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Friday, November 27, 2009

International Human Rights Day Celebration on December 5

Peace Philosophy Centre is endorsing this event. I hope many will come! (Click on the picture for a larger view.)

The Peace Philosophy Centre's Year-end Social will be replaced by this event. We thought it best for us to network with other like-minded organizations.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Salon This Weekend: Special Guest Tatsuo Kage 鹿毛達雄さんを迎えて


Upcoming Peace Philosophy Salon

7 - 9:30 PM, Saturday November 28th

"My Life in Japan and Canada
- Growing up in Japan in and after the War, Working for the Japanese Canadian Redress, and for Reconciliation in Asia"


Special Guest Tatsuo Kage

For the upcoming salon, we will be privileged to have Tatsuo Kage, a historian and a human rights activist who has dedicated the past four decades in bringing justice and peace to the victims of WWII, including the Japanese Canadians who were sent to internment camps, and the Asian victims of the Japanese aggression. Tatsuo will share the photographs from his childhood in the war-time Japan to his recent activities, including his involvement with the Ienaga Textbook Lawsuit and with the establishment of the Article 9 group in Vancouver. Tatsuo's talk will be followed by a Q & A and discussion. All are welcome, and friends are welcome.

Location:
Peace Philosophy Centre, Vancouver, BC
(Email info@peacephilosophy.com for direction)

* We will start the optional pizza social from 6PM. The cost will be about $5.

*RSVP: Email info@peacephilosophy.com by November 27
(Please indicate whether you will join pizza or not)

*Free Admission. Donations to cover expenses are welcome. Snack donations are welcome.

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Tatsuo Kage

Born in 1935, he was brought up in Tokyo. He studied European history at University of Tokyo and continued his graduate study at the University of Tubingen, Germany. As a professor he taught Political and Diplomatic History at Meiji Gakuin University in Tokyo. In 1975 he immigrated to Canada. For ten years he worked as a Bilingual Counsellor at MOSAIC, a multicultural immigrant and refugee settlement service agency in Vancouver.

In the 1980's he participated in the Redress movement for Japanese Canadians. In the early 1990’s he continued human rights work participating in the formation of Human Rights Committee in the Greater Vancouver JCCA and supporting redress for WWII victims.

His research work on Exiled Japanese Canadians after the end of WW II was published in 1998 in Tokyo. He participated in the writing of A Resource Guides for Teachers: Human Rights in the Asia Pacific War (1931-1945), published in 2001 by the BC Ministry of Education.
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Sunday, November 22, 2009

南京・史実を守る映画祭 Nanking Film Festival 2009 in Tokyo

Nanking Film Festival 2009 will be held in Tokyo on December 13.

「南京・史実を守る映画祭」が12月13日に東京で開催されます。

The official website (in Japanese) is here. 公式ウェブサイトはこちら

The films are: 上映映画は

- Fim Nanking 『南京』(Directed by Bill Guttentag, 2007, US)

- Iris Chang - The Rape of Nanking 『アイリス・チャン- ザ・レイプ・オブ・ナンキン』(Directed by Bill Spahic, Anne Pick, 2007, Canada)

- Nanking - Hikisakareta Kioku 『南京・引き裂かれた記憶』("Nanking - Torn Memories") (Directed by Michikazu Takeda 武田倫和, 2009, Japan)

- The Children of Huang Shi 『チルドレン・オブ・ホワンシー』 (Directed by Roger Spottiswoode, 2008, Australia/China/Germany)

I hope the film event will be successful and a lot of people will come.

映画祭の成功を祈っています。

Hidankyo Newspaper 被団協新聞記事

(Click on the picture for a larger view.)

Here is my report of the "Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and Beyond" event on October 3 in the November Edition of Hidankyo Newspaper. Nihon Hidankyo (日本被団協-日本原水爆被害者団体協議会)- a national umbrella organization for all the local associations of A-bomb survivors. The full name in English is the Japan Confederation of A-bomb and H-bomb Sufferers. Hidankyo is planning to send fifty hibakusha (A-bomb survivors) to New York in May 2010, where the Review Conference of NPT (Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty) will be held, to make their voices heard and influence the decision of world leaders to reduce and eliminate nuclear weapons from this world.


Friday, November 20, 2009

What is happening in "Peace City" Hiroshima - Report by Muneo Narusawa Part II


This is the continuation from Part I, posted on November 3.(Above photo - protesters against "Towada," leaving for the refuelling mission in the Indian Ocean. The banners read, "Do not allow SDF to participate in the War!" and "Do not kill Article 9!" Photo by Peace Link Kure)

週刊金曜日」2009年8月21日号に掲載された、成澤宗男さんの記事『「田母神」を迎えて問われた「被爆地の平和」』の英文要約パート2です。


Military Bases Surrounding the A-bomb Memorial City

It is customary for the Hiroshima-based Chugoku Newspaper to issue a special extra on the morning of August 6, which they distribute around the Peace Memorial Park and A-bomb Dome. The extra carries the full text of the "Peace Declaration" read by the Hiroshima Mayor Tadatoshi Akiba at the Memorial Ceremony. The title of the Chugoku Newspaper's Editorial on that day was "64 Years After Hiroshima - Japan (as
the country that suffered atomic bombs) Should Lead the World Abolition Efforts."

There was one thing that was missing from both this extra and editorial, despite their emphasis on nuclear abolition. There was no discussion of war itself. Nuclear weapons are tools of war, and of nothing else. Why do the Hiroshima media only discuss nuclear weapons, not the war itself?

On the early afternoon of August 6, I left the massive crowds of visitors around the Peace Park to take the ferry from the quiet Ujina Port. Soon after the ferry departed, I was made aware that Hiroshima is a place of war, the reality that the "Peace Declaration" never mentions. Between Ujina Port and Kure Port, which is not far from the A-bomb Hypocentre, is a heavily concentrated military zone where one quarter of Maritime SDF (Self Defense Force) warships are based.

Kure Port is MSDF's biggest submarine base, and also one of the major bases for overseas dispatching of SDF troops. Since 2001, the replenishment vessel "Towada" departed from Kure for seven times for the refuelling mission in the Indian Ocean to support the U.S. military in the Afghan and Iraq Wars. This Spring, "Sazanami" and "Samidare," two destroyers were dispatched to off the coast of Somalia from Kure. As I walked along the shore line of Kure, I saw Stars and Stripes flaunting.
It was the U.S. Army's Akizuki Ammunition Depot Headquarters. The Headquarters were instrumental in the Vietnam War, First Gulf War, the Afghan and Iraq Wars. In the area within the 30 km radius from the Hiroshima Hypocentre, there are U.S. Army's Kawakami Ammunition Depot (Higashi-Hiroshima City), Ground SDF's 13th Brigade, and Iwakuni Base, where the U.S. Marines and the Air Force unit of MSDF are stationed.

Why Hiroshima Avoids Discussion of "War" in Its Peace Messages

Hiroshima, the "International City of Peace," which calls for "abolition of nuclear weapons," is not just surrounded by these military bases with advanced "conventional" weapons, but troops have been dispatched overseas from its own backyard. "Hiroshima" never talks about these facts, let alone all the other wars going on in the rest of the world.

How can we make sense of this contradiction between the presence of these military bases and Hiroshima's messages for peace? To address this question, a civil organization "Peace Link Hiroshima/Kure/Iwakuni" started in 1989. Its mission statement says the organization will "strive to create a Hiroshima without military bases and a Hiroshima that is not involved with war." Hideki Nitta, one of the core members of the organization says,"Hiroshima was a military city during the war, and it continues to be so after the war. At the same time, Hiroshima embraces some kind of peaceful consciousness based on its experience of atomic bombing.... now that the anti-piracy law passed, which would enable SDF's full-scale overseas activities, and that the trade unions have been weakening, I believe that we citizens must stand up and seriously protest against the Government's militaristic moves."

The Hiroshima Mayor Akiba came up with the slogan "Obamajority," inspired by the U.S. President Obama's speech in Prague, in which he called for "a world without nuclear weapons." Obama, however, has never talked about "a world without war." Professor Toshiyuki Tanaka of Hiroshima Peace Institute argues that this "absence of war" from the discussion of peace is a symbolic problem with the Hiroshima peace
movements. "Certainly the victims of atomic bombing have gone through enormous suffering. However, by specializing the A-bomb experience too much, we missed the important perspective that atomic-bombing was one of the numerous indiscriminate bombings in modern wars. As a result, the A-bomb survivors have not been able to build solidarity with victims of other indiscriminate bombing, like those of Tokyo, and those of Afghanistan. While they talk of "peace," they have not been able to universalize their experience and to relate their experience to the ongoing wars and conflicts.

"Voices from Hiroshima," however, was of course a leader in the post-war peace movement, as Professor Tanaka admits. Haruko Moritaki, co-chair of Hiroshima Alliance for Nuclear Weapons Abolition (HANWA) points out, "The U.S. almost used nuclear weapons in a number of occasions including the Korean War and the Cuban Crisis. They chose not to after all, because they could not ignore the A-bomb survivors' voices." Ichiro Yuasa, Chair of Peace Depot says "The international anti-nuclear movements could not have survived without Hiroshima. The position of Hiroshima is extremely important in the world." Yuasa, also one the founding members of Peace Link adds, "For sure Hiroshima has this duality that it has acted as a symbol of peace movements and it has also provided bases for aggressive wars during and after the war. It is necessary, however, to keep exploring what Hiroshima can do and other places can't, and what concrete messages for peace and non-military solutions that Hiroshima can convey to the rest of the world, rather than focussing on those negative sides of the city."

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Nagasaki Hibakusha Ayako Okumura's Story 長崎被爆者 奥村アヤ子さんのお話


Hibakusha Ayako Okumura's Story

Ayako Okumura spoke to our Hiroshima/Nagasaki Peace Seminar Group on August 8, 2009. She carefully hand wrote her speech, and gave it to me at the end. Ms. Okumura also spoke as a hibakusha representative at Nagasaki City's Ceremony on August 9th. We wanted to share her story with as many people as possible. We will also try to translate this into English as soon as possible.


昭和十二年日中戦争の時に生れ4歳のときに第二次世界大戦が始まり戦争の真只中で物のない時代に育てられました。国民は、みんな我慢をさせられたのです。台所で話すと、ナベ、釜、ヤカンなど「鉄だったり、真鍮」だったりすると国に供出させられて戦争に使われていたのです。教科書は上級生の人から譲ってもらって勉強していました。洋服は、お正月、お盆でないと新しい服は着ることができませんでした。デパートに行くとか、買い物に行くとかでなく、母が自分の着物をほどいて、姉妹三人おそろいでお盆に着るように出来上がっていました。姉も妹も亡くなり、切ることは出来ませんでした。その代わり、中学校になった時は、母も姉もいないのに姉の服を着させられたときは悲しくなりました。戦争にならないように伝えて行きます。

私が住んでいた城山町は、爆心地から500M離れた静かな田舎でした。山にたんぼにと自然の中で、山に登り、野原をかけまわり遊んでいました。叔母の家が地主でしたので戦争中でしたけど、生活に困ることはなく新しい家を建て家族九人で賑やかに、楽しく、そして幸せに暮らしていました。

一九四五年八月九日十一時二分、原爆が投下され街も家も、人も、一瞬にして灰のように、体は焼かれ一口の水も飲まずに亡くなったのです。

八月九日の朝までは一緒だったのに、ひとことの伝言もなく、姿もみないまま、私の目の前から突然消えてしまったのです。何十年経っても亡くなったとは言いたくないのです。一緒に遊んでいた友達も、私を一人残してほんとうに消えたのです。毎日泣いていましたよ。四十六年間、原爆の話ができませんでした。原爆の2文字がなくなって「頭の中から」消えてほしいと願っていたのです。私の家族が城山町で幸せに暮らしていたことを書き残したくて、あすへの遺産と云う本の中に、旧姓徳永アヤ子で書きました。その本の記録を残すことがきっかけとなり今は、修学旅行の皆さんに被爆体験を伝えています。

私は四十六年間原爆から逃げていましたので、聞きたくない、見たくない、知りたくないと、原爆を自分自身の中に封印していたのです。逃げていた私が原爆と向き合ってしまったのです。逃げていた後木のほうが長いのです。語り始めて十九年になります
。みなさんは64年で長崎にいらしていますね。私が最初に調べたのが原爆投下でした。原爆は、松山の爆心地地上500m上空で炸裂し、強烈な閃光と、耳の鼓膜が破れるような爆発音、それに続く熱戦と爆風が生じ浦上は、完全に破壊され火の海となったのです。それから死の街に変わったのです。原爆は、普通の爆弾とは違っていて放射線を放出したので生き残った人も次から次に亡くなったのです。原爆は、アメリカで三発作られ、一つはアメリカのニューメキシコ州で実験され、残りの二つが広島、長崎に投下されたのです。

原爆は、日本で四ヶ所落とす場所を決められていたそうです。新潟、京都、広島、小倉が決まっていたそうです。京都は文化財が多いのではづされたそうです。京都の代わりに長崎が加えられたそうです。私は京都をはずしたままだったらと…?

広島に落とされたのは、ウラニウム爆弾で15Kトン、長崎に落とされたのはプルトニウム爆弾で22Kトン、威力は長崎に落とされたのが大きかったのですが、被害は広島が大きかったのです。二ヶ目北九州の小倉だったのですが、屋久島の上空で三機が行流して小倉に向かうはづでしたが、一機が遅れて来ないので二機で飛び立ったのです。小倉の上空は、雲の層が厚く目標がわからず三回くらい施回したけど落とせなかったのです。燃料を使っているので小倉がだめなら長崎だときてしまったのです。

「長崎が加えてなかったらどうしたんでしょう?持って帰ってくれたらよかったのに、海の上でもよかったのに、投下してくるように命令を受けていたので」

苦悶尾切れ間から、三菱兵器工場発見し高度900mから投下された長崎は、北部で山にかこまれていたので被害が少なかったのです。長崎を目標に飛んできていたら、繁華街の近くの常盤橋の近くに落として市民を巻き込んで長崎全土を焼き尽くす計算だったのです。造船所もありますし威力も大きかったので広島以上の被害になったと思います。私の親戚も一家全滅です。

中心地も私が住んでいた城山も安全地帯でみなさんが疎開をしてきて亡くなったのです。城山の中心地の所を工事した時に、お骨が出てきたのです。今も残されています。「地層」56軒の人が幸せに暮らしていたのです。一軒の台所じゃないかと云われています。浦上の街はお骨が眠ったままの悲しい街です。

八月九日を歩きながら伝えます。
私の家族の話を聞いてください。

一九四五年八月九日の朝までは、楽しく賑やかに朝食を済ませ、父と兄は元気に工事に出かけみんな元気でした。数時間後には、みんなとの別れになるなんて考えられない十一時二分がやってくるのです。父と兄が出かけた後、母と一緒に防空壕に避難しましたが解除になり兄弟は母と一緒に家に帰りましたが、私は友達の家に遊びに行ったのです。家から少し離れた高台で大きな柿の木の下で遊んでいました。爆心地500m場所でしたが遊びに夢中で爆発音も、原子雲も見ていないのです。閃光はピカっとものすごい光がかきねの間からワァときたので地面に伏せたんじゃないかと思います。「私たちは勉強より避難訓練を習っていたのです。地面に伏せたので助かったと思います。」

腕、ひじに火傷をしていましたがそれには気がつきませんでした。遊んでいた友達は爆風でとばされていませんでした。友達は捜しませんでした。二軒あった家が崩れていたのでおそろしくなり家に帰ろうと自分の家を見ると、遊びに行く時は畑があり家もあったのに、畑はなく家も崩れてるし私には何がなんだか解らなくなりながら自宅へと急ぎました。森山さんの馬は死んでいるし人が死んでいるところを通りやっと家の前の道路まできた時、新築して一年位の我が家がみるかげもなく崩れていたのです。家には、母も姉も誰もいないのです。隣組の防空壕を思い出して坂を上りかけた時、四才の弟に逢ったのです。弟は火傷をして泣いていたのです。どうしたのと聞くけど、痛いから泣くだけです。母ちゃんを呼んでくるから動かずにここにおらんねと云って、母を捜しに行きかけた時、近所のおばさんから涼子ちゃんはキンカンの木の所にいるよと聞き、キンカンの木は姉の同級生の家だったので姉ちゃんと涼子は一緒にいると思い急いで行ってみましたが姉はいませんでした。妹は顔は少し腫れて動かすこともできず、水、水、と云っていましたが水もやらず「姉がいなかったので」母を捜しにその場を離れたので妹はいつ死んだのか、今も解らないのです。三年生のよしつぐちゃんは、目玉がとび出していて動けないでいましたが何もしてやれませんでした。

母の行きそうな、たんぼ、畑だろうかと捜しましたが八月九日の日は、母にあえませんでした。弟をつれて防空壕の前で家族を待ったのです。よその家族は、行きとったとね。元気やったねと再会しているのに、父も、母も、兄も、姉も、待っても待ってもだぁれも帰ってきませんでした。妹のように死にかけていても、どんな姿でもいいのです。私の目の前に母か姉がきてくれたらほっとしたと思います。伯母さんは、たんぼで草取りをしていて被爆しているので、皮膚はたれさがり重傷でしたが家までつれてこられて家族六人顔を見ることが出来るのに、私の家族は、どれだけ待っても帰ってきませんでした。

私は原爆投下後一週間位、伯母さんの家族と暮らしているのに、防空壕までは覚えているのに、原爆のショックと、悲しさと、寂しさで、記憶喪失になっているのです。四十六年間記憶喪失になっていることさえ知らず、どうして、なぜと誰に聞くこともなく過ごしていたのです。

十五年振りに従姉妹と再会し、小さい時に遊んだ所に連れて行ってくれました。山は崩れていました。洗たくしたりよく遊んだ川は、今もありました。ただみ二枚位の広さのしみずと云って生活の水に使っていたのです。それがあふれて小さい川に流れていたので自分のものを持って行って洗たくしたり

よく遊んだ川を後に従姉妹の家に行き不思議な話を聞かされるのです。私達が家を建てるまで一緒に暮らしていた伯母の話。「たんぼで被爆したお母さんが死ぬ時は、自分達よりアヤちゃんが一人で泣いてくれたのよ」と、伯母さんのそばらから離れずに死んだらダメ、死なないでと泣いてくれてありがとう、と云うのです。私は貴女達と一緒に暮らしたかったのに田舎につれていかれたので知らないよと云ってしまったのです。しばらくしてから、私はどうおして伯母さんのそばにいたの、誰がつれていってくれたの、弟はどうしていたのと聞いたけど答えてくれませんでした。無理に聞かなかったのです。

私は原爆投下後しばらく長崎で暮らしているのに思い出せないのです。母を捜したこと、森山さんの庭で死体を焼いたこと、八月九日しか覚えてないのです。

四十六年振りに姉の友人大塚美子さんにお会いするのです。大塚さんから私の家族のこと
姉のこと、私のことを知ることになるのです。私は四十六年間何かおかしいとずっと思っていたのです。育てられたところでも何も聞かなかったのです。四十六年振りにやっと解ったのです。

どんなに待っても帰らなかった父は山の中腹で亡くなっていたそうです。一番捜した母は、家屋の下敷きになって二才の弟を助けていたのです。本には即死と書きましたが、母も弟もいきていたのに部落は全滅しているし誰も助けてくれる人はなく親子家の下敷きになって亡くなっていたのです。姉は真黒に焼かれてパンツの網だけが残っていたそうです。大塚さんも家の下敷きになりやっと助けられて防空壕にいった時にかすかな声でミッチャン水、水と声かけたそうです。

男子か女子かわからない姿で立っていたので貴女はだぁれとたづねたら京子よといったので私の姉とわかったそうです。姉ちゃんは人間じゃなかったよと聞かされた。皮膚もなく墨のように真黒になって死んだのよと。一番最初に葬られたのが姉だったと防空壕の前は次から次に亡くなり借りのお墓になったのです。姉は、妹と一緒に死んだと思っていたのに?家にいてくれたら私と逢えていたのにそしたら母と弟が助かったのにと。

家から防空壕に行くには坂になっているのに死にかけた体で一生懸命登ってたどり着いているのに私とは逢えなかったのです。兄は、昭和二十年に卒業して大橋兵器工場就職。朝出勤したまま帰らぬ人となったのです。大好きな兄は私の心の支えでした。新聞や看板を見ると「徳永」、兄の名前をさがしていたのです。「九日」命日がくると毎月城山の墓に三時間以上かかる道を一人歩いて行くのです。兄がもしかして先にきてないかな?私達が田舎にいったのは知らないからお墓で逢えるかと、朝から夕方まで兄を待ったのです。平成三年八月三菱兵器製作所の慰霊祭があることを知り、参列しましたが、父の名前はありましたが兄の名前はありませんでした。写真を見せられ話を聞き、生きていることは無理と思いました。やっと区切りが出来ました。
兄の写真も仏壇の中に入れて供用するようになりました。私の家族は裸で真黒に焼かれてあっちこっちで亡くなっています。人間は四十年もすると土にかえるそうです。なくなった所の土をいただいてきて下着を入れてやりみんなが同じ墓に眠ることができたのです。

私と弟は一度も行ったことのない田舎につれて行かれます。行く途中、みなれた住宅はなく、真黒に焼かれた死体がそのままでした。私はここから覚えています。浦上にきた時はびっくりです。浦上川は長崎の港にそそがれています。潮の満ち干できれいになりますが今は手も入れたくありません。五十九年前は大橋から先は、たんぼが多く農薬も使っていなかったのできれいな水がながれていて子供たちはプールの変りに泳いだり魚を釣ったり、ひき潮になると貝を取っていたのです。八月九日上から照らされ地表温度が3000度~4000度、鉄を溶かすのが1500度だそうです。三倍と思ってみてください。水がほしいものですから浦上の人はきれいな水が流れているのを知っていますから動ける人、はってくる人、浦上川を目指してきて一口飲んだ人から亡くなって死体が折り重なるようにして亡くなっていたのです。

水をくださいと待っていても誰も飲ませてくれる人はいません。自分の事で一杯だったのです。私も妹にも近所の人にも水を飲ませてあげなかったのです。浦上川を通り焼け野原を荷車に載せられて田舎につれて行かれました。家族がいると思って母を捜しましたが、母はいませんでした。弟は重傷でしたので私は一人で三時間以上トボトボ歩いて焼け野原を歩いて城山まで家族を捜しに行くのですがつれもどされるのです。新築した材木、財産を運ぶのに忙しいので私が弟をつれて病院につれて行くのです。私と弟は、愛情、やさしさで引き取られてないのです。きびしい人でしたからあまえることも泣くこともできず二人で我慢するしかなかったのです。かあちゃんがいたら、おんぶしてよ、だっこしてよ、痛いよとあまえたかったでしょうに私と二人で手をつないで、ゆっくりゆっくり時間をかけて病院通いが始まったのです。家では泣かない弟でしたけど、包帯をはがされる時は、痛いものですから我慢できず泣いていました。

私も腕に火傷をしていましたが、自分の治療がいつ終わったのか覚えてないのです。一緒に泣いていたのでしょう、包帯を巻かれるとだまって私に手を引かれてついてくるのです。弟は十月の二十三日に亡くなるのです。可愛そうでしたよ。

みなさんの廻りには、痛みを我慢するものがたくさんありますようね。テレビがあったりゲームが出来たり、本が読めたり?私達が育てられた所には、ラジオもなかったので外で人が行ったりきたりするのをながめている弟でした。母がいたら、心も体もあまえられたでしょうに、自分の痛みを我慢し地獄のような苦しみだけを背負って二ヵ月半で亡くなったのです。生きている時は、弟が痛かろうと二人でいられたので何も思わなかったけれど、亡くなって送り出す時は、短い命なら母ちゃんと一緒に即しの方がましだったと思いました。弟がじっと我慢していた姿が頭の中から消える事はないでしょう。

ひとりぼっちになり天国と地獄がやってくるのです。私は外で被爆してますので、直接放射線を浴びていましたので、髪の毛は抜け歯茎から出血するし体全身具合が悪いので病院行かせて下さい、横になりたいと云っても病院なんか行かせてくれませんでした。朝から晩まで働かされたのです。なまけものだ云って山ほど仕事をいいつけて畑に行ってしまうのです。母がいたら、兄ちゃんがいてくれたらと泣いていました。学校に行く前にはき掃除ふき掃除をしないと学校に行かせてくれませんでした。いつも遅刻ばかり帰りはみんなより早く帰らないと仕事が山ほど待っているのです。お風呂の話、学校に行けなかったこと。

私には両親も、兄弟も、帰る故郷もありませんけれど何でも話せる友達がいます。それで元気です。今も季節を通してビワができたよ、ブドウができたよと届けてくれて家族のように行き来して仲良くさせてもらっています。感謝しています。私は二人の子供を育ててきました。小学校、中学校は、友達と作りなさい、仲良くしなさいと云って育ててきました。高校、大学、社会人になってからは行く先々に何でも話せる友達、聞いてくれる友達を作りなさいと今も云っています。遠く離れて暮らしていますが電話の先から元気な声が聞こえてきます。私が歩いてきた人生、子供を育てていえることは、自分の身近な所に話の出来る人、聞いてくれる人がいたら元気になれます。

小・中学校の話は、みなさんが平和の中で物の豊かさの中で何の不自由もなく暮らしていらっしゃるので話さなくなりました。
人間は一人では生きて行けないのです。助けたり助けられたり、まわりの人と仲良くして平和につなげられたらと思っています。平和とはよく耳にしますが答えはむづかしいですね。

平和の原点は人間の痛みがわかる心を持つことです、と云っています。

私もみなさんとの出合いで自分が伝えたいことが全部話せた時はほっとする心の平和がたまにあります。私は、自分自身が平和にならないと平和は伝わらないと思っています。今の平和が歩いてきたわけじゃないのです。多くの人の犠牲のもとに出来た平和です。知賢の特攻基地からは、勉強なかばにしてお国の為、お父さんお母さんの為と今の平和の為にと帰る燃料はないのに特攻隊として亡くなった人、原爆で逃げることも出来ず亡くなっていった人は、今の平和も、物の豊かさも知らないのです。残された平和を守り平和をつくり平和を伝える人になってほしいと思います。
私の人生を変えたのも原爆です。体に受けた傷は良くなりましたが、心に受けた傷は一生消える事はないのです。長崎に投下された原爆の500~1000倍もの威力をもつものが数として三万発以上残っているそうです。どうか三万発が使われることのないように、長崎を最後の被爆地になるように原爆の実相を伝えたいと思っています。

一. 一本の鉛筆があれば何よりもまず「人間の命」と書き「核兵器廃絶」と書き続ける決意である「広島市長」

一. 平和を願う心は人類の心、人類は違っても人間同志は敵ではない。相手を憎み殺し合わせようとする戦争こそが敵です。

一. 戦後、平和と物の豊かさの中で暮らすことが出来ましたが、心をどこかに置いてきています。豊かな心を取り戻せたら人を殺すとかイジメがなくなり毎日をたのしく過ごすことが出来る。

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Yesterday Is Now 歴史の傷跡

We had a deeply engaging four-plus hours of discussion after the
screening of both Japanese and English versions of Yesterday is Now
("Wounds of History"歴史の傷跡), with Director Celine Rumalean.

One participant said that Japanese were so easily manipulated by government and media and do not have an ability to think critically and independently. Like the filmmaker Yutaka Tsuchiya said in the film, it was the Emperor during the war, and the Media after the war that control people's mind in Japan. Another argued that it is not the Japanese mindset; people are just made that way. People just make such mistakes.

Celine said that it was a big surprise to many in the West that after six decades, Japan is still so divided on whether they should have gone into war; whether it was a just war; who is responsible for the war. The war responsibility issue is closely tied with the national identity - "Japanese-ness." After six decades, people in Japan still go back and forth about how they process the history of war.

On the other hand, there is ignorance. Those interviewed at Showa-kan, this museum in Tokyo that displays how life was during the Showa Period (1927 - 1989) said "War should never be fought any more, but we should never forget about war and the fact that the current happiness and prosperity we enjoy are owed to that period of time." This is what we often hear Yasukuni worshippers say. Koizumi said that too. They believe that we are what we are now because of the precious sacrifices of the war heroes (gods) enshrined at this shrine.

Another hot topic of the evening was how we teach the dark history of a country. How do we teach children in Japan about its military's past wrongdoings and atrocities without making them feel bad and guilty? Celine said that it was dangerous just to show atrocities without giving a big picture. Careful framing is needed. I talked about my Japanese colleague and a long-time
history teacher in Japan Misako Iwashita and her three-step lesson model, which she presented in Vancouver in March 2008. First, she introduced facts. It is very important for the students to learn the facts of Nanjing Massacre and other horrible war crimes by the Japanese Army during the war. Second, she taught the kind of education that the children were made to go through, so that they believed in militarism and imperialism. Third, she introduced Japanese progressive thinkers and war-resisters then - like Senji Yamamoto, Takiji Kobayashi and others who objected to war, supported labourers and people's rights, so children could find their own role models in those brave people in Japan.

The reality, however, in the Japanese education is that still the majority of schools fail to teach that chapter of the history in any detail. The history curriculum starts with the pre-historic period and by the time they reach the modern history, they run out of time and get too busy with school entrance exams. Shoko, the Salon staff and an SFU student shared her experience of her Chinese friend telling her surprisedly that "Japanese people can be nice." It was the same kind of comment I, as a high school student received from a Filipino friend, back in 1983. After a quarter of a century, the situation has not changed much. Shoko at that time thought that education in China was biased, but as she learned more about the Japanese aggression in Asia during the war, she came to think differently. This kind of experience is shared by many Japanese overseas, young or old.

There is a lot of work to do ahead of us. There are many questions we asked but cannot find answers for. Celine asked us, "How does this part of the history matter to you?" How does the history of war matter to each of us? How far should it matter? How can each of us do so that there will be closures and we can move forward?

The theme of the film is new and relevant, almost a decade after it was made. Perhaps it is becoming more relevant. Celine says at the time it came out, the North American viewers, whose view on the war was still one that started with earl Harbor and ended with Hiroshima/Nagasaki, were not ready for the material that shed light on Japan's behaviours in
Asia that dated back to the early 1930's.

I think this film should be used at as many Japanese schools and communities as possible. The film, without any narration, does not tell you what to think or what's right or wrong. It makes one think, and connect with the historical, societal, yet deeply personal consciousness held by each who was interviewed.


Satoko Norimatsu

ジョセフ・ガーソンさんによる、ニューヨークでの米国在外基地に反対する集会の報告

This is Joseph Gerson's Report of the November 8 New York event against U.S. military bases on foreign lands. For the original English version, see here.

2009年11月9日 ジョセフ・ガーソンさんからのメール 

“おばあちゃんの平和団” (Grannies Peace Brigade)は、年配者のすばらしいグループで、平和と正義の活動にとても熱心に取り組んでいます。

 彼らは、すべての人々へのきちんとした医療を求めるということから、アフガニスタンやイラク戦争の反対などたくさんの行動をしています。そして今まで、メンバーやニューヨークの幅広い平和コミュニティに対して、アメリカの外国軍事基地の影響や軍事基地に反対することを教育する中で、活動的になってきました。メンバーのうち何人かは、去年の冬にワシントンDCのアメリカ大学で私が開催した軍事基地反対の国民集会に出席しました。昨日(11月8日)の集会では、彼らは100人もの活動家を連れてきました。

 スピーカーは、私とViergina Rodino、この方は、アジア太平洋凍結キャンペーン(the Asia Pacific Freeze campaign)の運営委員会の人で、6カ国協議の参加国の軍事予算の増大を食い止めるために努力しています。そしてNinotchka Roscaさん、この方は長い間、女性に対する軍隊の暴力と搾取に対抗してきたフィリピンの女性団体、ガブリエラGabriellaの中心人物です。

 私については、ニューイングランドのアメリカンフレンズ奉仕委員会の企画責任者で、「太陽は沈まない-米軍基地のネットワークに立ち向かう」というタイトルの本の編集者です。私は、25年ものあいだ、日本の平和、軍縮、基地反対の組織や活動と緊密に共同し、いくつかの会議に参加して、3回沖縄に行く機会もありました。

 私は、昨日(8日)は最初のスピーカーで、沖縄で当日先立って行われた集会の写真を見せ、新倉修さんから送られた、行動の目的や呼びかけの内容を読みあげました。

 私は、25年前最初に日本に訪れた時アメリカがいまだ100以上の軍事基地を日本の沖縄から北海道まで、いまだ維持していることを知り、とてもショックを受けた(これは私たちアメリカ人にショックを与え続ける数字です)、と説明しました。

 日本、ヨーロッパ、中東、そしていまや中央アジアにある米軍基地は、ズビグネフ・ブレジンスキー(ジミー・カーターの国家安全保障アドバイザー)が書いた帝国の命令を実行する手助けをしていると説明しました。伝統的な地政学分析によって、彼は世界を支配するため、帝国はユーラシアを支配しなければならないと、主張しました。イギリス伝統の島国権力としてのアメリカにとって、これはユーラシアの西、南、東の境界の支配の維持を意味します。

 それから私はこの観点から、沖縄、日本の各地、韓国、フィリピンの米軍基地の役割を強調し、日本に基地を置き続けるため、1960年の日米安全保障条約の改訂や継続を強制するために、アメリカはA級戦犯、岸を首相にすることさえした、と指摘しました。

 私はアメリカ独立宣言のことを参加者に思い出してもらいました。独立宣言は、ジョージ2世の“平和の時代に不正と略奪に関わった常備軍を維持する”という事実を引用して、植民地がイギリスからの独立をなぜ宣言しようとするのか、なぜイギリスに対して戦争をしようとするのか、を説明するものでした。

 それから私は、米軍基地をなくすべき10の理由という資料を配布しました。これは、今日の“不正と略奪”を説明しています。罰されることのない犯罪やセクシャルハラスメントから、実弾発車訓練、夜間離着陸訓練、環境汚染、国家主権をおとしめ、殺人的な戦争が行われる可能性を増大させる、ことまでです。

 それから、民主党が選挙で勝った結果生じている最近の状況を説明しました。日本の民主党は、社会主義者から小澤や元自民党メンバーまで、アメリカの民主党よりもイデオロギーの範囲が広い政治同盟であると。鳩山政権は、日米安保を二国間同盟の基礎とし続けるべきだと繰り返し述べてきていますが、それはまた、1951年にアメリカが同盟を押し付けて以来、アメリカに両足を置いてきたことと対照的に、片足をアジアにもう片方をアメリカに置くことをも模索していると、説明しました。

 私は、日米の緊張関係にとって二つの重要な問題があると説明しました。一つ目の問題は、オバマ政権が主張しているようにSACO合意に従って、普天間基地を閉鎖し、その機能が辺野古に移転するかどうか、それとも、日本の民主党が主張していると思われる、普天間基地を閉鎖し辺野古基地を建設しないかどうか、という問題です。

 そして参加者は、私が2つ目の問題である、日米核密約について説明するとショックを受けました。日本は非核三原則がありながら、アメリカに沖縄と日本に核兵器の持ち込みを許した核密約問題を解決しなければなりません。

 私は、沖縄に焦点をあてて、米軍基地と軍隊が沖縄に駐留していることと言いました。日本に駐留している4万7千人の米兵のほとんどが沖縄に集中しています。

 沖縄の米軍基地の戦略的役割を図示したスライドを見せながら、私は、1996年からの物語を話しました。1996年私は沖縄に行き、太田知事に1995年の少女暴行事件や沖縄におけるその他の犯罪について謝罪を述べた何百もの署名を渡しました。

 沖縄に行ったあと、私は日本の防衛庁(防衛省になる前の)で、防衛白書の筆頭著者にインタビューをしました。インタビューの終りに、彼は私に沖縄で何を学んだのか質問してきましたので、答えました。彼の秘書は防衛庁の外まで送ってくれ、彼女は「私は沖縄の戦略的重要性がわかりました。しかし、もし私が沖縄に娘と住んでいたらとても怖いと思います」と言いました。私は、沖縄の人々に起こることを許してきたことに対する、日本の多くのエリートが持っている不名誉の感覚が横たわっていると思います、と付け加えました。そして私は、長い間の植民地にされ抑圧されてきた沖縄の歴史を伝えました。

 沖縄は、中国と朝貢関係にあった独立した王国で、日本と同様に、マレーシアと中国の影響を大きく受けたと説明しました。

 日本の200年の鎖国の間、沖縄は日本の世界への窓口としての役割を果たしたと説明しました。1860年代に日本がアメリカの軍艦によって“開国”させられると沖縄の役割は不要になりました。1879年に日本は沖縄を征服し植民地化し、沖縄の方言を禁止して、日本名を名乗ることを強制し、沖縄を日本に統合しました。それはアメリカがプエルトリコに行なったのと同様でした。

 日本本土と沖縄の間には人種差別の問題があったこと、そして沖縄がどのように、1944年と45年に人口の4分の1の代償を払って、天皇制のための時間稼ぎをしたかを説明しました。

 アメリカは、沖縄の人々をキャンプに集めた後に、以前日本軍の基地だったところ、それ以上の土地をアメリカが占有し、米軍基地を建設しました。そしてアメリカと日本政府が、1952年から沖縄を正式に軍事占領し続けることによって、日本本土におけるアメリカ軍隊の負担を軽くすることを、いかに共謀したかを話しました。一方、日本本土の占領が終わったけれども、沖縄の人たちの望みが、1972年に基地が残るという本土復帰によって粉々に砕かれました。

 沖縄の米軍基地の戦略的役割をスライドで再び示しながら、冷戦期には、沖縄の米軍基地はソビエトと中国を封じ込めるために使われ、朝鮮戦争、東南アジア、中東への戦争と介入の時は米軍の出撃拠点として使われ、冷戦後は中央アジアを含みこれらの機能をいかに使い続けいているか、を説明しました。私は米軍基地はアメリカの核攻撃計画のため、米軍の訓練所として使われ、日本の再軍備を制限し(多くの方法で進んでいるが)、婉曲的に言うと「休憩とレクリエーション」のために使われていると説明しました。

 そして私は、名護平和委員会の大西照雄さんからもらったパワーポイントを見せました。そこには、私が作った地点が図示され、名護基地の建設に対する抵抗とその衝撃が図解されていました。

 Vierinia rodinoと Ninotchka Rosaの報告は詳しくメモをとっていません。
 Virginaはアジア太平洋凍結と朝鮮戦争を終わらせるための平和条約の最終的な交渉の重要性を強調し、Ninotchkaは、パワーポイントを使用して、売春や米兵による女性に対する性的暴行の補償の制度化について強調しました。

 日本政府と韓国政府が、国内で起きているフィリピン女性に対しての暴力を許していることに対して、彼女は特に怒っていました。

 質疑応答では、オバマ政権が持つ日米同盟の野望や、北朝鮮の核計画の危険性などなど、多くのポイントが触れられました。

 私たちは、集会参加者に、オバマ大統領に名護には移設せずに普天間基地を縮小する要求を受け入れるように手紙をホワイトハウスに書くことを訴えました。そしてこれは沖縄と日本から全ての米兵と基地を引き上げる文脈でなされるよう、力説していました。

 長くなってすみません。これがあなたの助けになればと願っています。

                        ジョセフ ガーソン

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Joseph Gerson's Report of a New York Event Against U.S. military Bases on Foreign Lands

On November 8, the Granny Peace Brigade organized a Teach-in dedicated to closing the more than 1000 U.S. foreign military bases/installations worldwide, This was written by one of the speakers Joseph Gerson, author, lecturer and Director of Programs for American Friends Service Committee, to summarize his talk at the Teach-In. Shared by Jun Sasamoto, JALISA (Japanese Lawyers International Solidarity Association). See here for the Japanese translation. 日本語訳はこちらをどうぞ。


2009.11.9

The Grannies Peace Brigade is a wonderful group of older and deeply committed peace and justice activists. They do a lot of things, from pressing for decent health care for all, to opposing the U.S. wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and over the past year or so have become active in educating their members and the wider peace community in New York about the impacts of U.S. foreign military bases and resistance to them. Several of their members attended a national conference against military bases that I organized at American University in Washington, D.C. last winter. In yesterday's conference, they brought together about 100 activists.

In addition to myself, the other speakers were Viergina Rodino, who is on the steering Committee of the Asia Pacific Freeze campaign - an effort to win a halt in increases of the military budgets of the participants in the Six Party talks, and Ninotchka Rosca, who has long been a leading figure in Gabriella, the Philippine women's organization that has confronted military violence against and exploitation of women. In terms of my background, I am the Director of Programs of the American Friends Service Committee in New England, and the editor of a book titled The Sun Never Sets...Confronting the Network of U.S. Foreign Military Bases. I have worked closely with Japanese peace, disarmament, and anti-bases organizations and activists for 25 years and have participated in conferences and had exposure tours in Okinawa on three occasions.

I was the first speaker yesterday, and I began by showing several of the photos from the demonstrations earlier in the day in Okinawa, and I read from the cover note sent to me by Osamu Niikura explaining the goals of the demonstrations and the content of the call.

I explained how, 25 years ago, when I first visited Japan, I was shocked to learn that the U.S. still maintained more than 100 military bases in Japan from Okinawa to Hokkaido (this is a figure that continues to shock my compatriots,) and and the centrality of the U.S.-Japan Military Alliance (AMPO) to U.S. hegemony in Asia and the Pacific. I explained that the U.S. bases in Japan, Europe, the Middle East and now Central Asia help to implement an imperial imperative described by Zbigniew Brzezinski (Jimmy Carter's National Security Advisor.) Relying on traditional geopolitical analysis, he has argued that to dominate the world, a power must dominate Eurasia. For the U.S. as an island power in the tradition of Britain, this means maintaining to holds on the Western, Southern and Eastern perimeters of Eurasia. I then stressed the roles of U.S. bases in Okinawa, elsewhere in Japan, Korea and the Philippines in this regard and pointed out that to maintain its bases in Japan, the U.S. had even helped to elevate a Class A war criminal - Kishi - to be Prime Minister, in order to force through the revision and continuation of the alliance in 1960.

I reminded the audience that the U.S. Declaration of Independence - which explained why the colonies were declaring their independence from Britain and going to war against Britain - cited the fact that King George II "kept among us in times of peace....standing armies....which committed [intolerable] abuses and usurpation. I then distributed a resource we have produced called 10 Reasons Why U.S. bases must go. This explains modern day "abuses and usurpation" from crimes and sexual harassment that go unpunished to live fire and night-landing exercises, environmental pollution, undermining national sovereignty, and increasing the likelihood that murderous wars will be gough.

I briefly reviewed the current situation resulting from the election victory of the DPJ, a political alliance which spans a much wider ideological spectrum than even the Democratic Party in the U.S. from socialists to Ozawa and other former LDP members. I explained that the Hatoyama Government has reiterated that AMPO should continue to serve as the foundation for Japanese-U.S. bilateral relations, but that is also seeks to have one foot in Asia with the other in the U.S., as opposed to two feet in the U.S. as has been the case since the U.S. imposed the alliance in 1951. I explained that two focal issues of Japanese-U.S. tensions are whether the Futenma base will be closed with its functions (and more) being moved to Henoko. as per the SACP agreement which the Obama Administration insists upon, or whether Futnema will be closed and the Henoko base not be built, which the DPJ seems to be advocating. I then shocked the audience by explaining that a second major issue has to do with the secret agreement that has allowed the U.S. to bring nuclear weapons into Okinawa and Japan, despite the Three Non- Nuclear Principles.

Focusing in on Okinawa, I explained the concentration of U.S. bases and troops there, including most of the 47,000 U.S. troops in Japan. While showing a slide that illustrates the strategy roles that U.S. bases in Okinawa play, I told a story from 1996, after I had traveled to Okinawa to present Governor Ota with hundreds of signatures on a statement of remorse and apology for the 1995 rape of the school girl and other U.S. crimes in Okinawa. After traveling to Okinawa, I had an interview at the Japanese Defense Administration (before it became a ministry) with the man who was the principle author of Japan's Defense White Paper. At the end of the interview, he asked me what I had learned in Okinawa, and I told him. As his secretary was leading me out of the JDA, she told me "I understand the strategic importance of Okinawa, but if I lived in Okinawa with my daughter, I would be very afraid." I added that I think this reflects an underlying sense of shame that many in the Japanese elite have for what they have allowed to happen to the people of Okinawa.

I then provided a summary history of Okinawa, explaining that it has long been colonized and oppressed. I explained that it used to be an independent kingdom that paid tribute to China, and has many Melanesian and Chinese influences, as well as Japanese. I explained the role that Okinawa played as a window for Japan to the wider world during the 200 year period of Japanese isolation, and how after U.S. gunboats "opened" Japan in the 1860s, that role for Okinawa was obviated, and in 1879 Japan simply conquered and colonized Okinawa, outlawing the Okinawan language, forcing Okinawans to take Japanese names, and integrating Okinawa into Japan, much as the U.S. has done with Puerto Rico. I explained that there were issues involving racial discrimination between main islands Japanese and Okinawans, and how Okinawa was used to buy time for the Emperor System at the cost of 1/4 of its population in 1944 and 45. I explained that after placing the Okinawan people in concentration camps, the U.S. seized the former Japanese military bases - and something more - to build U.S. bases there, how Washington and Tokyo conspired to ease the burden of U.S. forces on Japan's main islands by continuing the formal military occupation of Okinawa in 1952, while ending it on the main islands, and how Okinawan hopes were shattered following reversion in 1972, when the bases remained.

Returning to the slide showing the strategic functions of U.S. bases in Okinawa, I explained that during the Cold War they were used to contain the Soviet Union and China, to serve as jumping off points for U.S. military wars and interventions in Korea, Southeast Asia and the Middle East, and how they continue to serve those functions in the post-Cold War era, including the war in Central Asia. I explained that the bases also serve U.S. nuclear war fighting plans, as training grounds for U.S. troops, to limit Japan's remilitarizaiton (even as it encourages it in many ways) and for what is euphemistically called "Rest and Recreation."

I then showed a power point presentation that was given to me by Tero Onishi of the Nago Peace Committee, which illustrated many of the points I made and focused on the impacts of and resistance to the construction of the Nago base.

I don't have such careful notes from Vierinia rodino's and Ninotchka Rosa's talks. Virgina focused on the Asia Pacific Freeze and the importance of finally negotiating a peace treaty to end the Korean war, and Ninotchka presented a moving PowerPoint that focused on the institutionalization of prostitution and other sexual violence by U.S. troops committed against women. Among the points that she made was her anger that the Japanese and Korean governments permit such violence against Filipina women to take place in their countries.

We had an extended question and answer period that touched many points: including the Obama Administration's ambitions for the U.S.-Japan alliance, the dangers of North Korea's nuclear weapons program, etc.

We urged conference participants to write to the White House urging President Obama to accept the demand that Futnema be closed and Nago not be built, and that this be done in the context of removing all U.S. troops and bases from Okinawa and Japan.

I apologize for going on so long and hope that you find this helpful.

With all best wishes,

Joseph Gerson

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Upcoming Salon - Film "Yesterday Is Now" with Director Celine Rumalean


The upcoming Peace Philosophy Salon:


Film "Yesterday Is Now"
映画「歴史の傷跡」

With Director

Celine Rumalean

監督 スリーン・ルマリーンさんを迎えての上映会

The 2002 film touches on the dark and painful history of Japan's war crimes during the occupation of neighbouring Asian countries.
It contains interviews of people in Japan who are dealing with these issues with different positions and different perspectives. (See a more detailed synopsis of the film at the bottom.) この映画は、日本の戦争責任問題について、日本にいるさまざまな立場や意見の人たちのインタビューを主に構成されたものです。(詳しいあらすじは下をご覧ください。)

In our next salon, we will be extremely lucky to have the director Celine Rumalean with us to share her insights in making this film and answer our questions. 今回は、幸運なことに、監督のスリーン・ルマリーンさんをお迎えできることになりました。

Date and Time: 7:00 - 9:30 PM, Saturday November 14th (we will screen the Japanese version from 5:30 PM 日本語版を5時半から上映します)

5:30 - 7:00 Japanese Version of "Yesterday Is Now" 

7:00 - 8:30 English Version of "Yesterday Is Now"  

8:30 - 9:30 Discussion and dialogue with director Celine Rumalean

Location: Peace Philosophy Centre (located in the centre of Vancouver. Email info@peacephilosophy.com for detailed direction)

RSVP: Email info@peacephilosophy.com by November 13. Please let me know if you would like to come to the screening of the Japanese version.

* info@peacephilosophy.com に日本語でお問い合わせください。会場への行き方をメールします。

* We won't order food like we normally do. You are welcome to bring your own food and eat during the film screening. The Centre will provide some light refreshments and tea. As always, snack donations are welcome. 

* Admission is free. Donations to cover the salon expenses are always welcome. 入場は無料です。センターへの寄付を歓迎します。

We look forward to sharing this special evening with you.

Satoko Norimatsu

Peace Philosophy Centre

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Synopsis of Film "Yesterday Is Now"
Yesterday Is Now explores the division in Japanese society about the legacy of Japan's twentieth-century wars and occupation of neighbouring Asian countries. Through frank and probing interviews, it raises issues around Japan's motivations and its responsibility for war crimes that include sexual slavery, slave labour, the use of humans in biological-warfare experiments, and civilian massacres.
The documentary's diverse slate of subjects includes family members of the Japanese war dead, right-wing nationalists, politicians, students, and artists, as well as a teacher, a labour unionist, a journalist, a former soldier, and an A-bomb survivor. Yesterday Is Now combines their thoughts and revelations with archival footage and contemporary images to create a riveting insight into the unfinished business of Japan's wartime past.
A sobering look into how a society can be mobilized into war, how atrocities can be committed in the name of a nation and how war lives on in peacetime.
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Celine Rumalean's Biofilmography
Born in Indonesia, Celine studied psychology in Australia before moving to Canada, where she studied documentary filmmaking.
Her first documentary, Crossings, focuses on the Southeast Asian Chinese immigrants in Canada and explores issues of diaspora identity. It was produced with the support of the Canada Council for the Arts.
Celine has also worked on award-winning documentaries and educational media in various capacities. She was videographer for Bitter Paradise: the Sellout of East Timor, directed by Elaine Briere, line producer for the educational series First Nations, the Circle Unbroken, directed by Gary Marcuse and Lorna Williams, and assistant to director Nettie Wild during post-production of her feature documentary Blockade.



Sunday, November 08, 2009

Peace, Fun, Spirit, Love, and All... Thank you!


This is a very unusual blog post - personal, and non-political, maybe the first time since the start of this blog, and tonight deserves that exception.


We had a great party to celebrate Shoko's birthday, with the "core members" of Peace Philosophy Salon.


It was such a warm, loving, and a laughter-filled party with great food and sweets!

Thank you Arc for cooking absolutely delicious (and burning spicy) Sechuan food, Dan and Meg for home-baked cakes, and for all the goodies that you all brought - above all, your presence, your laughter, your jokes, your otaku stories, ghost stories and gossips and everything....


This is also a rare appearance of the incredibly talented, handsome, funny, intelligent and creative man.... I love you!

Lots and lots and lots of love,

Satoko

A Statement from JALISA for a Japan Free From Foreign Military Bases

This is a statement by JALISA, The Japan Lawyers International Solidarity Association, to call for the return of Futenma Air Station to Japan. See here for the Japanese version. JALISA is a group of progressive lawyers in Japan, also active in the Global Article 9 Campaign.

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Statement on the Futenma Marine Corps Air Station Issue
In Solidarity with the Okinawa People's Rally on November 8, 2009


1. The US military maintains large military bases on Okinawa Island, and in particular has not returned Futenma Marine Corps Air Station, a helicopter base which is right in the middle of a residential area with educational facilities. The tranquility of the residents’ daily lives is threatened, and their right to live in peace is egregiously infringed by the roar of aircraft and by a helicopter crash on a university campus.

2. An atrocity committed against a girl in September 1995 triggered a rally by Okinawans which made resolutions including the downsizing and contraction of US bases and revision of the Status of Forces Agreement. This intent was confirmed by a prefectural referendum in September 1996. In April of that year the US government itself had promised to return Futenma Air Station. However, in exchange the US government made demands including the construction of an offshore heliport near Henoko, Nago City, and the shouldering of costs by the Japanese government to relocate 8,000 Marines. The US government has therefore been refusing to quickly return Futenma Air Station.
The Henoko coastal zone is habitat for the dugong, which is a designated endangered species and is protected internationally. Hence heliport construction is a serious matter in terms of environmental protection as well. On January 24, 2008 (local time), the US Federal District Court in San Francisco rendered a decision in the “Okinawa Dugong Lawsuit” filed by Japanese and US environmental organizations against the US Department of Defense, and ruled that the Defense Department violated the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) by not assessing and considering factors including impacts on the dugongs. Additionally, the start of construction for the new base has been delayed over 10 years because of a tenacious opposition movement by locals.

3. Japan’s government changed in the general elections this August. The Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ), which became the new ruling party, showed its understanding of the feelings of Okinawans and made a campaign pledge that it would relocate Futenma Air Station to another prefecture or outside of Japan. But US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates visited Japan this October and vigorously pressed Japan to build the new base, using as his justification the accord made between the Japanese and US governments when the Liberal Democratic Party held the reigns of government. In response, the defense minister of the new Hatoyama government announced that Japan will sanction the construction of the new offshore base at Henoko, while the foreign minister stated that the government would consider consolidating Futenma Air Station with Kadena Air Base, also in Okinawa Prefecture. Once again, the right of Okinawans and other Japanese to live in peace is being treated with contempt.

4. Against worldwide calls for peace, the US government reaction to the voice of public conscience demanding peace without resorting to force has been to carry on with the military forces realignment program of the previous administration, and seek to maintain and reinforce US military power. Reinforcing US military bases raises military tensions in Asia and entrenches the Cold-War structure in Northeast Asia, which is the only place in the world were it remains. At the root of this problem is the Japan-US Security Treaty, which recognizes Japan’s obligation to provide the US with bases. This military alliance is a relic of the Cold War era and must be cancelled immediately.

5. The International Association of Democratic Lawyers (IADL) Congress held in Hanoi this June also resolved to oppose the construction of new military bases in Okinawa, and confirmed implementation of the Global Article 9 Campaign, which strives for dispute resolution that does not rely on military force.

6. We align ourselves in solidarity with the November 8 prefectural rally for opposition to base construction, and seek the speedy return of Futenma Marine Corps Air Station. Additionally, we call for international solidarity to oppose construction of new US military bases in Okinawa, the rest of Japan, and the rest of Asia.

October 30, 2009
Japan Lawyers International Solidarity Association Executive Board
Osamu Niikura, President
Jun Sasamoto, Secretary-General

JALISA Statement in Japanese 外国軍事基地のない日本に向けて-日本国際法律家協会による声明

Click here for the English version.

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米軍普天間基地問題に関する日本国際法律家協会声明
―11月8日沖縄県民大会に連帯してー

1. 米軍は、沖縄本島に広大な軍事基地を保持し、とりわけ海兵隊のヘリコプター基地である普天間飛行場を返還していない。普天間基地は、住宅と教育施設が集まる地域のど真ん中にあり、これまでも大学構内への墜落事故や爆音のために、住民の平穏な生活は脅かされ、平和に生きる権利は著しく侵害されている。

2. 1995年9月の少女に対する暴虐な事件がきっかけとなり、沖縄県民総決起大会は米軍基地の縮小整理と在日米軍地位協定の改定などを決議し、この意思は1996年9月の県民投票によっても確かめられている。また、米国政府自身も同年4月に、普天間基地の返還を約束した。ところが、米国政府は、その見返りに、名護市辺野古沖での海上ヘリ基地の建設や海兵隊8000人の移駐用費用の負担などを要求し、普天間基地返還の速やかな実施を拒んできた。
 辺野古沿岸には、絶滅危惧種として指定され国際的な保護の対象となっているジュゴンが生息しており、環境保護の点からも重大な問題がある。2008年1月24日(現地時間)に、米国のサンフランシスコ連邦地方裁判所は、日米の自然保護団体が米国防総省を相手に提訴した「沖縄ジュゴン訴訟」について、米国防総省がジュゴンへの影響などを評価・検討していないことが米国文化財保護法(NHPA)に違反すると判決した。また、住民のねばり強い反対運動により、10年以上にわたり新基地建設は着工されていない。

3. 本年8月の総選挙によって政権が交代した。新しく政権についた民主党は、その選挙公約において、沖縄県民の心情に理解を示し、普天間基地の県外ないし国外移転を掲げた。しかし本年10月に来日した米国ゲーツ国防長官が自民党時代の日米両政府の合意を盾にして新基地建設を強く迫ったため、鳩山新政権の防衛大臣は辺野古沖への新基地建設容認を表明し、外務大臣は沖縄県内の嘉手納基地に統合することを検討すると表明するなど、沖縄県民・日本国民の平和に生きる権利は、またしても踏みにじられている。

4. 米国政府は、全世界的な平和を求める声に反して、力によらない平和を求める公的な良心の声に対して、前政権以来の兵力再編路線を継承し、軍事力の維持・強化を追求している。米軍基地の強化は、アジアにおける軍事的な緊張を増大させ、世界で唯一残された東北アジアの冷戦構造を固定化する。このような問題の根本には、米軍基地の提供義務を認める日米安全保障条約がある。冷戦時代の遺物であるこのような軍事同盟は、早急に解消されなければならない。

5. 沖縄での新たな軍事基地建設に反対することは、本年6月にハノイで開かれた国際民主法律家協会(IADL)の総会でも決議され、軍事力によらない紛争解決をめざす「グローバル9条キャンペーン」の推進が確認されている。

6. われわれは、11月8日の基地建設反対を求める県民大会に連帯し、米軍普天間基地の速やかな返還を求めるとともに、沖縄、日本、アジアにおける新たな米軍基地の建設に反対するよう、国際的な連帯を呼びかける。

2009年10月30日
               日本国際法律家協会理事会
               会長 新倉 修 / 事務局長 笹本潤

Friday, November 06, 2009

A Letter from a Hibakusha in Okinawa (English Translation)


A Letter to the Citizens of Hiroshima and Nagasaki
From a Hibakusha residing in Okinawa


See the original Japanese version here. 日本語版はここです。

Dear Citizens of Hiroshima and Nagasaki,

I am a hibakusha, an A-Bomb survivor, and I live in a place called Yambaru in the north of the main island of Okinawa. I am an old man, trying to heal the pain of being irradiated by living amongst the myriads of gods breathing in the mountains, rivers, grasses and trees of this island. In reading this letter, I would like you to understand and remember that I cannot claim my voice to be representative of all hibakusha, but I feel my message is an important one.

On August 6, 1945, the atomic bombing made many citizens of Hiroshima hibakusha, and three days later, the second atomic bombing also made many people of Nagasaki hibakusha. Sixty-four years have passed since then. Now, the majority of the citizens of Hiroshima and Nagasaki are not hibakusha as the hibakusha population is rapidly diminishing as it ages. Soon we hibakusha will all disappear from this world. For the last sixty-four years we have been desperately trying to survive, tormented by the haunting memory of an unforgettable experience: the indescribable agony of sudden death caused by the most atrocious and inhumane weapon ever produced in the history of mankind. Yet it is not only this memory that torments us. We live with the constant fear that the residual radiation embedded in our bodies may kill us unexpectedly, at any time. However, the pain of being an A-bomb survivor differs from person to person, and cannot be summarized in a few words under the general term of “hibakusha.”

For my part, I must be honest and state that for some time after the war, I bitterly hated the U.S. and often reflected on how my life could have been different if the bombing had not occurred. Had I have been able cry out, “You foolish Americans!” it might have eased my anger a little. At a time when Japan was under the occupation of the Allied powers, such action was impossible. However, my feelings towards my situation have changed over the years.

We hibakusha are not intolerant. We have developed creative methods for survival as we have all struggled to overcome grave despair, to find hope and to understand the meaning of our lives. We therefore sincerely wish from the bottom of our hearts for peace and the total abolition of nuclear weapons. Nevertheless, we feel that our souls and bodies must first be healed before we can discuss the abolition of nuclear weapons. Please base your understanding of our situation on the fact that each hibakusha has his or her own distinctive pain. It is our honest belief that once we are healed and our pain is understood, we can then turn our attention to the movement to abolish nuclear weapons. I wonder whether I am alone in feeling that anti-nuclear movements have so far been promoted solely in the interests of politics without trying to disentangle the tangled threads of the deep and complex sorrow of each hibakusha.

Hiroshima and Nagasaki’s recent bid to host the 2016 Olympic Games is one incident which reflects the callous attitudes of those who exploit the symbolic nature of these cities, ignoring the pain of the hibakusha. Another such reflection can be seen in the proposal that U.S. President Obama visit Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Many are keen for this to happen; I, on the other hand, would like him to first express his remorse for the atomic bombings on behalf of all Americans, the people responsible for spreading the fear of nuclear weapons worldwide and creating the hibakusha population.

I would like to ask the citizens of Hiroshima and Nagasaki to consider the following:

The leader of the United States, the nation that developed and used atomic bombs, is going to receive a Nobel Peace Prize, an award ironically established by the person who became a millionaire for his invention of smokeless gun-powder and dynamite. I am unsurprised, as this kind of celebration is an old ploy frequently exploited by people with money and power to deceive the public. I do, however, find it shocking that the anti-nuclear movement is collecting signatures from the citizens of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in an attempt to encourage President Obama to visit these cities. This situation is akin to that of the arsonist firefighter, who sets fire to a house, and is then the first to rush to save it. This push for President Obama to visit Hiroshima and Nagasaki is no different from inviting the arsonist to the scene of his crime without asking him to express any remorse or to pay compensation. Please do not hurt the hibakusha any further by pursuing such insulting projects. Though the anti-nuclear movement is promoting the collection of signatures as an act of goodwill, we find their cause very upsetting and feel we have nowhere to appeal. We are old and do not have much time left to us. Before President Obama is urged to visit the cities that his country destroyed, he must be asked to agree to pay all the hibakusha’s medical expenses, living allowances and compensation for damages, and must also be requested to release all information collected by the Atomic Bomb Casualty Commission through its medical examinations of hibakusha. The ABCC operated for many years only for the purpose of collecting data on the effects of radiation on human bodies and never offered medical treatment to hibakusha.

I would like to convey to the mayors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki the following message:

I cannot help harboring deep doubts about your dignity and ability as mayors of your respective cities, given that both of you publicly and shamelessly promote Hiroshima and Nagasaki as potential hosts of the Olympic Games, an event which inevitably incites nationalism. Through this exploitation, you are making fools of the hibakusha. Do you think that the Olympic Games could be held at Auschwitz? Ever since the Nazis held the Olympic Games in Berlin as a grand festival to exult the Aryan race, they have been continually berated for exploiting the occasion and showing off their nation-state under the guise of sportsmanship. Do you wish the same criticism on your cities?

You may think that Nazi nationalism is a bygone matter that no longer has anything to do with our lives today. Yet that kind of nationalism behind Berlin's Olympics was still seen in the recent bidding process for the host-ship of the Olympic Games. It clearly revealed the ugly greed of all the candidates, and one could
sense a war-like atmosphere behind the process. It is generally believed that competition cultivates personal character and gives individuals confidence, but in fact, competition actually gives most individuals, save a very small number, an inferiority complex that weakens their confidence. Moreover, competition can be a dangerous tool as it reduces the value of individuals, the value of a nation, city, school, to mere numerical figures: the outcome of the competition. We must not forget that spiritual power, which cannot be converted into numbers, cultivates humanity.

Why is it that we cannot eliminate war? Even if we could successfully abolish nuclear weapons, I am certain that we would not be able to avoid the occurrence of new conflicts. As a result, more destructive weapons could potentially be developed. Encouraging compassion on the other hand, enables one to extend one’s imagination to the pain suffered by the hibakusha, as well as by all other war victims, and is essential in rendering all weapons meaningless. This is the starting point to freeing humankind from war. In this sense, the abolition of nuclear weapons should be a movement for the creation of the spirit of peace.

From now on, we, the people of Earth, need to generate the strong will to live together as a global family, overcoming the barriers of race and nation, and together we must explore alternatives to war for the resolution of friction between peoples. There appears to be no other way for mankind to retain its dignity.

When reading any piece of writing, one must read between the lines to fully comprehend what it is that the author wishes to say. I ask you to listen to the voice of the voiceless hibakusha in a similar manner.

Thank you very much for reading my letter.

November 2009

Tsukishita Miki

(Edited and translated by Yuki Tanaka)

沖縄在住の一被爆者から A Letter From a Hibakusha in Okinawa


Here is a letter written by a hibakusha (A-bomb survivor) in Okinawa, shared by Yuki Tanaka, Professor of Hiroshima Peace Institute. See the English version here. 広島市立大平和研究所の田中利幸先生から託された、沖縄のある被爆者の方がその思いを綴ったレターを公開します。英語版はこちら

沖縄在住の一被爆者から
  広島市市民・長崎市民の皆様への手紙(決して被爆者の代表ではありません)

                       
  
1946年8月6日 広島市民のすべての人、8月9日、長崎市民のすべての人が被爆者にされてしまいました。

あれから64年、広島市民・長崎市民であることが被爆者とは限らなくなりました。

むしろ、高齢化し、その数は少なくなり、やがていなくなる日がやってきます。

その残された被爆者、いや、すべての被爆者は、あまりにも突然の人類史上極悪非人道的な武器、原爆によって言葉さえ出てこない断末魔の中に閉じ込められ、さいなまされながら、必死に生きてきたのです。心の傷だけではありません。

残留放射能のため、いつ我が身かと脅かされつつ生きているのです。

被爆者の痛みは十人十色。一言で被爆者と束ねられるものでは決してありません。

本心はアメリカがにくくてしかたがなかったのです。

 あれさえなかったらとさいなまされるのです。

口に出して『アメリカのバカヤロウー』といえれば、少しは気分も楽になったかもしれません。しかし、占領下ではそれすらできませんでした。

意気地無しといわれたら、甘んじて受けるしかありません。被爆者は核廃絶の前に心と体を癒してほしいのです。

それが被爆者の偽らざる本心です。そのうえでの核廃絶運動です。

ヒロシマのこころは十人十色の被爆者の痛みが、すべての原点であり、出発点だということを忘れないで下さい。

被爆者ひとりひとりに幾重にもまつわりついている重い悲しい糸をときほぐそうともしないで、核廃絶運動が一人歩きしていると感じているのはボクだけでしょうか。

オリンピックの招致の発想はまさにその現れとしかいいようがありません。

また、アメリカの長〔大統領〕を招きたいのなら、まず懺悔です。核の恐怖を世界にばらまき、被爆者をつくりだしたのですから・・・・。

それとともに被爆者への医療と生活保障、見舞金、さらにABCC時代の資料の開示を求めてください。

私たちは決して不寛容ではありません。むしろ、被爆者ゆえに、絶望のなかから生きる意味と希望をみいだしてきたのです。

十人十色の創造があるのです。ですから、心から平和と核廃絶をもっとも希求しているのです。

広島市民、長崎市民の皆さまに申し上げます

この度、原爆を開発使用したアメリカの長が、ダイナマイトや無煙火薬を発明し、大富豪になったノーベルから平和賞をもらったそうです。それはそれで金持ちや権力をもった族が大衆の目をくらます常套手段なので驚くにあたりません。

消防士が放火して、率先して消火活動をした人がいましたがそれと同じです。

しかし、です。

その張本人を懺悔も保障も求めず、ただ招きたいという、広島、長崎市民の署名活動は、
被爆者を蹂躪するものです。被爆者をこれ以上傷つけないで下さい。

広島、長崎市民の善意の署名活動だけに被爆者は行場がないのです。

私たちは老い先、短い高齢者です。

広島市長 長崎市長に申し上げます

ナショナリズムをいやがおうでもあおるとしかいいようがないオリンピックを共同開催しようという、被爆者を愚弄する企画を臆面もなく発表されたことについて、市長としての品格とともに資質を疑わざるをえません。

アウシュビッツでやるでしょうか。ナチがベルリン大会を民族の祭典にして以後、オリンピックはスポーツ精神の名のもとに民族、国家の誇示に利用され、今日では経済の餌食になり下がっています。

ナチは昔話と思っている人もいるかもしれませんが、今回、2016年の招致合戦を見れば、益々民族、国家の欲はふくらみ、その先には戦いがみえかくれしています。

競争は人格を磨き自信を育てると一般に考えられています。しかし、ほとんどのごく一部の人をのぞいて劣等感を抱かせ、自信を失わせているのです。

もっと危ないのは自分の価値、あるいは、自分たちの国や地域、学校などを勝ち負け、数字でしか判断できなくなってしまっていることです。

目に見えない精神が創造をつちかってくれるのです。

戦争はなぜなくならないのでしょうか。戦って勝ち取る核廃絶は必ずまた新しい対立を生み出すことは明らかです。もっと強い強力な武器が開発されることもあるかもしれません。

無言の被爆者の苦しみ、すべての戦争犠牲者の苦しみに思いをはせ、共感共有できる精神の創造こそが、やがてすべての武器の意味を失わせ、人間が戦争から解放できる出発点です。その意味で核廃絶は平和精神創造運動なのです。

これからの時代は民族・国家をこえて地球規模で地球家族として生きようという志をもち、戦いでない方法を解決の道に創造していかなければ人類の尊厳はありません。

行間、音間、余白、に隠された意味があるように、無言の被爆者の声に耳をかたむけてください。

                       ありがとうございました。
2009年10月

Resolution of the Civil Society Symposium Coinciding With the ICNND Hiroshima Meeting

(The civil society's call for action, shared by Yuki Tanaka, Professor of Hiroshima Peace Institute)

Towards a World Without Nuclear Weapons—Now is the Time to Act!

Civil Society Symposium Coinciding with the ICNND Hiroshima Meeting

Resolution

Hiroshima, 18 October 2009


Now is the time to decide once and for all to rid the world of nuclear weapons and to urgently begin to put that decision into practice.

International momentum towards the creation of a world without nuclear weapons is growing. We must grasp the opportunity before it is lost. It is vitally important that concrete steps for the abolition of nuclear weapons be taken at the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference, which will be held in New York in May 2010.

It is in this historic context that we have gathered, while the 4th meeting of the International Commission on Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament (ICNND) is being held here in Hiroshima. As the shared will of the Hibakusha and other people gathered here, we make the following fervent appeal to the international community, to the ICNND, to the Japanese government and to Japanese civil society.

To the International Community

 The reality of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki shows clearly that there is no future for the human race unless nuclear weapons are abolished, but the nuclear weapons states have failed to honor their past promises and legal obligations to work to implement this objective. They have not negotiated in good faith for nuclear disarmament. Nuclear weapons states and non nuclear weapons
states must fulfill the undertakings they made at the 1995 and 2000 NPT Review Conferences and all countries, NPT members and non-NPT members, should begin negotiations forthwith on a Nuclear Weapons Convention to comprehensively outlaw and eliminate nuclear weapons.

 The international community must work to create a peaceful, just and environmentally sustainable world in which human, national and international security do not depend on military force, especially not on nuclear weapons or any other weapons of mass destruction.

 The nuclear proliferation dangers posed by the civil use of nuclear energy must be acknowledged frankly and addressed in ways which do not exacerbate existing problems or create new problems.

To the ICNND

 Strengthening the momentum for a world without nuclear weapons that has emerged since the advent of the Obama Administration, the Commission should make recommendations which give further impetus to this trend. The Commission’s recommendations must be ahead of the game, not lagging behind moves that are already in train.

 Mindful of the catastrophic use of nuclear weapons on Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the wishes of the Hibakusha, the Commission should point the way toward entry into force of a Nuclear Weapons Convention by 2020.

 The Commission should strongly urge the commencement of negotiations on a Nuclear Weapons Convention as a short-term goal for the next four years.

 It should also recommend that the UN Security Council confirm that the use of nuclear weapons is a crime against humanity, and that nuclear free zones backed by negative security assurances should be expanded.

 In particular, the Commission should state clearly its support for the principle of “no first use” of nuclear weapons. It should recommend that all nuclear weapon states and their allies adopt such a policy immediately, at least by the 2010 NPT Review Conference.

 Since its inception the Commission has received several submissions from NGOs, including two from the ICNND Japan NGO Network. The recommendations in these submissions remain valid. The Commission should seriously study the submissions it has received from civil society and incorporate their comments and recommendations into its report.

To the Japanese Government (summary of points covered in the civil society petition handed to the government on October 15, 2009)

 The Japanese Government should make an official declaration of support for a nuclear “no first use” policy and demand that the United States adopt a nuclear “no first use” policy too.

 At the UN General Assembly and the NPT Review Conference the Japanese Government should express its support for Ban Ki Moon’s nuclear disarmament proposal and the commencement of negotiations on a Nuclear Weapons Convention.

 The Japanese government should issue a political statement saying that it aims for a North-East Asia Nuclear Free Zone and use fora such as the six party talks to further this aim. It should commence concrete negotiations to this end and, in the spirit of its Peace Constitution, Japan should move to a security policy that is not dependent on nuclear weapons.

 The Japanese government should promptly reconsider its missile defense plan, which is an obstacle to the reduction of tensions in East Asia and North-East Asia.

 The use of plutonium and highly enriched uranium entail the risk of nuclear proliferation. So that Japan can truly contribute to nuclear non-proliferation, the Japanese government should reconsider its nuclear fuel cycle policy.

To Japanese Civil Society

 Listen to the witness of the Hibakusha and spread the message in our schools and local communities. When we do so, always draw connections with current nuclear weapons problems and the elimination of nuclear weapons.

 Let us ensure that people in our local communities are aware of the historic times in which we live and the unprecedented opportunity to move forward on nuclear disarmament.

 Call for local authorities which are not yet members of Mayors for Peace and the National Council of Japan Nuclear Free Local Authorities to join, and for Mayors who have not yet signed the Hiroshima/Nagasaki Protocol to sign up.

 Make sure that this year and next year local authorities which have made “nuclear free” declarations hold events involving citizens.

 Lobby our locally elected Diet members to work for the abolition of nuclear weapons.

 Continue to promote civil society cooperation for nuclear abolition throughout the world, so that together we can shift the international community.

 Together let us build a powerful movement for nuclear abolition in the lead up to the NPT Review Conference in May 2010.

NGO Statement Concerning the Hiroshima Meeting of the International Commission on Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament

(The unproductive result of ICNND is a reminder for the civil society to be proactive and vigilant about the current global nuclear disarmament movement. This statement was shared by Yuki Tanaka, Professor of Hiroshima Peace Institute)

NGO Statement Concerning the Hiroshima Meeting of the International Commission on Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament

The International Commission on Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament (ICNND), an initiative of the Australian and Japanese governments, held its fourth meeting in Hiroshima from October 17 to 20 2009. At press conferences after the meeting the Co-Chairs outlined the meeting’s main outcomes. Unfortunately, their comments were a great disappointment to the representatives of civil society who have engaged with the Commission over the past year.

The Commission said that it would produce an “action-oriented report” and “lobby political leaders throughout the world to encourage real nuclear disarmament”.1 However, we fear that the Commission’s report, which is expected to be released in the near future, could in fact act as a brake on the current momentum towards a world without nuclear weapons.

Various civil society organizations call for the abolition of nuclear weapons by between 2020 and 2025. Presidents Reagan and Gorbachev at successive Reykjavik summits envisioned this process taking a decade. The Global Zero campaign, to which both of the Commission co-chairs are signatories, advocates achievement of a world free of nuclear weapons by 2030. The Hibakusha (atomic bomb survivors) yearn to achieve a world free of nuclear weapons in their lifetimes, but the Commission proposed no target date for getting to zero. It sets a ‘minimisation point’ with well over 1000 nuclear weapons by 2025 as a ‘medium term’ goal, and no operational detail or timeframe, even indicative, beyond that. There is a serious risk that the practical result will be the erosion of a sense of urgency commensurate with the threat, and that the Commission’s recommendations will be used as justification for those who aim for a world with fewer rather than no nuclear weapons. The grim reality is that a ‘minimization’ point with well over 1000 nuclear weapons does not minimize the dangers we face – and will continue to risk global catastrophe and the end of human civilization.

Civil society calls for the early commencement of negotiations for a Nuclear Weapons Convention (NWC), but the Commission appears to view a NWC as little more than a distant prospect. Media reports from press conferences held after the Hiroshima meeting indicate that the Co-Chairs mentioned a NWC as an issue to be addressed in the medium term (2012 – 2025), but the Commission’s lack of direct and explicit engagement on a NWC in the very near future is a major disappointment. We regard the commencement of negotiations on a verifiable, phased NWC by no later than 2015, and their conclusion by no later than 2020, as appropriate and realistic.

The Commission proposed that the role of nuclear weapons be declared to be restricted to deterring nuclear attacks (core deterrence) by 2012. “Core deterrence” is not an end in itself, but restricting the role of nuclear weapons in this way is an important step to facilitate deep reductions in the number, forward deployment and alert status of nuclear weapons. However, there is a danger that the Commission’s 2012 target date could actually delay nuclear weapons states and their allies from reducing the role of nuclear weapons in their security policies by next year’s critical nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty Review Conference. In particular, the United States’ Nuclear Posture Review and Russia’s review of military doctrine are being carried out now and will be finalized by early next year. Pressure is needed now. If they are to be taken seriously, the countries with over 95% of the world’s nuclear weapons must reflect their stated commitment to a world free of nuclear weapons in their military doctrines. If they do, it would be a major step forward and greatly increase the likelihood of a successful outcome to the NPT Review Conference. If they do not, a tipping point towards a cascade of proliferation will likely be crossed.

A related issue is “no first use” of nuclear weapons. On 18 October in Kyoto the Japanese Foreign Minister, Katsuya Okada, repeated his oft-expressed support for nuclear no first use, indicating that he expected the ICNND’s report to support such a policy. However, instead of recommending early adoption of no first use, the Commission appears to have relegated this to a medium term goal with a target date of 2025. The ICNND has introduced conditions which have caused confusion over the definition, but such a distant target sends the wrong signal at this critical time.

It is reported that the Japanese Commissioner and Advisors were largely responsible for delaying the target dates of these recommendations on the grounds that they would weaken the US extended nuclear deterrent (nuclear umbrella). This is a spurious and counterproductive argument. It is most regrettable if the Japanese Commissioner and Advisors played an obstructive role on these issues. It is governments which in the end must act to progress nuclear disarmament. Bearing in mind that the Commissioners and Advisors were appointed before the change of government in Japan and the United States, and that the Commission’s independence is inherently compromised by the Japanese Co-chair being a senior serving (now opposition) politician, the Japanese and Australian Governments should take policy leadership and not allow their needed support for concrete steps to progress a world free of nuclear weapons at this vital time to be weakened or delayed. Both governments should immediately declare their support for a reduction in the role of nuclear weapons and adoption of no first use doctrine as necessary early steps towards the elimination of nuclear weapons.

We are also concerned that no date was set for a ban on the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons, and that a target number of 1000 nuclear weapons by 2025 reported in the media before the Hiroshima meeting was raised after the meeting to “less than 2,000”. We are concerned that a process of settling on the “lowest common denominator” is compromising the Commission’s work, and reducing its potential to gain wide civil society support, to inspire and to lead. We hope the Commission will yet strengthen its recommendations and provide real leadership and effective advocacy towards a world free of nuclear weapons.

In the lead up to next year’s NPT Review Conference, we call on all governments by concrete action to strengthen the momentum towards a world without nuclear weapons generated by recent events, including President Obama’s speech in Prague in April and the UN Security Council Resolution of September. Bolder leadership is called for in order to overcome the profound dangers now facing humanity and seize the present historic opportunity to achieve a world free of nuclear weapons.

1. Summary of ICNND’s first meeting held in Sydney by Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 24 October 2008.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Hiroshima/Nagasaki Event Report in Fraser Monthly 月刊ふれいざー11月号




I wrote an article to report the October 3 Hiroshima/Nagasaki Event (Roundhouse Community Centre, Vancouver) in the November edition of Fraser Monthly.  Double-click on the image for a larger view of the article.
「月刊ふれいざー」11月号に、広島長崎イベントについての拙稿が掲載されました。記事の上でダブルクリックすれば大きく見られます。
Satoko

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

What is happening in "Peace City" Hiroshima - Report by Muneo Narusawa Part I

This is a summarized translation of journalist Muneo Narusawa's article that appeared in the August 21 Edition of Weekly Kinyobi. I thought it was important that some alarming facts reported in his article get known in the world, and with Narusawa's permission, I will post the summarized translation of his article in smaller segments, starting today. See here for Part II. 週刊金曜日」2009年8月21日号に掲載された、成澤宗男さんの記事『「田母神」を迎えて問われた「被爆地の平和」』の英文要約パート1です。

****************************************

A Report from Hiroshima, August 2009

Hiroshima Shaken by Pro-nuclear Talk
- An International Peace City Confronting Not-so-peaceful Events -

Muneo Narusawa
(Summarized translation: Satoko Norimatsu)

Right-wingers' black-painted trucks violently drove into the crowd of people in front of the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park. Those people were protesting against the event in which Toshio Tamogami, the former Air Self Defense Force Chief of Staff was going to give a talk titled "Doubting Hiroshima's Peace." These protester held a banner that said, "Hiroshima's Anger to Tamogami."

At 6 P.M., on August 6, 2009, 64 years after the first atomic bomb was dropped, this part of Hiroshima, "hibaku city"("bombed-city")and a symbol of the international peace and anti-nuclear movement, was thrown into an uproar with confrontation between right-wingers and peace activists. Tamogami was about to give a talk at a hotel close to the Peace Park. The talk was hosted by the Hiroshima chapter of "Japan Conference (Nihon Kaigi)," the national network of ultra-conservative organizations, which were connected to the ultra-nationalist politicians like Shinzo Abe, and Tomomi Inada.

Tamogami, who stated that "The Greater East Asia War was a conspiracy by Comintern," in an essay contest organized by a real estate company, had been fired from the Chief of Staff position by then Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada.

When Tamogami's planned talk in Hiroshima was announced in June, Tadatoshi Akiba, Mayor of Hiroshima, submitted a letter of request to the Japan Conference Hiroshima and to Tamogami himself, asking them to change the date of the talk. It was expected that Tamogami, in his talk, would express support for Japan to be armed with nuclear weapons. Akiba feared that Tamogami giving such a talk would aggravate the pain and suffering of hibakusha (A-bomb survivors) and those who lost their family members in the atomic bombing.

The irate Japan Conference and Tamogami refuted that such pressure was infringement of their freedom of speech, and went ahead to hold the event on August 6th as planned. One of Tamogami's statements in the speech, "it is not illogical to state that we should arm ourselves with nuclear weapons in order not to suffer the third nuclear weapon," was welcomed by a thunderous applause in the event attended by 1,300 people.

Peace Education Destroyed

We might easily dismiss such a statement as ridiculous, just like we did his theory of the past war as Comintern's conspiracy. Can we, however, just disregard this Japan Conference Hiroshima? This organization is a Hiroshima branch of the largest right-wing organization Japan Conference, which consists of shinto shrines and other religious organizations. One of its board members is Ryozo Ishibashi, a member of Hiroshima Prefectural Assembly. Ishibashi is among those responsible for the coercion of Hinomaru, the national flag, and Kimigayo, the national anthem at schools (some teachers in Japan resist against using those national symbols at schools, as they carry the militaristic and imperialistic history of the war-time Japan).

Here are some other examples of the damage that Ishibashi brought to Hiroshima's education.

1) Back in 1997, 95% of the elementary and junior high schools in Hiroshima had year-long peace education curriculum. By 2004, it was down to 37.5%.

2) "Peace Calendars," which the Hiroshima Education Institute (Hiroshima Kyoiku Kenkyujo) had developed and had always been posted on the walls of Hiroshima schools, have been all removed. The summer workbook by the Institute, which used to be adopted by 90% of the Hiroshima schools, also disappeared since 2006.

3) School field trips to Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park have dramatically decreased. One symbolic incident is that this vice-principal at an elementary school prohibited making and donation of paper cranes to the Children's Peace Monument (to remember Sasaki Sadako, a Hiroshima child who died of leukemia from the atomic bomb radiation), for the fear that such activity would "entangle children with peace activism."

4) Back in 1995, 55.7% of the elementary school children were able to say the time, the day, and the year when the Hiroshima A-bomb was dropped. The figure was down to 49.6% by 2005. With junior high school children, the figure in 1995 was 74.7%, and it was down to 67.7%. Osamu Ishibashi, Secretary General of Hiroshima Prefectural Teachers' Union says, "There is little hope for saving the year-long peace education
curriculum now. We can hardly hold faculty meetings about it. All the peace education materials are checked by the school principals, who just follow the policy of the Board of Education. The school curriculum has also been designed now so that it is physically impossible to spare any time for peace education."

To be continued.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Happy 63rd Birthday the Peace Constitution of Japan!

Probably not many people in Japan know why November 3rd is a national holiday.

On November 3, 1946, the Constitution of Japan was promulgated.

It is the progressive constitution in which a nation pledged to the world that it would never fight another war, and would not possess a military.

It is a hard, very hard lesson learned from Japan's wars of Asia-Pacific, which killed more than 20 millions people and brought long suffering to those who survived.

Neglecting and jettisoning of this Constitution would be dishonouring these deaths and suffering.

Maintaining, upholding and promoting this Constitution would be honouring and remembering these losses, and speaking for those voiceless voices and voices of unborn children so that never again such horrors of war would be repeated.

Happy Birthday, Japan's Peace Constitution and specifically, Article 9.


Satoko