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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.80, dated November 28th, 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 December 4th]

@Moving 1st Constitution Seminar

@@ The 1st Constitution Seminar sponsored by the A9A secretariat took place in Tokyo on November 25th with about 800 people attending. Kato Shuichi, critic and an A9A founder, addressed the meeting, and two lecturers also spoke: Sawachi Hisae, writer and an A9A founder, and Tsujii Takashi, a writer. Their speeches were most impressive and enlightening. The highlights of their speeches are given below.

[Kato Shuichi]

@ I would like to raise a question regarding the defense of Article 9.@ Maintaining the article is closely connected with development of diplomatic relations with other countries. There are four options: (1) gain true independence with the Constitution left intact, (2) leave the Constitution intact while continuing to be subordinate to the U.S., (3) revise the Constitution and strengthen independence, and (4) revise the Constitution and continue to be subordinate to the U.S.@ Those trying to revise the Constitution are aiming for the fourth option, but I believe that the first option is the most realistic for the future of Japan.

 

[Sawachi Hisae]

@@ The Constitution was established to embody the earnest desire of humanity, to search for peace and elimination of weapons, after World War II. The attempt to revise it will pave the way for going to war abroad as U.S. mercenaries. I wrote some novels showing the miseries of war, and in my research for these novels I visited war victims, and now I keenly feel the importance of conveying stories like these to young people. I hear late critic Maruoka Hideko used to say gdonft throw away your sufferings, make use of them instead.h As for me, Ifd like to say, gDonft throw away our Constitution.h We should not give up our hope to preserve it, and believe our campaign will eventually win.

 

[Tsuiji Takashi]

@@ During the current Diet deliberations on a revision of the Fundamental Law of Education it has been recently revealed that the government organized gstaged speechesh in favor of the government policy. This shows corruption of Japanfs modern politics. The government may be reckoning on the impossibility of constitutional revision in a five year time frame, but think that if they revise the education law and geducateh young people in such a way that their sense of personal identity is under-developed, they can revise the Constitution in about 20 years. We should make it clear that their attempt to make Japan fanatic and ultra-nationalistic is phantasmal. If we seriously @attempt to explain the Constitution to people in detail, the vast majority will surely support our idea of defending the basic law. In this connection, I will make every effort to develop the potentials of young people.@@@@@@@@

@

Comments from audience

1.  Housewife, aged 65

I was extremely moved by Ms. Sawachi, who passionately spoke about war miseries and her academic ideas on the Constitution. Her idea of gdonft give up hope and make use of the lawh inspired and helped me determine to continue our campaign.

 

2. Woman, aged 66

@@@@@ Mr. Katofs speech was full of suggestions on how to carry out our movement to preserve the Constitution. I noticed the necessity of improving our movement styles and devising and creating new methods.

 

3.  Woman office worker, aged 42

@@ Mr. Tujii talked about his intriguing ideas on our movement. I thought we should overcome many taboos in our campaign and encircle those forces aiming at constitutional revision.@

 

4. Housewife aged 63

@@ I attended todayfs seminar on my friendfs advice, and was satisfied with the speeches. I will talk about Article 9 with people around me, especially young people, in the future.

 

5. Salaried man, aged 52

@@@@@ Mr. Katofs speech about four options of strategies regarding the Constitution and independence sounded very persuasive to me. The speeches by Ms. Sawachi and Mr. Tsujii were very soul-shaking and impressive.@

 

6. Woman government employee, aged 32

@@ I attentively listened to todayfs speeches, and realized that Article 9 and the education law should never be amended in view of my future life. Ifm thinking of doing what I can for the movement.

 

7. Woman office worker, aged 24

@@@ During the question and answer time, Ms. Sawachi was asked, ghow should we persuade young people to join our campaign?h She answered by suggesting, gWhy not ask your young people out to movies and talk about your loved ones?h Her speech was humorous and instructive.

 

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