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Sunday, May 10, 2009

An Article 9 Event in Toronto

A Special Event at the University of Toronto:

"Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution:
Bringing Peace into Today's World"



Date and Time: 6:30 - 9:30 PM, May 15, 2009

Location: Room OI 2212
OISE (Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto)
252 Bloor Street West (St. George Subway)

Event Programme:

- Screening of "Japan's Peace Constitution" (John Junkerman, Dir.; 2005. 78 min.) Followed by

- Short presentations, discussion and Q&A's with;

  • Joy Kogawa, Author and recipient of Order of Canada
  • Setsuko Thurlow, Hiroshima survivor, social worker and recipient of Order of Canada
  • Peter Kuznick, Professor of History, American University
  • Satoko Norimatsu, Director of Peace Philosophy Centre
  • David McIntosh, Founding member of Vancouver Save Article 9

- Songs for Peace and Storytelling "May 15, 1972" Yusuke Tanaka, Writer

RSVP before May 12 by email to event@peacephilosophy.com with your name and number of people attending.

Admission free (Donations toward expenses appreciated)

Light refreshments will be served.

Organized by: Toronto Article 9 Event Committee(Koko Kikuchi, David McIntosh, Satoko Norimatsu, Tomoe Otsuki,and Yusuke Tanaka)

Co-sponsored by: Department of Sociology and Equity Studies in Education/OISE

Supporting organizations:
Vancouver Save Article 9
Peace Philosophy Centre

More about this Event:

May 2009 marks the 62nd anniversary of the enforcement of the Constitution of Japan, which includes the war-renouncing clause, Article9. It reads:"Aspiring sincerely to an international peace 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. In order 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 recognized."

Japan's current constitution was adopted after war in Asia and the Pacific came to an end in August, 1945, after taking the lives of over20 million people. While Article 9 stands as a symbolic expression of Japan's remorse for its aggressive past, particularly against the neighbouring peoples of Asia, it has also effectively prevented Japan from resorting to violence in international disputes for the last 62years. There has been, however, constant pressure from successive conservative-led governments to revise Article 9 and diminish its substance by enacting laws that would allow dispatch of the SDF (Self Defense Force) to other countries. In the mean time, a nationwide citizens' movement has arisen to protect the soul of the Constitution,Article 9. Today there are more than 7,000 "Save Article 9"organizations across Japan and several outside of Japan. One of these,Vancouver Save Article 9 was founded in 2005 and now has 200 members strong.

In this event, the first of such nature in Toronto, we will watch John Junkerman's acclaimed documentary film, "Japan's Peace Constitution," in which the international significance of Article 9 is discussed by scholars, activists and citizens around the world, including U.S. media critic Noam Chomsky and Chinese filmmaker Ban Zhongyi. After the film,author Joy Kogawa and Hiroshima survivor Setsuko Thurlow will share her insights about war, peace and Article 9. Dr. Peter Kuznick will talk about his work of helping Americans face their past crimes, particularly the use of atomic-bombs against Japan,and the implication of Article 9 for a nuclear-free world, with reference to the recent commitment by President Obama to pursue serious initiatives toward reducing and eventually eliminating all nuclear weapons in the world. Satoko Norimatsu and David McIntosh will moderate the event and also talk about some of the activities and experiences of the pro-Article 9 movement in Vancouver.

The event date, May 15, happens to be the 37th anniversary of Okinawa's reversion to Japan, so we will also discuss the meaning of Article 9 as it relates to Okinawa. Okinawa was one of the deadliest battlefields in the Pacific War and, after the war, became home to 75%of the U.S. military facilities in Japan. Yusuke Tanaka will dedicate songs for peace and tell a story, "May 15, 1972," to commemorate this milestone. We look forward to seeing you at the event.

Please feel free to forward this announcement to your network of friends and colleagues. It is our sincere hope that this event will contribute one small stride to our common walk toward peace.

Toronto Article 9 Event Committee
contact: event@peacephilosophy.com

Profiles of Speakers/Moderators/Performers

Joy Kogawa
Joy Kogawa, born in Vancouver B.C., in 1935, is a writer living in Toronto. She is best known for her novel "Obasan." Her most recent book is a children's story, "Naomi's Tree." Her present work-in-progress is entitled, "Gently to Nagasaki." She is a Member of the Order of Canada and the Order of British Columbia and has been awarded seven honorary doctorates and numerous prizes for her writing.

Peter Kuznick
The author of Beyond the Laboratory: Scientists as Political Activists in 1930s America and coeditor of Rethinking Cold War Culture, Peter Kuznick is currently writing a book exploring how the belief that nuclear war could end all life on the planet has shaped the behavior and views of military strategists, policymakers, writers and filmmakers, and the public. He is also writing a 10-part documentary film series with Oliver Stone. As director of American University’s award winning Nuclear Studies Institute, he takes students on an annual study abroad trip to Hiroshima and Nagasaki. He spearheaded the Committee for a National Discussion of Nuclear History and Current Policy in response to the Smithsonian’s latest Enola Gay exhibit and co-founded the Nuclear Education Project. He writes often and lectures frequently about nuclear issues in general and the atomic bombings in particular. He regularly provides commentary to the media on a broad range of subjects and was selected Organization of American Historians Distinguished Lecturer 2004-2007 and 2007-2010.


Setsuko Thurlow
Born in Hiroshima, Setsuko graduated from Hiroshima Jogakuin in 1954. She received further education in Social Work in Virginia, USA and at the University of Toronto. She married a Canadian and became a permanent resident of Toronto in 1962. She worked until retirement as a social worker in educational, clinical and women's organizations. She was the founder of Japanese Family Services (now Japanese Social Services) and did extensive community organization work in East Asian communities in Toronto. In 1974 she established a group called Hiroshima-Nagasaki Relived dedicated to public education regarding the threat of nuclear war, and this led to an extensive anti-nuclear weapon campaign world-wide. She was the recipient of membership in the Order of Canada in 2007.

Yusuke Tanaka
Born in Sapporo, Japan in 1951, Yusuke Tanaka moved to Tokyo and studied sociology at Waseda University. He immigrated to Canada in 1986 and he has been the Japanese editor of Toronto-based Nikkei Voice newspaper since 1989. He has been leading Katari Japanese Storytellers since 1994, writing and telling his own stories and folklore both in English and Japanese.


Satoko Norimatsu
Satoko Norimatsu is Director of Peace Philosophy Centre, a Vancouver-based organization that promotes education for peace and sustainability. She is also a founding member of Vancouver Save Article 9, and an instructor at UBC Centre for Intercultural Communication. Satoko speaks at conferences and organizes peace events, including “Peace Philosophy Salon,” in which she brings young people together to learn from history and create a peaceful future. Satoko can be contacted at info@peacephilosophy.com , and more information about her activities can be found at http://www.peacephilosophy.com/.


David McIntosh
David McIntosh was born 1960 in Toronto and raised in Osaka, Japan as son of missionaries among Koreans in Japan. A lazy student at school, David learned much of his history through stories of Koreans who were displace from their homeland, forced to labour for their imperial conquerors, then discriminated in many ways after their “emancipation” in 1945. David has been active in a variety of community groups advocating for historical honesty, justice and peace. He is a founding member of Vancouver Save Article 9 and Vancouver 9/11 Truth Society and currently works as a professional interpreter and translator.

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