese school, but that doesn’t give me great insight into the Japanese mind. Most Japanese I know do not talk about war & peace, but then neither does my Korean wife and all her friends – only some peace activists are more outspoken. Americans of course are more outspoken, but they do not have power, so their achievements are small. I continue to strive for peace (no war) beyond my own inner peace because we live in the nuclear age and human relations being unpredictable, a nuclear holocaust today will severely prohibit the future of life on the planet. The power brokers understand this. Their addiction to power and greed becomes our addiction because we all live together feeding off of one another. It becomes our responsibility to survive that motivates us to treat that addiction and work towards its abolition.
Posted in JAPAN TODAY July 19, 2015
Some readers have suggested that Article 9 become a part of the U.S. Constitution. Well, good thinking. Actually the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom is currently campaigning for a resolution to bring a version of Article 9 as an amendment to the U.S. Constitution. In addition WILPF and Veterans For Peace are sponsoring filmmaker David Rothauser’s new film. “Article 9 Comes to America,” featuring Noam Chomsky, Helen Caldicott, Freeman Dyson, John Dower and Robert J. Lifton. This film and Mr. Rothauser’s earlier film, “Hibakusha, Our Life to Live,” was shown at the United Nations Non-Proliferation Conference on May 14 and 15, 2015. Dear readers, it should be remembered that we are still living in the nuclear age. Mr. Abe wants to re-arm Japan to become a “normal” player on the world stage. If Japan abolishes the peace constitution, she will need to compete with the other industrial nations who are normal world players. All of those normal nations are proponents of nuclear weapons. In order to compete will Japan need to develop nuclear weapons? Do China, both Koreas, the Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia want Japan to develop nuclear weapons? Closer to home let’s ask Chiba, Kanagawa, Saitama, Kyoto, Hiroshima and Nagasaki? How about Okinawa? Do Okinawan people need nuclear weapons? Fukushima? Every minute of every day these normal nations play nuclear roulette with human lives. The leaders of those nations are too young to remember World War Two. Too young to know what a nuclear holocaust means. Not only is the survival of Article 9 at stake, the survival of life on the planet is being threatened by the addiction of Mr. Abe and other leaders just like him. Many critics doubt the reality of Japan’s peace constitution. Be that as it may. But there is no doubting that Japan has not attacked anyone nor lost one soldier or civilian to war making in 68 years. That is fact. As the Vietnam war veteran, Alan Nelson lectured to Japanese children, “Article 9 has saved your lives. Now it is time for you to save Article 9.” Heiwa!
Sponsored by Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, Article 9 Comes to America is a film about bringing a version of Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution as an amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Article 9, written by U.S. occupation forces in 1946 states that Japan will never again make war. Japan has not made war in 68 years. It is a legacy and a template for the world to consider following.
The film consists of discussions and interviews with leading proponents of Article 9, peace activists, academics and a right wing intellectual who challenges their ideas about peace. Thematically its about the struggle between the U.S., the Japanese government and the Japanese people for the soul of Japan. Who wins is currently being debated every day as the Japanese Prime Minister pushes to abolish Article 9 so Japan may become a “normal” military player on the world stage.
We have filmed representatives from Japan, Okinawa and the U.S. including Noam Chomsky, Helen Caldicott, Freeman Dyson, John Dower, Hideki Yoshikawa, Peter Kuznick, Ann Wright and a host of others from the Global Article 9 Conference in Osaka.
Hibakusha Our Life to Live
____________________ The Lives of Hiroshima-Nagasaki Survivors __________________________
A film by David Rothauser Narrated by Phil Donahue
Memory Productions 39 Fuller Street, Brookline, MA 02446 . 617 232-4150 . www.hibakusha-ourlifetolive.org
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE June 28, 2013
Publicity:JiYoung Ahn firstname.lastname@example.org
SPECIAL SCREENING and DISCUSSION, ARTICLE 9: A TEMPLATE FOR PEACE FEATURING PROFESSOR KIMIJIMA, RITSUMEIKEN UNIV. , KYOTO
“Everyone, especially people in positions of power and influence should see this film.” Freeman Dyson, Institute for Advanced Study
“This film should play forever” Phil Donahue, Producer, A Body of War
“This is unlike any other Hiroshima/Nagasaki film I have seen. The Hibakusha experience depicted through the little girl’s journey is remarkable.” Satoko Norimatsu, founder, the Peace Philosophy Center, Vancouver
David Rothauser of Memory Productions has produced a new and relevant film about survivors of the nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. In view of current events in Japan and the issue of nuclear radiation world-wide, we believe that the film will generate large audiences wherever shown. There is a new awakening among world citizens of the effects of nuclear radiation on younger generations today and in the future. Hibakusha, Our Life to Live, faces this issue and deals with it from a past, present and future perspective. First screened at the United Nations in May of 2010, Secretary General Ban Ki-moon requested copies for the UN. It subsequently played in Kyoto, Hiroshima, Los Angeles, Seattle, Princeton, NJ, Rio de Janeiro and Berlin, Germany.
DATE: HIROSHIMA DAY, AUGUST 6, 2013
TIME: 7:00 pm
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
THE END OF WAR-MAKING AS A POLITICAL TOOL IS IN SIGHT!
THE WOMENS’ INTERNATIONAL LEAGUE FOR PEACE AND FREEDOM
VOTES TO SUPPORT AND PROMOTE BOSTON FILMMAKER’S RESOLUTION TO AMEND ARTICLE 9 OF THE JAPANESE CONSTITUTION TO THE U.S. CONSTITUTION
David Rothauser of Memory Productions has produced a new and relevant film about survivors of the nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. In view of current events in Japan and the issue of nuclear radiation world-wide, we believe that the film will generate large audiences wherever shown. There is a new awakening among world citizens of the effects of nuclear radiation on younger generations today and in the future. “Hibakusha, Our Life to Live,” faces this issue and deals with it from a past, present and future perspective. First screened at the United Nations last May, Secretary General Ban Ki-moon requested copies for the UN. It subsequently played in Kyoto, Hiroshima, Los Angeles, Seattle, Princeton, Boston, Rio de Janeiro and four cities in Georgia and South Carolina including the Martin Luther King Center in Atlanta.
Article 9, written by U.S. occupation forces in Japan in 1946 declares that Japan shall never again make war. Japan has been at peace for 66 years. Not one soldier lost, not one civilian lost to war-making. With Japan and the U.S. both embracing Article 9 they can lead a coalition to support the United Nations to abolish war-making on a global scale.
The abolition of nuclear weapons/power and all weapons of mass destruction will follow as a natural course of events.
With the threat of nuclear annihilation of life on earth, war-making has become obsolete.
SUPPORT ARTICLE 9! THE END OF WAR IS IN SIGHT!