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The Second Inter-religious Conference on Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution (2009-12-15 오후 2:3

관리자(총… (서울북노회,베델교회,목사) 2010-01-29 (금) 01:36 14년전 6331  
 
15 December 2009
 
Dear Friends of the PROK,
 
Warmest Advent greetings of peace!
 
The Second Inter-religious Conference on Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution was held on December 1-3, 2009 at the Academy House, Seoul, South Korea. It was attended by around one hundred participants from religious communities and organizations such as the Buddhists, Muslims and Christians both Catholics and Protestants from Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, the Philippines, Germany, Switzerland, USA and Canada. Among others, the National Council of Churches in Korea (NCCK) is one of the hosting churches alongside the Presbyterian Church in the Republic of Korea (PROK). The event is a milestone in inter-religious peace movement. The Conference made a firm stand on the retention of Article 9 in the Japanese Constitution and proposed that this will be one of the bases for broader peace building initiatives in Asia and around the world.
 
We therefore would like to share with you the Conference Statement, “From Tokyo to Seoul: The Second Inter-religious Conference on Article”, the mission statement “Our Mission: Inter-religious Conference on Article 9 and Peace in Asia”, and the letter to Philippine President Gloria Arroyo on the November 23, 2009 mass killings in Maguindanao Province. We hope that you will find these documents informative and relevant to the peace building processes that you and your organization have been carrying out. You may share these documents with your peace network. Thank you so much for your support.
 
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From Tokyo to Seoul -
The Second Inter-Religious Conference
on Article 9
 
The first Asia Inter-religious Conference on Article 9 and Peace and Asia was held in Tokyo at the Korean YMCA from November 29 to December 1, 2007 with the participation of leaders from religious communities in Asia and the rest of the world. The Conference was hosted by an inter-religious body in Japan to respond to the move of the Japanese government towards militarization. It was able to consolidate an inter-faith network for peace and non-violence in the spirit of Article 9 in a meaningful and hopeful way.
 
In October, 2008, the hosting committee in Japan organized a follow up meeting in Tokyo at which the International Working Committee (IWC) was formed to implement the recommendation and proposals given by the first Conference. The IWC decided to organize the Second Conference in Seoul in December, 2009, hosted by the Korean religious community including the National Council of Churches in Korea. A collaborative process was initiated to prepare a mission statement to be presented and approved by the Second Conference in Seoul.
 
Based on the decision taken by the IWC, a letter was sent in December, 2008, to the President elect Obama to ask him:
*                     to study and reconsider the U.S. military presence with its ongoing plan of transformation and realignment;
*                     stop pressuring the government of Japan to revise Article 9;
*                     adopt a new multilateral policy that would guarantee peace and stability in East Asia;
*                     enable Japan’s disarmament and the withdrawal of the U.S. Forces;
*                     promote the vision of Nuclear Free East Asia as the first step.
The Second Conference on Article 9 reiterates the calls made to US President Barack Obama.
 
During this Second Conference attended by more than 80 religious leaders representing Buddhist, Christian and Muslim faith communities, reports on developments in Japan and the rest of East Asia, stories from communities affected by the presence and actions by military forces were shared. Our deliberations and reflections brought many insights to light, including the following -
 
·        Supporting Article 9 has changed the interactions between religion and politics. In a sense, it has helped the communities re-learn what it means to be living their faith in an area of public concern;
·        The issue of Article 9 is the first time that communities of faith as a group  has taken a faith-based stand in public on peace;
·        Supporting Article 9 has created solidarity among different religions;
·        Shared concern for Article 9 has created new bonds between religious and  other peace advocates;
·        Many have been moved to reclaim Article 9 as part of the people’s agenda;
·        Article 9 is more relevant for regional and international relations than ever, and is forward-looking. It can be seem as the core value of a future East Asian Community; 
·        Countries that have made war on their neighbors have to make right with their neighbors in order to find a lasting peace. Article 9 is a reminder that truth and reconciliation after past conflicts is necessary;
·        Japan must move beyond its ‘One Nation Peace Identity’ to the joint building of regional peace with its neighbors;
·        East Asia’s post-war race to prosperity and success has divided the region in new ways;
·        Article 9 invites people of the region to promote a fuller understanding of peace. The “right to a peaceful existence” in the preamble of the Japanese Constitution is derived from the right to be free from fear in the Preamble  and to be free from want in Article 25. The challenge is to create a world where all peoples have the right to live in peace free from fear and want. 
 
It is our resolve to actively pursue the following to advance the spirit of Article 9:
 
1)     To broaden our perspective that peace is not just the absence of war but that which is based on justice and human dignity;
2)     To undertake more vigorous cross-generational peace education (i.e., children, youth and adults), to include exposure programs, inter-religious dialogues and the training of peace education facilitators and advocates, the use of creative media. And people need to be more vigilant in making their governments more accountable;    
3)     To support the Japanese people in their efforts to interpret in their own terms the spirit and application of Article 9;
4)     To expand the peace network in countries experiencing conflict and violence, including the Philippines, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Indonesia and other countries;
5)     To study the link between US foreign domination and peace building in Asia;
6)     To espouse the abolition of nuclear weapons among powerful countries and in any part of the world;
7)     To actively oppose the presence of US bases and self-defense forces, which are contradictory to Article 9;
8)     To take inter-religious dialogues at the level of communities, where the impact of conflict and militarization is felt more intensely;
9)     To recommend the inclusion of the Article 9 campaign in the Ecumenical Advocacy Day (Washington DC, March 2010) and the International Ecumenical Peace Convocation (Jamaica, 2011);
10) To support all efforts at reunification in the Korean Peninsula.
 
We commend this Statement to all religious communities for their prayerful consideration, commitment and deliberate actions as individuals and as communities.
 
 
December 3, 2009
Academy House, Seoul, Korea.
 
 
            List of Participating Religious Communities and Organizations
 
Korea Religious Communities and Organizations
 
National Council of Churches in Korea (NCCK)
Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Korea (CBCK)
Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism
Won Buddhism
Peace Community Movement Center (PROK)
Hanshin University Peace and Public Policy Center
Church Women’s Peace Alliance
Korea Church Women United
Korean Council for Women Drafted for Military Sexual Slavery by Japan
 
Overseas Religious Communities and Organizations
Buddhist:
Buddhist NGO Network of Japan (BNN)
Rissho Kosei-kai
Buddhist, Nichirensyu Nihonzan Myohoji
Buddhist, Rissyo Heiwanokai
Buddhist, Jyodoshinsyu-Otaniha
Buddhist Nichiren-shu Peace Foundation
 
Catholic:
Catholic Council for Justice and Peace, Japan
Ecumenical Bishops Forum, Philippines
 
Protestant:
United Church of Christ in Japan (UCCJ)
Japan Baptist Convention
Japan Anglican Church
Mukyokai
Presbyterian Church in Taiwan
Presbyterian Church, USA
United Church of Christ, USA
Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the USA and Canada
United Church of Canada
Evangelisches Missionswerk in Sudwestdeutschland (EMS)
(Association of Churches and Missions in South Western Germany)
The Korean Christian Church in Japan (KCCJ)
Common Global Ministries Board CGMB, UCC-USA and CCDC
Tomisaka Christian Center, Tokyo
 
Muslim:
Asia Muslim Action Network (AMAN), Bangkok, Thailand
 
Wider Church Bodies and NGOs:
World Council of Churches (WCC)
National Christian Council in Japan (NCCJ)
National Council of Churches in the Philippines (NCCP)
Japan YWCA
World Conference on Religion and Peace
Christian Conference of Asia (CCA)
 
 
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Our Mission:
Inter-religious Conference on Article 9 and Peace in Asia
 
 
Introduction
 
The humankind experienced hell twice in the 20th Century. More than 100 millions were massacred in two world wars. The threat of nuclear weapons with the capability of annihilating the entire humankind looms. The Russel-Einstein Manifesto in 1955 challenged the existence of weapons of mass destruction such as the atomic and the hydrogen bombs saying:
 
“Shall we put an end to the human race; or shall mankind renounce war?”
 
We cannot ignore this hard question which demands a clear response from us of either a YES or a NO. Incredible as it seems, the Constitution of Japan made an unmistakable option of renouncing war as if predicting the challenge posed by the Russel-Einstein Manifesto nine years later. Article 9 of Japan’s Constitution states:
 
Aspiring sincerely to an international peace based on justice and order, the Japanese people forever renounce war as a sovereign right of the nation and the threat or use of force as means of settling international disputes. In order to accomplish the aim of the preceding paragraph, land, sea, and air forces, as well as other war potential, will never be maintained. The right of belligerency of the state will not be recognized.
 
Article 9 is the expression of sincere apology and repentance of the war of aggression and colonial rule of the people of Japan for the crimes committed during the 20th century. It is an expression of the significance and value of an unarmed, democratic state in today’s world. In this sense, it can be said that the Constitution of Japan should be an inspiration for the constitution of any nation state. We believe in the importance of translating the principle of non-violence into other levels of our lives.
 
Though the Liberal Democratic Party is no longer in power, the threat to revise Article 9 still remains. The unification of Japan’s Self Defense Forces and the United States Armed Forces in Japan is a disguise to support and participate in the U.S. led hegemonic war which practically strips Article 9 of its essential message.
 
Our Mandate
 
The Inter-religious Conference on Article 9 and Peace in Asia was organized to respond to this reality of grave concern. The Conference statement issued on December 1, 2007 affirms the following.
 
In the light of these dangerous developments in Japan, we cannot be passive spectators. Based on our religious teaching, we believe that:
 
War is always a crime
War brings death both to the body of the victim and the soul of the perpetrator
 
We commit ourselves to:
 
Sincerely practice the spirit of Article 9 at all times and in all places
Protect the dignity of the victims of all forms of violence
 
All religions are universal, transcending races and nations. Today, however, there are cases where religions are used to instigate and justify violence. Religions should be purified to their original inspiration, and their followers should faithfully translate these truths and realities about life in word and deed in their respective contexts. Each religion should be an expression of the universal truths like peace, and lead to collectively proclaim and live these rather than insist on differences that may lead to disunity or even hostility.”
 
Our Calls
 
We are believers in the truth of unconditional love as we are aware of eternal life. Non-violence is based on this truth. We, the participants of the Second Inter-religious Conference on Article 9 and Peace in Asia, based on the religious truth of non-violence, refuse to accept any ideology and behavior that promote the culture of war. We commit ourselves to protect and enliven Article 9. We defend the life and dignity of all people, especially, victims of violence, guarantee “the right to live in peace, free from fear and want” (Preamble, Constitution of Japan) and create right human relationships based on trust and respect. We understand this to include gender and ecological justice in society and in our institutions.
 
We call on citizens of the world to support and join our movement to make “renunciation of war” and “demilitarization” a concrete reality in Japan, Asia and the entire world. We commit ourselves to strive for this ardent desire of the human race and unite ourselves with all people who share the same prayer.
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Final form, Dec. 3, 2009
Academy House, Seoul, Korea
 
 

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