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"No War Declaration" by citizens

In August 1995, Japan sees the 50th year after its defeat.

Beginning in the Meiji era, Japan sent troops overseas, by order of the Emperor who was supreme commander of the military. Japan followed the path toward world conquest as a country of great military power by colonizing Taiwan and Korea, occupying the northeastern section of China ("Manchuria"), and, furthermore, by extending its aggression to Southeast Asia. Its ambition was destroyed in 1945.

After the defeat, Japan adopted a constitution which consists of three major points: "sovereignty rests with the people," "renunciation of war and demilitarization," and "fundamental human rights." The majority of the Japanese people heartily supported this constitution.

The second point, "renunciation of war and demilitarization," served to illustrate how the new nation should behave toward the rest of the world. The people who cannot understand this point and who try not to admit its relevance are now trying to transform Japan into a great power again. Those people sent the Self Defense Force, the leading military troops in the world, to various places, including the Gulf War. Some of them purport that the wars conducted by Japan were not acts of aggression, and they repeat a distorted view of history claiming that Japan occupied several regions of Asia, including China and the Pacific, in order to emancipate those areas, completely ignoring the destruction of local communities and the native residents' lives that were lost.

Considering the above facts, we, as Japanese citizens, would like to suggest a course for the nation and its people:

1.) The Japanese government should apologize to the victims of Japan's colonization and aggression in Asia and the Pacific. Also, the government should urgently start researching exactly what damage Japan was responsible for in those countries.

2.) Unpaid wages and compensation should be paid to the people who were brought to Japan from Korea, Taiwan, and China by force, and to the people who were collected in the territories under occupation and forced to become laborers or soldiers in the Japanese military. Furthermore, compensation should also be paid to the former POWs of the Allied forces who were forced to work illegally against the Geneva Convention.

3.) An apology as well as compensation should be offered to the women who were forced to live as "comfort women for the military."

4.) The Japanese government should stop demanding that people to hoist the Rising Sun flag and sing Kimigayo , the national anthem of Japan, which are symbols of Japanese military aggression.

5.) The Japanese government should abolish the Self Defense Force and cancel the U.S.-Japan Security Treaty. The government should choose not to become one of the major powers, trying to achieve world conquest through "international contributions," through military force, or through trying to become a permanent member on the United Nations Security Council.

6.) The government should promptly appeal to abolish nuclear weapons, propose an international treaty to prohibit the international trade of arms, and make an earnest effort to see that these proposals are carried out.

7.) Now that the cold war structure has disappeared, a new framework for the world is being sought. A nation that remains steadfastly faithful to a policy of "renunciation of war and demilitarization," could change the world through its example. Since this is the biggest international contribution Japan could possibly make, Japan should announce such intentions sincerely at home and abroad.

It is necessary to consider and reflect why Japan and its people have been unable to carry out such points as mentioned above for the past 50 years.

As for historical recognition and the nation's responsibility toward the wars begun by ourselves, Japan's postwar school education and social education were both poor and inconclusive. A major cause of today's situation is that we have neglected to reconsider who was responsible for those wars. This point cannot be separated from the fact that postwar Japan has only been searching for materialistic wealth and sacrificing the third world in order to attain it.

Today, 50 years after the defeat, let's start working to establish a new structure, not satisfying ourselves with a world governed only by a handful of great powers, but aiming for the equality of all the countries in the world, where the minority is not omitted, and every ethnic group who desires independence is included.


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