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English version of the gArticle 9 Associationh bulletin and news.
The English version of the gArticle 9 Associationh bulletin and news (No.79, dated November 14th, 2006) 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D
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[Updated November 18th]

@Expectations High: gConstitution Seminarh

@@ A9A has high expectations for the first seminar on the Constitution (details below). There have been complaints in the past that lectures by A9A founders were rather short, and question and answer time was limited. Unlike those lectures, this project is designed to give more time to lectures and Q and A time, and the speakers who have been invited to give lectures will attract a good audience. Tsujii Takashi, one of the proposed lecturers, is expected to give a substantial lecture, including his experiences as business leader and results of his latest talks with Chinese leaders. A9A secretariat is now pushing ahead with preparations for the seminar.

1st Constitution Seminar set for late November

@ Date : November 25th (Sat.)@ 1:30 p.m.

@Venue: Academy Hall at Meiji University

@ Lecturer : SAWACHI Fusae (writer) & TSUJII Takashi (writer)

@@@@@@ (Facilitator : KATO Shuichi (critic))

@ Sponsor: A9A secretariat

Admission: 1,000 yen

@@@@ Note: Those wishing to participate are requested to pay in advance by postal transfer (account number 00190-1-612500).@ Tickets will be handed to you at the entrance to the seminar upon inspection of the receipt.

 

@@@@ Events held marking 60th anniversary of Constitution

@@ On November 3rd, the Constitution marked the 60th anniversary of its promulgation. A variety of events took place around the country in commemoration of the day. Local A9A groups sponsored assemblies in such major cities as Osaka (2,000 people attending), Aichi (2,000), Gifu (1,200), Tokushima (500), Ishikawa (350), and Shiga (300).

 

@ Head of Diet survey team introduces A9A activities in Poland

@@ Ad hoc committee members on the Constitution of the Lower House made a survey on systems of national referendum on constitutions in European countries from July 16th to 29th. During talks with government leaders of Poland, Nakayama Taro (ruling Liberal Democratic Party member), head of the survey team, introduced activities of the A9A.@

(Source: Report on survey on constitutions and national referendum systems in European countries by Lower House constitution survey team)

*@@@@@@@@@@@ *@@@@@@@@@@@@@@ *@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@ @@@@

 

[M.Borowski, former Lower House speaker,]

The Japanese seem to have been conducting serious arguments on @constitutional revision.@ I hear that some statesmen even insist on exercising rights of collective self-defense. What are points of issue concerning the revision?

[Nakayama]

The main point of issue is, as you mentioned, whether or not to revise Article 9. The article prohibits use of or threat by force except for in case of outside attacks, not enabling the exercise of the right of collective self-defense. This also constitutes an obstacle in carrying out Japanfs international contribution.

[Edano, Democratic Party of Japan member]

But the article does not deny Japanfs participation into collective security itself.

[Nakayama]

In regard to Article 9, the people have great interest in it. Nobel Prize laureate Oe Kenzaburo and eight other public figures founded the gArticle 9 Associationh two years ago, now spreading into a national network.

[Borowski]

Is the association in favor of constitutional revision or against it?

[Nakayama]

It is strongly against revision.

[T. Mazowiecki, former prime minister ]

How are people divided in their opinions on revision?

[Nakayama]

The latest missile launching by North Korea has caused collapse of peoplefs sentiment to be living in peace, and augmented more concern among the people about national defense.

[B. Gremek, former foreign minister]

I think Japan is a great power in terms of gsoft power.h Japan advocates gsecurity of humans,h and is the sole country except EU nations that has been providing assistance to poorer countries. In this sense, your country can play a significant role in international society, and be an important partner to EU. The partnership between EU and your country, however, has not been sufficient in some respect. The presence of Article 9 is important in the sense of a great gsoft power.h I expect you to play greater roles as a ggreat peaceful nationh in the future.

[Nakayama]

@@@ Youfre quite right. The Japanese are not bellicose at all, a peace-seeking nation who hate any disputes.

@ 

@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@[END]