“Japan’s Peace Constitution” (John Junkerman, Dir.; 2005. 78 min.) May 15,2009

A Special Event at the University of Toronto

“Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution:  Bringing Peace into Today’s

Date and Time: 6:30 - 9:30 PM, May 15, 2009

OISE (Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, U of T), Room 2212
252 Bloor Street West (St. George Subway)

Event Programme:

- Screening of “Japan’s Peace Constitution”  (John Junkerman,
Dir.; 2005. 78 min.)
Followed by- Short presentations, discussion and Q&A’s with;
Joy Kogawa, Author and recipient of Order of Canada
Peter Kuznick, Professor of History, American University
Satoko Norimatsu, Active member of Vancouver Save Article 9
David McIntosh, Founding member of VSA9 (now in Toronto)

- Songs for Peace and Storytelling “May 15, 1972″
Yusuke Tanaka, Writer

RSVP before May 12 by email to event@peacephilosophy.com with your name
and number of people attending.

Admission free (Donations toward expenses appreciated)

Light refreshments will be served.

Organized by: Toronto Article 9 Event Committee
(Koko Kikuchi, David McIntosh, Satoko Norimatsu, Tomoe Otsuki, and Yusuke

Co-sponsored by: Department of Sociology and Equity Studies in

Supporting organizations:
Vancouver Save Article 9
Peace Philosophy Centre

More about this Event:
May 2009 marks the 62nd anniversary of the enforcement of the Constitution
of Japan, which includes the war-renouncing clause, Article 9. It reads:
“Aspiring sincerely to an international peace 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.”

Japan’s current constitution was adopted after war in Asia and the Pacific
came to an end in August, 1945, after taking the lives of over 20 million
people. While Article 9 stands as a symbolic expression of Japan’s remorse
for its aggressive past, particularly against the neighbouring peoples of
Asia, it has also effectively prevented Japan from resorting to violence
in international disputes for the last 62 years. There has been, however,
constant pressure from successive conservative-led governments to revise
Article 9 and diminish its substance by enacting laws that would allow
dispatch of the SDF (Self Defense Force) to other countries. In the mean
time, a nationwide citizens’ movement has arisen to protect the soul of
the Constitution, Article 9.  Today there are more than 7,000 “Save
Article 9″ organizations across Japan and several outside of Japan.
One of these, Vancouver Save Article 9 was founded in 2005 and now has 200
members strong.

In this event, the first of such nature in Toronto, we will watch John
Junkerman’s acclaimed documentary film, “Japan’s Peace
Constitution,” in which the international significance of Article 9
is discussed by scholars, activists and citizens around the world,
including U.S. media critic Noam Chomsky and Chinese filmmaker Ban
Zhongyi.  After the film, author Joy Kogawa will share her insights about
war, peace and Article 9. Dr. Peter Kuznick will talk about his work of
helping Americans face their past crimes, particularly the use of
atomic-bombs against Japan, and the implication of Article 9 for a
nuclear-free world, with reference to the recent commitment by President
Obama to pursue serious initiatives toward reducing and eventually
eliminating all nuclear weapons in the world.  Satoko Norimatsu and David
McIntosh will moderate the event and also talk about some of the
activities and experiences of the pro-Article 9 movement in Vancouver.

The event date, May 15, happens to be the 37th anniversary of Okinawa’s
reversion to Japan, so we will also discuss the meaning of Article 9 as it
relates to Okinawa.  Okinawa was one of the deadliest battlefields in the
Pacific War and, after the war, became home to 75% of the U.S. military
facilities in Japan.  Yusuke Tanaka will dedicate songs for peace and tell
a story, “May 15, 1972,” to commemorate this milestone.

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