Statements Archive
Sep 25, 2015 - Peace Boat statement in opposition to the new Security Bills
Peace Boat strongly protests and opposes the security bills forced through the Japanese Diet in the early morning of September 19.

For 32 years, Peace Boat has been travelling around the world, visiting more than 200 countries and regions together with tens of thousands of participants. By creating a neutral space for dialogue across borders and connecting people around the world, we have worked towards the goal of a peaceful and sustainable society free from armed conflict. Today, we are keenly made aware of the importance of learning what is happening in the world, of listening to the voices of local people, of witnessing the state of the world with our own eyes, and reflecting upon the role Japan should play in global society.

Through our global journeys, we have seen well how Japan's approach until now of peacebuilding without relying on the use of force has been highly praised by people around the world. The establishment of these bills violating the Japanese Peace Constitution demeans the value of Japan as a peaceful nation. As a result, Japan's activities in fields such as humanitarian assistance, in which it has contributed to date, are also being put at risk.

Engaging in minesweeping operations in the Strait of Hormuz if the area were to be blockaded using undersea mines was one of the hypothetical situations outlined by the Abe administration as a case of Japan utilising its Self-Defense Forces (SDF) overseas under the principle of collective self-defense, and this was a point of contention within debates at the Diet. On September 11, Peace Boat's 88th Global Voyage passed through the Strait of Hormuz with 1000 participants onboard from 11 countries, including Japan, the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada and Mexico. Immediately prior to passing through the Strait, around 200 participants organized and held an onboard action, appealing to Japan and the international community the importance of ensuring that Japan contributes through non-military, peaceful means, and does not participate in killing in the name of collective self-defense.

In the past few months, the voice of protest in front of the Japanese Diet has spread across the country, with many people becoming newly politically active to ensure their voice is heard. Many people, regardless of generations and interests, are opposed to these security bills. Peace Boat fully supports these new movements, through which people have embraced the issue of security as their own, and begun to think and take action. Peace Boat strongly protests the act of the Japanese government forcefully passing this legislation while ignoring the voice of its own people, and hereby express our opposition to these security bills, which violate the Japanese Constitution. The strong voices of protest against the security legislation in Japan have reached people around the world, and have attracted critical eyes to the current Abe administration's non-democratic actions.

Encouraged by the voice of these new movements, Peace Boat will continue to share the original spirit of Article 9, the peace clause of the Japanese Constitution, around the world, in collaboration with global civil society.

September 25, 2015
Peace Boat

Download this statement as a PDF here.