Press Releases
Oct 10, 2014 - FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Peace Boat and Global Article 9 Campaign Response to 2014 Nobel Peace Prize Announcement
Peace Boat and the Global Article 9 Campaign congratulate Kailash Satyarthi and Malala Yousafzai for being awarded the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize for their struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education.

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.

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.

Peace Boat launched the Global Article 9 Campaign to Abolish War in 2005, together with the Japan Lawyers' International Solidarity Association (JALISA) and sponsored by a coalition of civil society organizations in Japan. The Campaign has since received support from dozens of groups and thousands of individuals worldwide, including Nobel Laureates and key international figures. Over 33,000 people gathered at the Global Article 9 Conference it organised in Japan May, 2008. Peace Boat serves as the Secretariat of the Campaign.

On the significance of Article 9, Peace Boat Director and Co-Founder of the Campaign, Yoshioka Tatsuya says, "We believe Article 9 is a universal asset. Since the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, it is clear that no solution can be achieved by military options. Today, we are facing climate change, poverty, pandemics. Given the limited world resources, the vast amount of money spent on military expenditures should be shifted towards building a sustainable future."

On October 10, a public viewing was held at Peace Boat's headquarters in Tokyo, where more than 100 people gathered to watch the live announcement from Oslo. Although disappointed Article 9 was not selected this time, 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 and to demand their government to realize and strengthen the country's peace commitments, rather than weaken them, as is currently threatened under the Abe government.

Peace Boat Executive Committee Member Kawasaki Akira comments, "Although Article 9 did not receive the award this time, I am still delighted that it was considered as a candidate. Article 9's nomination is the expression of a feeling of crisis amid the international community as the current Abe administration seeks to gut Article 9, allowing use of the right of collective self-defence. Article 9 embodies not only for Japan but indeed for the entire world, the principles of building peace without relying on force. Honoring and upholding the spirit of Article 9, it is incumbent upon us to build mechanisms that facilitate not military escalation, but shared peace and disarmament mechanisms for East Asia."

Peace Boat International Coordinator Watanabe Rika said, "As a mother, I will continue to teach my children the principles of Article 9 to never resort to violence. I hope that the Japanese people can work to resolve disputes without using force, so that we can hold our heads high for our children."

Download this media release as a PDF here.

The full statement is available as a PDF in English here and in Japanese here.
Images and video of public viewing are also available on request.

Contacts:
Peace Boat Director and Co-initiator of the Global Article 9 Campaign:
YOSHIOKA Tatsuya available for direct comment on +81 (0)90 2310 0789
International Coordinator: Meri JOYCE: meri(a)peaceboat.gr.jp +81-(0)80-3457-9714

Peace Boat: www.peaceboat.org / www.facebook.com/peaceboat
Global Article 9 Campaign: www.article-9.org / www.facebook.com/article9