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Saturday, October 27, 2007

(Japanese) NYウラン兵器禁止会議報告会

Clean up the World : We do not need Uranium Weapons       
~Reporting the conference in NY~
Look here for announcement in English.


日時  11月10日(土)午後1時30分-3時

場所  Roundhouse Community Centre 181 Roundhouse Mews (Davie & Pacific), Vancouver

問合せ  予約は不要です

費用 無料ですが、会場費をまかなうための寄付を歓迎します。

言語 英語(日本語による質問受付可)

主催 ピース・フィロソフィーセンター

Friday, October 26, 2007

Clean Up the World: We Do Not Need Uranium Weapons

Peace Philosophy Centre will host an event on the issue of DU, or Depleted Uranium Weapons from 1:30 PM to 3:00 PM on Saturday, November10th, in which Yumiko Kikuno will report the international conference just held in New York.

Clean up the World : We do not need Uranium Weapons      
~Reporting the conference in NY~

Look here for announcement in Japanese.

Depleted Uranium weapons were first used in the 1991 Gulf War, then in Kosovo, and in Iraq since 2003 and probably in Afghanistan. Since then,researchers have reported the drastic increase of cancers, leukemia and birth defects in the affected regions. Now there is a growing international movement for banning uranium weapons throughout the world,and we invite Canadians to join this movement. Yumiko Kikuno will report the conference by ICBUW, or International Coalition to Ban Uranium Weapons, held on October 2nd and 3rd in New York.

Date: 1:30pm- 3:00pm, Saturday, Nov. 10th

Place: Roundhouse Community Centre
181 Roundhouse Mews (Davie &Pacific), Vancouver


Language: English

Free Admission. Donation will be welcome, to cover the cost of space.
Organized by: Peace Philosophy Centre

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Uranium Weapons: Contributing to a Dangerous World - A Report by Yumiko Kikuno

In October 2nd and 3rd, ICBUW (International Coalition to Ban Uranium Weapons), which was established in Belgium in October 2003, hosted the International Conference of Banning Uranium Weapons in New York. During the meeting, about 60 participants, who came from Europe, North and South America, and Japan, learned new facts and shared their information. I received support from Peace Philosophy Centre, which was one of the members of ICBUW, and attended the conference on behalf of the Centre.

On the first day, speakers reported the current situations for the campaign of banning uranium weapons in their countries. They said that although they still had some difficulties to deal with to promote the campaign, they were getting more attention from media and politicians. For example, activists in Costa Rica brought the information to the public to show the reason why Costa Rica had to care about uranium weapons. Now the movement to ban uranium weapons has spread across Latin America.

The next theme was DU and Laws. Melissa Sterry, a Gulf Veteran, from the US explained to us how they got the veteran testing bills passed in some states. In addition, Ria Verjauw from Belgium, the first country in the world to ban uranium weapons, told its process to reach the goal. I thought we could be able to apply their strategies or processes to Canada, too. After that, Herbert Reed, an Iraq veteran, shared his story as a victim of DU weapons. He said that some veterans hesitated to tell that their bodies might be contaminated by DU because they were concerned about losing their jobs or being refused to buy insurance. However, Mr. Reed said, “I will keep telling the truth to let people know about DU weapons.”

On the second day, participants learned scientific research results of uranium. Specialists reported that uranium itself was toxic heavy metal and damaged DNA, explained the differences between conventional weapons and depleted uranium weapons, and demonstrated that victims were not only soldiers and people in battle fields but also workers and residents in mining uranium places.

Finally, ICBUW delivered its future visions of the campaign. Some participants pointed out that the contents of the meeting in NY focused more on American veterans than on Iraqi people. I agreed with it, but I thought that it was important and effective to take up the health issues of American veterans first in order to raise awareness in the US.

Although the situations in Iraq were not discussed that much in the conference, they were introduced in other ways. JIM-NET, an organization that provides medical support to Iraqi Children, displayed many colourful pictures that Iraqi children drew. I felt as if the drawings tried to show me that children in Iraq had their dream and hope even though they were in hard circumstances. In addition, many pictures that Naomi Toyoda, a photo journalist, took in Iraq were shown to participants.

Peace Philosophy Centre will host an event on the DU issue on Saturday, November 10th, in which I will report more details and strategies that I learned in the conference in NY. In addition, I will show you a picture that an Iraqi girl drew. I hope you could feel her dream and hope from her drawing. If you are interested in the event, please contact Peace Philosophy Centre.

Yumiko Kikuno
Peace Journalist

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

(Japanese) Report of Surrey Meeting on October 13th サレーの会 報告 by Kyoko Hara


季節はすっかり秋。 紅葉(黄葉?)の美しい季節になりましたが、皆さんお元気でしょうか? 今回のサレーの”10月の会”は、3人の方がそれぞれの体験をシェアするという形ですすめられました。

<第一部>は、私(原京子)がこの夏に日本で出会った素敵な方を紹介させていただきました。 パッチワーク作家の日高桂子さんです。 日高さんは、日本国憲法第九条をパッチワークで制作することに取り組んでおられます。 日本語だけでなく、英語・ハングル語・中国語・フランス語ですでに制作されており、その作品を持って日本国内や海外に出かけて行き、平和運動を楽しく元気に続けられています。 日高さんのブログをご紹介します。 ( 日高さんのお人柄もですが、このブログも心温まるものですので是非ご覧ください。 もちろん素晴らしい作品も見ることができます。 みんなでキルト作品を作ってみよう!という声も出ています。 興味のある方は、どうぞご参加ください。(詳細は、後日連絡します。)

<第二部>として、10月2日・3日にニューヨークで開かれた劣化ウラン兵器禁止世界会議に参加された菊野由美子さんに報告をしていただきました。 劣化ウラン兵器は、原子力発電所の核廃棄物(劣化ウラン)を利用して造られる兵器で、その破壊力は戦車を貫くほど強力なものです。 ところが、ただ破壊する力だけでなく、そこから発生する放射能により住民や兵士の間に被爆症の被害が広がっています。 この兵器と被害の関連が医学的に証明されていないとする使用国(アメリカ!)側の主張によって、未だ禁止措置はとられずにいますが、その被害は深刻なものです。 ピース・フイロソフイー・センターのブログに由美子さんの報告がありますので、ご覧下さい。

劣化ウラン兵器の被害を受けた方々の写真集が、真理子さんのところにあります。 胸のつまる写真ですが、今世界でどんなことが起きているかをしっかりと見ておかなくてはならないと思います。 また、11月10日(土)にピース・フイロソフイー・センター主催の「劣化ウラン兵器禁止世界会議の報告会」があります。(午後一時半より。場所は未定。) 興味のある方は是非参加してみてください。


*ソウル編 金英丸(キム・ヨンファン)氏と再会されました。(金さんは、”サレーの会”のゲスト・スピーカーに来ていただいたことのある、韓国の平和活動家です。) 李時雨(イ・シウ)写真展や「ナヌムの家」等を訪問。 「ナヌムの家」は、元従軍慰安婦として強制的に働かされていたハルモニ(おばあちゃん)たちが、共同生活をしている家です。 聡子さんが持ってきてくれた、このハルモニたちの描いた絵画集には胸が痛みました。

西大門刑務所跡博物館の見学。 ここは、朝鮮半島を植民地として統治していた旧日本軍が、日本に屈しない朝鮮の人々に対してどれほど残虐な拷問をおこなっていたかを、生々しく再現している博物館だそうです。 「日本人として知っておかねばならないこと」という聡子さんのコメントのように、私たちの背負っている歴史をしっかりと認識したいと思います。

*根津公子先生訪問編 東京都の教員である根津公子さんは、「卒業式での国歌(君が代)斉唱に起立しないから」というだけで、不当な停職処分を受け続けています。 映画「君が代不起立」は、6月のサレーの会でも上映しましたが、その信念を淡々と貫き続けている根津さんの姿に感銘を受けると共に、なぜそこまで処分するのかという東京都教育委員会への怒りも禁じ得ませんでした。 根津さんの「停職出勤日記」(停職中も毎日校門まで”出勤”し、生徒たちと関わり続けておられます。)は、こちらで見ることができます。



*広島・長崎編 聡子さんは、立命館・アメリカン大学平和交流の旅の通訳として同行、広島と長崎での原爆記念日の平和式典に参加して来られました。 John Hersey著「 Hiroshima」に登場する谷本清牧師の娘さんの近藤紘子さん(ご自身も乳児被爆者)のお話しや、”岡まさはる記念長崎平和資料館”についての説明も興味深いものでした。    

岡まさはる記念長崎平和資料館・・・日本では珍しい、日本の戦争責任についての資料展示がしてある資料館。(聡子さん談) 長崎に行くチャンスがあったら、どうぞ立ち寄ってみてください。

*その他 靖国神社、都立第五福竜丸展示館など。 第五福竜丸・・・ビキニ島の核実験で被爆した日本の漁船。

日本人として、知っておかなければならないこと、行っておかなければならないところが、たくさんあることを改めて認識しました。 聡子さん、ありがとうございます。  

さて、盛りだくさんな”10月の会”でしたが、次回はそろそろクリスマス......ということで、11月17日(土)に映画”Peace Tree”の上映会をします。 詳細は後日メールしますので、どうぞカレンダーにチェックをしておいてください。

・「夕凪の街桜の国」  こうの史代     
・「在日」        カン・サンジュン    
・「5大陸20人が語り尽くす憲法9条」   グローバル9条キャンペーン編
ご希望の方は、真理子・世以子・京子まで。 それでは、季節の変わり目ですので健康に十分注意しながら、”秋”を楽しみましょう!                           

(報告:原 京子)

Monday, October 15, 2007

Nov 3. Screening of "Against Coercion"

Peace Philosophy Centre
Vancouver Save Article 9

Against Coercion”


(Video Press, 87 minutes, 2006 w/English Subtitles)

Followed by a Panel Discussion

This is a film about close to 400 teachers in Tokyo who are reprimanded for not standing for Kimigayo, the national anthem during school ceremonies. The film is followed by a panel discussion to present different perspectives on the issue.


Date/Time : 1:00 – 4:00 PM, November 3 (Sat.), 2007

Place: Vancouver Japanese Language School and Japanese Hall
3 rd Floor, 487 Alexander St., Vancouver, BC Directions


Language: Film in Japanese with English Subtitles 日本語版英語字幕付

Discussion is held in English

Fee: $5.00 or any amount of donation

Organized by: Peace Philosophy Centre and Vancouver Save Article 9

Saturday, October 13, 2007

(Japanese ) ICBUW Conference in New York - for Banning Uranium Weapons

This is a Japanese report by Yumiko Kikuno who attended the ICBUW (International Coalition to Ban Uranium Weapons) Conference in New York on October 2nd and 3rd. She will report her experience at the Conference in Vancouver on Saturday November 10th. This event will be held in English. For details, contact Peace Philosophy Centre

劣化ウラン兵器禁止世界会議 in ニューヨーク

    Uranium Weapons: Contributing to a Dangerous World と題した劣化ウラン兵器禁止世界会議が、10月2日、3日にニューヨークで開かれた。この会議は、2003年10月にベルギーで設立されたICBUW(International Coalition to Ban Uranium Weapons)の主催で開催され、ヨーロッパ、北アメリカ、南アメリカ、そして日本を含めた国々から約60名ほどの参加者が集まった。私は、ICBUWの会員であるピース・フィロソフィーセンターからの支援を受け、センターを代表してこの会議に参加した。





Peace Journalist

Monday, October 08, 2007

Saturday October 13th in White Rock

The September 9th Peace Philosophy Salon, where I shared my summer experience of visiting Seoul, Hiroshima/Nagasaki was a huge success. We had about 20 adults and 20 children, and talked about a range of other issues including the national anthem debate in education, some feature peace films in Japan, and the World Article 9 Conference to be held in Tokyo next May.  Arc Han also talked about the 'A-Bomb and Humanity' Exhibit in Vancouver this summer.


On Saturday October 13th, I will be coming to White Rock to share the same stories, and this time Kyoko Hara, who is going to introduce this wonderful quilter who makes quilts about Article 9 in different languages. Kyoko is one of the three women who have facilitated the meetings in Surrey for the past two years, along with Mariko Yamamoto and Seiko Roberts.

10月13日(土)、ホワイト・ロックにて、また同様の内容でお話させていただきます。ホワイトロックでは過去2年にわたり、山本真理子さん、ロバーツ世以子さん、原京子さんの3人が中心となり、平和や環境について学ぶミーティングを主催されてきました。今回はそのお一人、原 京子さんのお話も伺います。京子さんも今夏日本で過ごしましたので、日本で見聞きしたこと、また、各国語によるキルティングで憲法九条を表現なさっている方の紹介などをしてくれます。

Time and Date: 1:30 PM, Saturday October 13th, 2007
Place: White Rock (direction will be sent to participants by email.)
RSVP: Email

I am driving to White Rock from North Vancouver through Lions Gate Bridge and Highway 99, so pick-up will be available for those who live in the area where I drive by.


I look forward to another fabulous event!


Thursday, October 04, 2007

Yukio Okamoto's Talk on Japanese Poitics, History, and Sino-American-Japanese Relationship

Yukio Okamoto, an ex-diplomat and a former Special Advisor to Prime Ministers Ryutaro Hashimoto and Junichiro Koizumi, gave a speech in Vancouver on October 2, 2007.

He first talked about the significance of the new Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda. Okamoto had known the man for a long time and said that Fukuda was a honest, trustworthy, and a warm man. Fukuda has difficult tasks to face from the beginning, including Japan's refuelling mission in the Indian Ocean, and the challenge of accounting for 50 million pension accounts misreported, one of the issues that killed LDP in the last House of Councillors' Election and the Abe Administration.

Okamoto emphasized how his former boss Koizumi made great contributions to the Japanese economy because of his 'restructuring.' All the economic indices such as GDP, Price Index, bank lending, showed Koizumi's success in saving Japan from a decade-long recession and deflation. Abe, Koizumi's successor, however, had to pick up all the debris from Koizumi's restructuring. It was mostly the large companies that were increasing their profits, not small to mid-sized companies. The job security diminished as as the rate of part-time contractors rose rapidly against the full-time jobs. In 2006 and 2007, the land prices increased only in big cities like Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya. In the last election Ozawa and his JDP party capitalized on the people's frustration over the rising gap between the rich and the poor, and between the urban and rural areas and became the No.1 party in the House of Councillors.

When it comes to the controversial Yasukuni Shrine issue, new Prime Minister Fukuda does not think it is necessary to go there. Fukuda is certainly more moderate and considerate than his predecessors Abe and Koizumi, of recognition of Japan's past aggression in Asia, and the debate over the revision of the Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution.

In the early part of his speech Okamoto briefly touched on Koizumi's visits to Yasukuni Shrine saying there were misconceptions around the issue, but did not really elaborate on it. So I asked him during the Q & A session to share what these 'misconceptions' were about. Okamoto said that Koizumi was not a hawk like many people had interpreted. Abe was definitely a hawk, but Koizumi was more of a dove when it came to the recognition of the war-dead. He had no intention of supporting the Class-A war criminals enshrined at Yasukuni, and it was mostly from his naivete that he went there without thinking about its consequences. He simply wanted to mourn for the war-dead. However, once the neighbouring countries started challenging Koizumi for his visit to the shrine, he just could not give in. Okamoto said, to this date Koizumi still does not understand why China was so angry over the issue.

I respected Okamoto's candor in answering my question. As one of those closest to Koizumi, there is credibility in what Okamoto said about Koizumi's intention. If I can think of any analogy, here is one. I often quarrel with my son over his homework, and according to him, I always nudge him to do his work just when he is about to start, so now he doesn't want to do it any more. These proud boys don't want to be told what to do... and I want to respect that. Well in the case of Koizumi, I don't think a man in the Prime Minister's position can use his naivete as an excuse for causing such damage to the relationship between Japan and China. I wish he would have had the courage to listen, and try to understand the perspective of those who were not happy with his visit to the shrine.

It was very interesting that Okamoto said that when it came to before1945, he was a liberal, and when it came to after 1945, he was a conservative. He meant by the former that he admitted that Japan's war in China and in the Pacific was wrong and Japan's atrocities in Asia had to be recognized and learnt more by the younger generations. By the latter, he meant that he strongly believed in the necessity of revision of the Article 9. He said there would be no reason why Japan should not have 'normal' weapons like long-range bombers, missiles and attack carriers while China and other countries could have them. However,Okamoto did not see the issue being in the spotlight in the initial stage of Fukuda Administration as there were more important issues at the moment.

There were a few other questions that stood out for me. One asked Okamoto what he would NOT exclude if he were to develop a book on modern Japanese history for children. He thought for a while, and very carefully and slowly answered: Japan's atrocities in the past war, loss of civilian lives in Okinawa, and heroic soldiers even though they knew that they couldn’t win.... We could easily argue for hours on what he said and did not say in answering this question. For example, as I heard the answer, I thought, wasn't it these 'heroic' soldiers that committed those atrocities in Asia? I, however, again respected the fact that Okamoto took this question very seriously and gave the best answer that he could then.

Another question was about the fact that there were such few women in the new cabinet. Okamoto recognized that compared to other democracies like France, Germany and Italy, Japan by far lagged behind in terms of the ratio of women in the government.

Overall I felt privileged to have attended the event, as the range of topics covered and the depth of discussion held there far exceeded my expectation. I was particularly impressed to know that Okamoto wanted to see the East Asia to follow the path of multilateralization, similar to the one that post-war France, Germany and the rest of Europe achieved. This is exactly where I would like to see East Asia going.

Thanks to Japanese Consulate and all the other sponsoring organizations that made this event happen.

Satoko Norimatsu