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Jul 2, 2015 - Peaceful Cooperation Not Warfare: The Launch of the NGO NO WAR Network
Peaceful Cooperation Not Warfare: The Launch of the NGO "NO WAR" Network

The current session of the Japanese Diet (parliament) is deliberating various security-related bills. These bills, which have the aim of remilitarizing Japan, are extremely risky should they be passed. The NGO "NO WAR" Network was recently launched by a range of Japanese civil society organizations with the aim of promoting international cooperation through non-military means, and strengthening opposition to the proposed security bills. Peace Boat is one of the founding members of this network.

Discussion amongst young NGO staff

Leo Kusafuka, seen second from the left

On July 2, 2015, a symposium was held at Tokyo's Tsukiji Honganji Temple focusing on how NGOs should approach the issue of security legislation. The second part of the symposium featured a forum of young representatives of civil society groups. Peace Boat staff member Hiroshi "Leo" Kusafuka joined this discussion. Sharing his experience interacting with local communities and partner NGOs at ports of call visited during Peace Boat voyages, Leo reflected that "the world is looking at Japan more than we would think. Locals who currently help to create programmes in the ports of call worry about what will happen to a country like Japan known for its peace policies, and how the situation will be from now."

Governments and the UN are not the only bodies responsible for peace

Reading the declaration together
Around the world, voices of citizens calling for peace and justice are growing. Japan's maintenance of Article 9 , the peace clause in its constitution which prohibits the use of force as a means to resolve disputes, has contributed to the country's earning of respect and trust over the years. This is something which Japanese NGOs active in conflict affected regions throughout the world have experienced first hand, as well as the attention placed on Japan's actions and policies from abroad. Issues related to peace and security are not only the responsibility only of governments or the United Nations. Rather, they are something which it is vital for citizens to directly be involved in building, through exchange and cooperation beyond borders, for the purpose of peaceful coexistence. The current situation shows that Japanese civil society groups can and must do more to contribute to efforts to realize peace. In particular, NGOs active internationally feel more than ever now the need to share the direct voices from the field for this purpose, to demonstrate the importance of contributing to international peace through non-military means.

Looking for NGO No War Net sponsors and supporting organizations!

Since its launch on July 2, the NGO "NO WAR" Network is now seeking individuals and organizations to support and join its activities.
Please click here for more information (Japanese only).

Documents for download