Statements Archive
Oct 9, 2015 - Peace Boat and Global Article 9 Campaign Statement: 2015 Nobel Peace Prize Nomination Raises Global Awareness of Article 9 as Peace Mechanism
Peace Boat and Global Article 9 Campaign Statement:
2015 Nobel Peace Prize Nomination Raises Global Awareness of Article 9 as Peace Mechanism
October 9, 2015

Download this statement as a PDF here.

Peace Boat and the Global Article 9 Campaign congratulate the Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet for being awarded the 2015 Nobel Peace Prize "for its decisive contribution to the building of a pluralistic democracy in Tunisia in the wake of the Jasmine Revolution of 2011."

Although not selected as the Laureate, the nomination of the Japanese people who conserve Article 9 of the Constitution for the Nobel Peace Prize has attracted international attention to the existence of the war-renouncing clause.

Article 9 renounces war and the threat or use of force as a means of settling international disputes. Further, it prohibits the maintenance of armed forces and other war potential.

Adopted following World War II and the nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Article 9 is a pledge to Japan itself and to the world, particularly to neighboring countries that suffered under Japanese invasions and colonial rule, to never repeat its mistakes. Since then, Article 9 - and the Japanese people's commitment to its pacific principles - has played an important role in keeping peace in Japan and in the region, preventing Japan from participating in war and forcing the government to maintain peace policies.

Thus, Article 9 has been widely recognized as a regional and international peace mechanism that has acted as the foundation of peace and stability in East Asia, and served as a legal framework to promote non-military solutions to disputes, disarmament and a culture of peace.

It is indeed the people of Japan who express pride in Japan's constitution as a peace ideal and have come in support of preserving war-renouncing Article 9 against repeated attempts to curtail its scope and overstep its restrictions.

Today, Article 9 is under threat as never before. On September 19, the Japanese Diet forcefully passed a set of security legislation that fundamentally violates the principles and letter of war-renouncing Article 9 to allow Japan's Self-Defense Forces to use force overseas, thus eviscerating the peace clause of its core principles - notably the renouncement of the right of belligerency and rejection of the threat or use of force as means of settling international disputes. In the current context of tensions, rising nationalism and militarism in East Asia, the decision threatens to further destabilize the fragile peace in the region, trigger an arms race and lead to military confrontation.

Article 9's nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize has sent a strong signal to the people of Japan, encouraging them to remain mobilized to preserve their peace clause (as Prime Minister Abe Shinzo's Liberal Democratic Party is now considering starting deliberations on amendments to the Constitution) and to demand their government to realize and strengthen the country's peace commitments, rather than weaken them. It should also encourage the use of Article 9 as a tool for peace and stability in East Asia.

The broad international support for Article 9's nomination reflects the recognition of the war-renouncing clause as an international mechanism for peace. In fact, following the Jasmine Revolution, Tunisian civil society groups have shown interest in Japan's Article 9, as an inspiration for their country's national dialogue and constitution building processes. This epitomizes the important role Article 9 can play, as a tool to promote conflict prevention, disarmament, nuclear abolition, human security, reduction of military spending and the right to peace. Article 9 is an international oath declaring No to War, a shared property of all the world's citizens who wish for peace.

Download this statement as a PDF here.