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大江健三郎、小田実、井上ひさし、加藤周一、澤地久枝、三木睦子、鶴見俊輔、奥平康弘、梅原猛

English version of the “Article 9 Association” bulletin and news.
Vol.1(April 15〜July 5,2006)

Go to Vol.2(July 27,2006)

The English version of the “Article 9 Association” bulletin and news is published by Katsuyuki NARA and Sarah BROCK of the New English Teachers Association ( http://www.shin-eiken.com/ ). The translations are all on our own

Updated on July 5, 2006

Let’s make use of what we learned at June 10 meeting

     Video and report under way

   The Article 9 Association (A9A) held its first national exchange meeting in Tokyo on June 10, marking the 2nd anniversary of its founding, with about 1,550 people attending. The A9A secretariat has been making a videotape and a written report about the meeting so that the participants can report their experiences to their local groups. A copy of the videotape (85 minutes) is available for 1,300 yen on July 1, and copies of the report will be available in early August.

 *           *           *


   
Comments on June 10 meeting

  A number of comments were given at the venue after the meeting was over. Here follow some of them.

      1. Acting as moderator                      

I acted as moderator of Group Meeting 10. I felt the meeting was successful. Every speaker vividly told about their activity of their groups, and the audience attentively listened to them. There was no one who took a nap in the meeting. The secretariat asked every moderator beforehand not to preside over the meeting in such a way to orientate the meeting into a particular direction, which proved to be effective in helping the process of exchanging news.                                

               ( A9A Group in Machida, Tokyo)

 
      
2. A9A mailing list on website used to report meeting

   Most TV and newspapers failed to cover the meeting. Therefore, I reported on the meeting through our mailing list website.

(1) Plenary meeting

  Six founders of the A9A each delivered an impressive speech. I agree with the opinion that the A9A has now been “on the uphill road.”

(2) Group meeting

  In every group, participants spoke cheerfully and seriously. It is said that seven A9A groups spring up each day over the country. This fact seems to have reflected on speeches of group meetings. 5,000-strong A9A groups, I think, will show an enormous power in the future.

           (A9A Group in Chigasaki, Kanagawa Pref. near Tokyo)


 
     
3. Each speech reflects local concerns

  In my group meeting, each participant made a speech, reflecting  important  local concerns and interests. A participant from Okinawa spoke about sufferings caused by U.S. military bases, for example. If the Constitution is revised, it might cause a war, possibly victimizing Okinawa residents again. I felt that their fear of war is not only their fear, instead we should think it as our own.

  I was surprised to see very few young people attend the meeting. I thought it necessary to further spread A9A movement.    
               
 (A9A Group in Gifu Pref., central Japan)

                New A9A poster now on sale 

    The new A9A poster has been a big hit, and sells like hot cakes. Within these two weeks, as many as 12,000 copies have been sold. One copy costs 100 yen. Please order from the secretariat now!

                                           (END)


Updated on June 26, 2006

 National exchange meeting held as A9A groups top 5,000

 

Over 1,550 people attend from all 47 prefectures

   The Article 9 Association (A9A) held its first national exchange meeting in Tokyo on June 10, marking the 2nd anniversary of its founding. About 1,550 people, the youngest being 15 and the oldest 93, from over 800 local and occupational A9A groups from 47 prefectures overflowed Nihon-Seinenkan Hall.


Plenary Meeting

   In its plenary meeting held that morning, Komori Yoichi, the A9A secretary general, announced that the number of A9A local and occupational groups has reached 5,174 as of June 10.

Then six of the nine A9A founders delivered a short speech. They were : Nobel Prize winner Oe Kenzaburo, writer Oda Makoto, critic Kato Shuichi, writer Sawachi Hisae, critic and philosopher Tsurumi Shunsuke, and Miki Mutsuko, wife of former Prime Minister Miki Makoto.

They each told about their ideas and aspirations for the A9A. Oe Kenzaburo said, “I’m very glad that various independent activities in defense of the Constitution have borne such great fruit.”

One of the participants commented, “How fantastic it was to hear strong wishes of the six founders at such a time!”

   Afterwards, five local and occupational groups reported on their activities.

 

More than 300 participants speak

   In the afternoon, the participants spoke about their activities in 11 group meetings. Approximately 300 participants, overcoming differences of political creed, religion or affiliated trade unions, gave fervent five-minute speeches about their activities. The audience in every group reacted in sympathy, sometimes in laughter, thus creating a sense of unity.

   Toward the end of the group meetings, the appeal from the secretariat as given below was shown to the participants.

                        

A9A secretariat appeal  (June 10, 2006) 

1.        Let us Expand further A9A groups irrespective of ideological or political differences and organize a majority of the public in defense of the peace constitution.

2.        Let us Organize study meetings to let people know the significance of   Article 9 and the dangerous nature of the proposed revision of the Constitution (The secretariat plans to hold an “A9A seminar” in several locations around the country this year).

3.    Let us try to expand the size of individual A9A groups by asking people to join using posters, opinion ads in newspapers, petition signings, etc.

4.    Let us Establish a nationwide network of groups, and strengthen activities of each group, and try to prepare for the 2nd national exchange meeting planned for next year.

 

(END)

Updated on May 26, 2006


June 10 Meeting as Springboard for Progress

  The number of applications for June 10 national exchange meeting of Article 9 Association (A9A) has exceeded the seating capacity of the Nihon Seinenkan Hall. The executive committee of the gathering met and decided on the following procedure in order to make the best use of the meeting time and space, and allow as much free exchange of opinions and information among local and occupational groups of the A9A as possible.

  1. Plenary Meeting11:00-12:30 (at Nihon-Seinenkan Hall)

   (1) Speeches by founders of the A9A (5 or 6 speakers)

   (2) Reports by several local and occupational groups

  2. Group Meetings:13:30 ? 16:30 (at Nihon-Seineikan and 14 other venues nearby)

   Reports on activities by local and occupational groups

   Fro further information, please contact:

   Address: Nishikanda 2-5-7 No.303, Chiyoda-ku, 101-0065 TOKYO

   E-mail : mail@9jounokai.jp

   Tel: 03-3221-5075,Fax: 03-3221-5076

  The Latest breaking news of A9A

3,500 citizens overflow hall in Saitama for lecture

  A lecture meeting sponsored by the A9A was held on May 9 in Saitama Prefecture near Tokyo with about 3,500 citizens attending. Nobel Prize laureate Oe Kenzaburo, critic Kato Shuichi, and writer Sawachi Hisae (who are all founders of the A9A) delivered a speech, each moving and unique. The audience attentively listened, and often broke out in spontaneous, sympathetic applause. A number of comments for praising the lectures were sent to the A9A secretariat. Some of the comments are given below:

  *I was impressed by the speech by Oe Kenzaburo, who stressed the significance of the words “aspiring to” used in the Constitution and the Fundamental Law of Education. I thought that the education law should not beamended in the current Diet session.

  *All their lectures made me strongly feel the importance of the Constitution. I think this ‘treasure’ should by all means be preserved. I want many people to understand this idea.

  *It was such a meaningful lecture meeting. I saw many seniors, but less young people attend the meeting. I think we must try to help young people understand Article 9 and the education law better.

 Three speakers make comment before the press

  The three speakers held a press conference prior to the lecture. Asked by the reporters, “Did you anticipate at the time of the inauguration that the number of A9A groups would rapidly grow this big, specifically over 4,000?” Their responses were as follows.

  Sawachi Hisae: I didn’t expect such growth in a short period of almost two years. I myself have done my utmost in trying to spread this movement. I don’t think that my country, which has in some ways been going down for the last 60 years, will change in a day. We will patiently develop this movement in the future.

  Kato Shuichi: I didn’t anticipate two years ago, either, that the association would develop so quickly. Still now, the number of the supporters has been on the increase, and A9A groups have been mushrooming throughout the country. I believe we could defend Article 9 if the A9A would grow to its fullest potential.

  Oe Kenzaburo: Though I’m not an optimist, I imagined at the time of the inauguration that the A9A would spread. A9A groups have grown to nearly 5,000 over the country, and each group is independent. They have neither leaders nor regulations. Very liberal groups have been formed on the basis of a common idea of “defending Article 9.”

(END)


Updated on May 3, 2006


      Peace Constitution Turns 59 on May 3

 

  The Constitution of Japan was enforced on May 3 in 1947. A variety of events to celebrate 59th anniversary of the Constitution have been held in many parts of the country.

 

National Exchange Meeting of Article 9 Association

 

We have the pleasure to tell all of you that the number of local and occupational groups of the Article 9 Association (‘A9A’) has grown to over 4,700 since its inauguration on June 10 in 2004. In view of this fact we have determined to hold a national exchange meeting as follows. 

Date :   June 10 (Sat.), 2006

Place :  Nihon-Seinenkan Hall, Tokyo

Purpose : to exchange experiences of local and occupational A 9 A groups

Program: Part 1       11:00 ~ 12:30  Plenary Meeting

              Part 2       13:30 ~ 16:30  Group Meetings

Application : Those wishing to participate in the meeting are requested to apply to the secretariat of the association, details below.

          Address:  Nishikanda 2-5-7 No.303, Chiyoda-ku, 101-0065  TOKYO

          E-mail : mail@9jounokai.jp

          Tel: 03-3221-5075,   Fax: 03-3221-5076

          Deadline: May 15

          Admission fee: \1,000 per participant

          (Admission ticket: to be mailed after May 15)

 

  Latest news regarding the association

 

 Learning from each other, Encouraging fellow travellers at National Exchange Meeting 

A roundtable discussion was held by 32 member group representatives of A9A in Tokyo on April 24. The main topic of the discussions was plans for the National Exchange Meeting and expressions of hope for its success.

Komori Yoichi, secretary general of A9A, stressed the significance of the   upcoming anniversary of the founding of the organization, and asked for representatives’ cooperation in the June 10 meeting. He said, “We hope that the meeting will be an opportunity for all of us to learn and find encouragement from each other.” The representatives expressed their willingness to cooperate in the event, offering volunteers to help staff the event from local groups near the meeting venue and other forms of cooperation.

 

    80 % of newcomers support defense of Peace Constitution          

The A9A group of Nippon Fukushi University in Nagoya held its gathering to mark the 1st anniversary of its founding on April 14, with 70 people attending. In the meeting, the president of the student council announced the results of a questionnaire survey of freshmen on their support of the Constitution. The president said that nearly 80 % of the new students support defense of the peace constitution.

 

       1,000 citizens gather in A9A group fete in Nara City

The A9A group of Nara on April 16 held its festival in the city of Nara with about 1,000 citizens attending. Various programs were held, including a costume parade in which participants dressed up as famous TV personalities, youth chorus concerts  and open-air food stalls selling “Article 9 cookies” and fried Chinese noodles. At the end of the fete, Okubo Tetsuo, former president of Nara University of Education and chief representative of the A9A group, called on the participants to “shine the light of Article 9 upon the world from Nara, Japan’s old capital!”

 

           Antiwar lay sermon” of Zen sect given at Yokohama

An A9A group in Yokohama held a meeting in the form of a public sermon to lay people with an antiwar theme. The antiwar lay sermon was given by the Soto Zen sect at Sojiji Temple in February. Nakai Shogo, a leading monk of the Zen sect said that young monks of his sect were forced, during WWII, to go to war against the teachings of the sect. He had taught them not to kill people, but they were forced to enter the army anyway.  He said that people who believe in Buddhism think that the Constitution is very important. His lay sermon impressed the audience very much. 

Updated on April 15, 2006
National Exchange Meeting of the Article 9 Association

 

 In view of the fact that the number of local and occupational groups of the Article 9 Association have grown to over 4000 since its inauguration on June 10 in 2004, we have determined to hold a national exchange meeting as follows.
 
  Date :   June 10 (Sat.), 2006
  Place :  Nihon-Seinenkan Hall, Tokyo
  Purpose : to exchange experiences of local and occupational Article 9 Association groups
  Program: Part 1       11:00 ~ 12:30  Plenary Meeting         
        Part 2       13:30 ~ 16:30  Group Meetings
  Application : Those wishing to participate into the meeting are requested to apply
           to the secretariat of the association, details below.
            Address:  Nishikanda 2-5-7 No.303, Chiyoda-ku, 101-0065  TOKYO
            E-mail : mail@9jounokai.jp 
           Tel: 03-3221-5075,   Fax: 03-3221-5076



 
Latest news regarding the association

Hopes mounting for the National Exchange Meeting 


  A number of local grassroots groups have applied to the secretariat for participation into the national exchange meeting. They hope to have fruitful exchanges including activities and relating their experiences to other groups. The executive committee of the national meeting held its 3rd meeting recently, calling  on every group on prefectural level in order to make the gathering a success.


          Women’s Article 9 Association gives public street lectures


   
Prominent women gave street lectures at Shinjuku Station on the afternoon of April 8.   As many as 26 public figures including Yukawa Reiko (music critic), Takada Kimiko (New Japan Women’s Association), and Doi Takako (former head of the old Japan Socialist Party) gave three hours speeches on defense of the article to passersby.

     

       24 % for vs 39 % against the revision of Article 9 ---- NHK survey  

 NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corporation) on April 7 - 9 conducted a public opinion survey on the revision of the Constitution by telephone. The poll results are shown   below:

 

 1.Do you think it necessary to revise the Constitution? 
      Yes, I think so.    ……….    42 %,
      No, I don’t think so   ……..  19 %    
    No, neither.     ……………   32 %    
  
 2. Do you think it necessary to revise Article 9? 
     Yes, I think so  ………………  24 %     
     No, I don’t think so   ………….39 %     
     No, neither …………………….. 28 %