Solidarity Message from Asian Peace Alliance (APA) Japan
20th March 2005
Friends, workers, farmers, citizens, and students of South Korea. I convey to
you greetings of solidarity from the Asian Peace Alliance-Japan.
The war on Iraq put to a serious test the Japanese anti-war and peace
movements facing it to serious challenges. Not only has the Janese
government dispatched self-defense force troops to Iraq as part of the U.S.-
led coalition of the willing but also has used this war to launch process to
revise the post-war Japanese Constitution to legalize dispatch of Japanese
troops anywhere in the world as a full-status military force.
The Japanese government is also actively supporting the U.S. transformation
of its military forces overseas that involve the strengthening through
reorganization of U.S. troops stationed in Japan obviously in anticipation of
(Ban emergency situation in the Korean peninsula. Moreover, Japanese
political and business circles are now openly advocating Japan's full
participation in the U.S. missile defense program, buildup of military
industries, and promotion of arms export.
The constitution amendment plans now being promoted by the government and the
ruling parties indicate that they are practically reviving the prewar
Japanese Imperial Constitution under which Japan's colonial rule and
aggression of Asian neighbors were carried out and justified. These amendment
plans are such that presage Japan's full remilitarization and demand of the
Japanese citizens unconditional loyalty to the state and chauvinism against
other Asian peoples.
Already for years, the conservative Japanese government has regarded the
war-renouncing Article 9 of the postwar constitution as a major obstacle to
its ambitions to legally remilitarize. Using this clause of the Constitution,
the anti-war and peace movement in Japan on its part has been working to get
the Japanese government abide by the constitutional principle of abandonment
of war and demanding that the Japanese military forces as well as the U.S.
military presence in Japan be abolished. An exemplar struggle has been
carrried on in Okinawa over the past 10 months against the U.S.-Japanese plan
to construct a new U.S. offshore military base off the coast of Henoko where
Okinawa people by non-violent sitdown on drilling platforms on the sea are
still preventing the project from starting..
Despite the constitutional ban, the Japanese government has been
strengthening the unconstitutional self-defense forces and allowing the U.S.
to maintain and strengthen its military bases in Japan, meeting most of the
cost of the bases. Since the outbreak of the Iraq war, the Japanese
government has taken steps to aggressively introduce a war-capable state
systems. The major purpose of the Japanese government in the current
militarization drive is to step into a hegemonic position in East Asia with
the backing of the U.S. as well as Japan's own military power. The current
remilitarization project of Japan is targeted against the neighboring Asian
people, the people in the Korean peninsula and China, in particular.
We in the Japanese peace movement have been exerting our full energies
against the participation of the Japanese self-defense forces in the foreign
occupation of Iraq. But regrettably we have not succeeded in calling the
Japanese troops back from Iraq. We are determined not to allow constitution
amendment and full remiltarization that are motivated for Japan's domination
of Asia once again.
We will never allow a Japanese government hostile to Asian neighbors to
continue. We are determined to fight and defeat all government policies of
hostility and chauvinism toward Asian neighbors and to prevent Japan from
becoming a warfare state again.
We are convinced that our solidarity to you is best expressed by our
struggle for the withdrawal of Japanese troops from Iraq and elsewhere and
for thorough demilitarization of Japan.
Let us march ahead together for peace and justice!
Asian Peace Alliance (APA) Japan