Thursday, October 29, 2009
Can Hatoyama Government Save Article 9 and Build Peace in Asia? UBC Political Scientist Yves Tiberghien's Talk
Monday, October 26, 2009
Sunday, October 25, 2009
We watched John Junkerman's 2005 Film "Japan's Peace Constitution."
We talked about a variety of issue during discussion. Among the thoughts shared -
- It is understandable that the change of Article 9 could be a threat to fellow Asian nations. We should not change Article 9. I wonder why we cannot say to the international community, like UN, that we have this constitution that does not allow us to dispatch SDF overseas, instead of succumbing to the pressure from the U.S.
- Being new in Vancouver, I was touched by the kindness of my Chinese friends. Some of my Japanese friends, however, have prejudice against Chinese people, and it is disappointing. Think about what Japan did in China during the war. Think about how Chinese people lovingly raised Japanese orphans left in Manchuria. Peace education in Japan is biased in the way that there is too much emphasis in portraying Japan as a victim of war.
- I read this interesting article in which it is argued that Article 9 is an experiment on limited sovereignty of the state. The international efforts like the United Nations and its Charter is in a way limitation on state sovereignty as well.
- Related to above, I think Article 9 also limits Japan's ability to engage in international peace efforts that put limit on state sovereignty. We should change Article 9 in a way that Japan can actively participate in international peace keeping operations, only with the sanction of the United Nations.
- Japan's new Prime Minsiter Yukio Hatoyama proposed this "East Asian Community" concept during the ASEAN + 3 Conference. I think Article 9 should be kept in order to achieve this Community, so Japan is never a military threat to other nations.
- Article 9 being an apology for fellow Asian nations - is it really? Do people in China and Korea know about Article 9?
- Article 9 is ironically known in Asia because of the Japanese government's pressure to change it.
- It is a good idea for Japan to shift their foreign policy orientation from the US to UN, but UN structure and governance have many flaws. Its Security Council consists of only the victors of the past war, and the veto gives too much power and control to the permanent members of the Security Council.
- It is dangerous to change Article 9 while Japan is still so heavily reliant on its alliance with the US. Without Article 9, there would be no limit on the obligation to engage in military acts with US.
- It is true that Article 9 debate is not a domestic one; it is an international issue.
- I heard that Kenji Isezaki, who represented UN to help areas of conflict with disarmament and peace negotiations, was able to gain trust in those areas because he came from the country with Articled 9, a war-renunciation clause in its Constitution.
- In Japan, we don't get to learn much about what Japan did to other countries, especially fellow Asians, during the war. There is a lot for education to do.
There were many more interesting points raised, which I will allow the other participants to comment on if they like.
Segueing from the last point about the lack of education in Japan about its acts during the war, we will introduce Celine Rumalean's 2002 film "Yesterday Is Now" in our next salon. Mark Saturday November 14. I will post more information later.
Love and peace,
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Theme of this week: Japan's Peace Constiutution
Date and Time: 7 PM - 9:30 PM, Saturday October 24
(to join dinner, please arrive by 6:00 PM)
Place: Peace Philosophy Centre (email email@example.com for direction)
*The Constitution of Japan was born after a painful lesson of Japan's wars of Asia-Pacific (1931 - 1945) that cost the humanity over 20 million of lives and long suffering of victims, survivors and their families that continue still today. This Constitution, which was promulgated on November 3, 1946, and came into effect on May 3, 1947, and its principle of peace, popular sovereignty, and fundamental human rights have been embraced by the people of Japan and beyond for the past 63 years. At the same time, there have been pressures, from Japan's own government and that of the United States, which still uses its influence on Japan and its policies long after the post-war occupation was over in 1952, to change the Constitution, especially its war-renouncing Article 9, as an obstacle for more aggressive re-militarization of Japan and its use of the right of collective self-defense, which is virtually the right of engaging in combat activities outside of Japan in collaboration with the United States. In this salon, we will look at Japan's Constitution from historical and current geopolitical perspectives and discuss its domestic and international significance.
* We will order some food (maybe sushi this time) and start our dinner at around 6:30 PM. If you would like to join, please be at the Centre by 6:00 sharp. We will order based on the number of people we have then. The budget will be about $5-8 per person.
*Snack and drink donation are welcome.
*Donations to help with salon expenses are welcome.
*This event is primarily conducted in English, but limited translation will be available in Japanese and Mandarin.
RSVP : to firstname.lastname@example.org by October 23. Let us know whether you will join dinner or not.
* The following Peace Philosophy Salon dates this term will be: November 14, November 2 8, and December 5 (all Saturday evenings).
* "Peace Philosophy Salon" is held mostly on Saturday evenings at Peace Philosophy Centre in Vancouver, BC, Canada. It is an informal gathering in which we learn and discuss current issues of interest. Sometimes we watch documentary films together and other times we have guest speakers. We have basic structure of each event, but content and process are organic and flexible, depending on the needs and interests of participants. Satoko acts as a facilitator of dialogue and discussion. It is a space for mutual learning and empowerment.
Monday, October 19, 2009
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Vancouver Save Article 9 Event: Hatoyama Administration's Impact on Foreign Policy and Article 9 バンクーバー九条の会の講演 － 鳩山新政権が外交政策や改憲問題にもたらす影響
A Talk by Yves Tiberghien, Associate Professor of Political Science at UBC
" New Hatoyama Administration's Implication for Japan's Foreign Policy and the Constitutional Revision Issue"
Date and Time:7 - 9 PM, October 28 (Wed.)
Place: Kaede Room 2nd Floor, National Nikkei Heritage Centre
6688 Southoaks Crescent, Burnaby BC
(Underground parking available. See this link for directions）
The August 30 General Election in Japan ended with a landslide victory for the Democratic Party of Japan and the devastating defeat of the long-ruling Liberal Democratic Party. In light of this, how will the new coalition government tackle the issues surrounding the much debated revisions to The Constitution, specifically Article 9? Some leaders of the DPJ claim that they wish to establish a more equal relationship with the U.S., yet in reality, how does that affect or change policies between the two nations such as the Japan-US Security Treaty, the disputed relocation of Futenma Air Base, the SDF's refuelling mission inthe Indian Ocean, and Japan's cooperation with Obama's initiative for nuclear disarmament? Yves Tiberghien, a UBC Political Science professor specialized in Japanese Politics, will be giving a presentation as to the implication of the New Hatoyama Administration to various aspects of society including the economy, employment, and "kakusa" or economical gap between the rich and poor, among others with special focus on constitutional and foreign policy issues. We will also have with us Sebastien Lechevalier, Associate Professor at EHESS (Centre de Recherches sur le Japon) as a guest commentator.
* Admission by donation (suggested: $5)
* Yves' talk will be in English and Japanese translation will be provided.
RSVP and Inquiry: Email email@example.com with your name and the number of people attending. Phone: 604-619-5627
Organized by: Vancouver Save Article 9
Supported by: JCCA Human Rights Committee
Yves Tiberghien - Profile
Dr. Yves Tiberghien is Associate Professor of Political Science and a Faculty Associate of the Center for Japanese Research at UBC. He specialize sin Japanese, Chinese and European politics and political economy. Yves obtained his Ph.D. From Stanford University in Political Science in 2002. IN2004-2006, he was an Academy Scholar at Harvard University. In 1999-2000,Yves was a visiting scholar at the Japanese Ministry of Finance and at Keio University with a Japan Foundation fellowship. Yves' book, "Entrepreneurial States: Reforming Corporate Governance in Japan, Korea, and France" was published by Cornell University in 2007. Yves has also published several articles and book chapters on the Japan's bubble economy, crisis period, and reform process; as well, he has written articles and chapters on Japan's climate change policy and genetically-modified food regulation. Yves is currently completing a book on the global battle over the governance of GMO swith a large focus on Japan, as well as pursuing research on two new projects: one on the political consequences of Japan's rising inequality(the kakusa issue) and one on the analysis of Japan's and China's role in global governance.
場所：日系ヘリテージセンター２階 楓の間Kaede Room, 2nd Floor National Nikkei Heritage Centre6688 Southoaks Crescent, Burnaby BC （地下駐車場あり。行き方の詳細はこちらをどうぞ）
参加申し込み、問い合わせ先：バンクーバー九条の会 Eメール firstname.lastname@example.org に、お名前と人数をお知らせください。電話でも対応できます。６０４－６１９－５６２７
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Director, Peace Philosophy Centre
My name is Satoko Norimatsu, and I’m the Director of Peace Philosophy Centre. Peace Philosophy Centre was established at the beginning of 2007, to promote community-based education for peace and sustainability, and the end of this year will mark the Centre’s third anniversary. One of the annual projects of Peace Philosophy Centre is to bring Canadian students to Hiroshima and Nagasaki, two cities in Japan where atomic bombs were dropped in August 1945. This is a joint academic program run by Professor Peter Kuznick of the American University in Washington, D.C., and Professor Atsushi Fujioka of Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto, Japan, and includes Chinese and Korean students from their Ritsumeikan’s Asia-Pacific University. The tour runs from July 31st to August 10th every year. We start the program with three days in Kyoto, at Ritsumeikan’s World Peace Museum, then spend three days in Hiroshima and three days in Nagasaki, including attendance at the memorial ceremonies on August 6th and August 9th in the respective cities. This program was born amid the controversy over the Smithsonian Institute’s National Air and Space Museum’s planned exhibit of Enola Gay, the plane that dropped the Hiroshima bomb. The exhibit was going to include documentation of the human effects of atomic bombing, including the ongoing suffering of hibakusha (atomic-bomb survivors) for decades after the war. The exhibit was cancelled due to heavy opposition from the American Air Force Association and war veterans’ associations, but was later hosted by the American University under Peter Kuznick’s leadership.
This program has been running since 1995, and the tour had its 15th anniversary this past summer. Canadian participation in this program is relatively new. I started working with the program as an interpreter and a guest instructor back in 2006, and in 2008, Ritsumeikan University kindly offered three guest spaces for students from UBC, as Ritsumeikan and UBC have had a special relationship for more than 15 years, with about 100 Ritsumeikan students studying at UBC each year. This year, Ritsumeikan offered partial scholarships to four Canadian students, this time open to applications from any post-secondary institution in Canada. The four students selected were Julie Nolin and Uli Ng, both Master’s students from Royal Roads University, Meg Serizawa from Simon Fraser University, and Arc Han from the University of British Columbia. We have two other presenters today: Shoko Hata, an SFU student who signed up through American University, and Rowan Arundel, who was one of the three Canadian students selected from UBC in 2008. These students will be speaking to you today about their experiences of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. We also have here today Harry Teng, another 2008 participant from Royal Roads University, and Satoshi Watanabe, who is a Ritsumeikan University student who has participated in and worked as a staff member of this program for the past four years.
The educational purposes of the Hiroshima Nagasaki Peace Study Tour are: 1) to gain first-hand knowledge of the human impact of atomic bombing, 2) to learn about the history of atomic bombing and its significance in the broad context of the World War II and post-war periods, 3) to learn about the past and current international movements to eliminate nuclear weapons, and 4) to help build friendships between students from the US, Canada, Japan, China, Korea and beyond in order that they may begin to work together for a peaceful future. For many students, this tour is a life-changing event. For example, for Jenn Englekirk, a participant from the US, whose grandfather fought against Japan and never forgave Japan, atomic bombing was the right thing to do. Like many Americans, she believed that atomic bombing ended the war early and saved lives. However, her view completely changed during the trip, especially through meeting survivors, and she came to hold the view that a-bombing was a war crime. Another example is the change in many Japanese students’ perspectives. In this program, in addition to the atomic bomb museums in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, we bring students to another museum in Nagasaki, the Oka Masaharu Memorial Peace Museum. This is a museum that specializes in exhibiting Japan’s atrocities committed against fellow Asians during the war. The exhibits tell the stories of forced labour from Korea and China; Korean atomic bomb victims; the colonization and occupation of Korea, China, Philippines and many other Southeast Asian countries; and Japan’s war atrocities including the Nanjing Massacre, Military Sex Slavery, Unit 731, and so on. Most Japanese, American, and Canadian students have not learned about these historical facts. Although we emphasize the point that these brutal behaviours by the Japanese Army are not presented in order to offset or justify the atomic bombing of Japan, learning about this chapter of history in the program helps students to gain a broader perspective of World War II and to learn about the horrors of war that should never be repeated, whether in the form of nuclear weapons or any other means.
On August 6th 1945, a uranium-type atomic bomb, nicknamed “Little Boy,” was dropped on the city of Hiroshima, killing thousands instantly, approximately 140,000 people by the end of 1945. Three days later, on August 9th, a plutonium-type atomic bomb, nicknamed “Fat Man,” was dropped on the Urakami District of Nagasaki City, and approximately 70,000 people were killed by the end of 1945. On top of the burns and injuries from the heat ray and blast, the effects of the radiation from those bombs continued to cause diseases and deaths for decades after the initial exposure, up to today, including leukemia, various types of cancers, cataracts, and so on. This summer, during the August 6th ceremony in Hiroshima, a total of 260,394 deaths was recorded, and on August 9th in Nagasaki, a total of 149,266 deaths was recorded. Two bombs have killed over 400,000 people so far, and will continue to kill. And these atomic bombs are like toys compared to the nuclear arsenals that the world possesses now. By 1985, at the height of the Cold War, the destructive power of the world’s nuclear arsenals had reached the equivalent of 1.47 million Hiroshima bombs. Daniel Ellsberg writes in his memoir dedicated to Hiroshima Day this year: “Every one of our many thousands of H-bombs, the thermonuclear fusion bombs that arm our strategic forces, requires a Nagasaki-type A-bomb as its detonator.” According to the Nuclear Stockpile Report released on September 10, 2009, there are more than 23,300 nuclear warheads in the world now, of which 55% belong to Russia, 40% to the United States, and the rest to the remaining Nuclear Weapon States, including France, China, UK, Israel, Pakistan, and India. And of those, more than 8,000 are considered operational, of which 2,200 US and Russian warheads are on high alert, ready for use on short notice. With the existing threat and the new threat of proliferation created by nuclear programs in North Korea and Iran, the world is at a crossroads for survival or extinction.
There have been, however, hopeful and positive developments around the world for nuclear disarmament and abolition, with rapidly-growing awareness in the leadership of Nuclear Weapon States, such as: President Obama’s initiative for “a nuclear-free world”; strong initiatives by non-nuclear states like Japan and Australia; and continued efforts by the global civil society and the dedication of atomic bomb survivors to educate the world public about the horrors of nuclear weapons. Our event today takes place in a very timely manner, ten days after the United Nations Security Council unanimously passed Resolution 1887, which calls for international unified efforts for the elimination of nuclear weapons, and seven months before the Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference to take place in May 2010.
We started this sharing event last year, hoping that the precious learning experience from our program would not just stay with the specific students who had the privilege to go to Hiroshima and Nagasaki, but could also be shared by the wider community. This year is the first time we have held a large-scale, public event like this. Each student had decided to focus on a specific theme before the trip, and today they will share with you what they experienced and learned.
Our event today is supported by Vancouver Save Article 9, an organization working for the preservation, realization and promotion of the war-renunciation clause of the Japanese Constitution.
I would like to give thanks to David Laskey, husband of the late Hiroshima survivor Kinuko Lasky, for his cooperation with the display of A-bomb panels.
We also welcome donations to help with the expenses of this event. We will give you a peace button, designed by Kinuko Laskey, to express our appreciation to those whose generous donations help us to sponsor events of this type.
Sunday, October 11, 2009
Saturday, October 10, 2009
Theme of this week:
More on "Hiroshima, Nagasaki and Beyond - "
Date and Time: 7 PM - 9:30 PM, Saturday October 17
(to join pizza social, please arrive by 6:00 PM)
Place: Peace Philosophy Centre (email email@example.com for direction)
* The Hiroshima/Nagasaki event we had at Roundhouse on October 3 was a great success. Please see here for a report. We would like to hear more of your feedback, and have more in-depth discussion. There have been some new developments since, including President Obama being the recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize with special recognition of his efforts for a nuclear-free world. We will show some videos, and time permitting, touch on more nuclear issues such as DU(Depleted Uranium Weapons), and nuclear wastes.
*Note: you do NOT have to have participated in the October 3 event in order to join this event. New participants are always welcome to Peace Philosophy Salon.
* We will have a social over pizza starting at around 6:30 PM. If you would like to participate, please be at the Centre by 6:00 sharp. We will order based on the number of people we have then. The budget will be about $5-8 per person. Snack and drink donation welcome. Donations to help with salon expenses will be welcome.
*This event is primarily conducted in English, but limited translation will be available in Japanese and Mandarin.
RSVP : to firstname.lastname@example.org by October 16.
* The following Peace Philosophy Salon dates this term will be:
October 24, November 14, November 2 8, December 5 (all Saturday evenings)
Sunday, October 04, 2009
"Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and Beyond" event yesterday was a great success with a turnout of about 70 people from all generations and all walks of life. I commend the students for their dedication and passion of the event. Their presentation topics were atomic-bomb decisions (including debunking myths that the bombs ended the war early and saved lives), past and current movements for nuclear disarmament, both by Arc Han (UBC), hibakusha (atomic-bomb survivors) experience by Meg Serizawa (SFU), peace museums and non-Japanese a-bomb victims by Shoko Hata (SFU), the difference in historical perspectives between Japanese and American students by Uli Ng(Royal Roads Univ.), and the overview of the program and what changes the trip brought to the students by Julie Nolin(Royal Roads Univ.) The MC of the event was Rowan Arundel (graduate of UBC), who participated in the tour last year.
It was enlightening for me to know what impact the trip had on each student presenter, in the way that I would not have known if we did not have such an event. The learning model this year worked well with the Canadian participants. Each student had decided on the topic of their interest prior to their trip, so they had a clear focus and what to look for and report throughout the trip. The event helped the students to reflect on the trip, to describe and summarize what they learnt and experienced, and to share with and "teach" it to the general public. They also had to think hard how to communicate to the audience something that they thought one could only know by experiencing oneself.
We were fortunate to have with us Sachi Rummel, who was in Hiroshima when she was eight years old and was 3.5 km from the Hypocentre. We also had A-bomb panels brought by David Laskey, husband of late Hiroshima hibakusha Kinuko Laskey. Those panels were donated by Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum for the 2006 World Peace Forum in Vancouver.
Here are some of the participants' comments:
- I am impressed by young people trying to learn the war & peace so eagerly.
- I am very pleased with that there is a group trying to spread commendably fair views on such a difficult issue.
- Excellent presentations on a variety of subjects.
- Overall, I thought the whole presentation was well-balanced.
- More photos and personal opinions would have been appreciated.
- As a Japanese, it was useful for me to learn non-Japanese perspectives to the A-bomb history.
We had a lively discussion after the presentations. Some thought that the measures should be taken so that the U.S. would be held accountable for the atomic-bombing. We explained that there have been a International People's Tribunal held in 2006, which was lectured during the trip by Hiroshima Peace Institute's professor Yuki Tanaka who initiated the court, but some thought that was not enough and there should be a legally-binding court to be held. We explained that there have been various legal and technical barriers around this issue and also there is general tendency within the hibakusha community to avoid holding U.S. directly accountable. Some were interested in knowing the results of the series of lawsuits by hibakusha against the Japanese Government, and we explained that hibakusha and the Government reached a historic resolution this past August 6 after six years of collective lawsuits, in nineteen of which the Government lost. I commented that the atomic-bomb victims and the victims of Japanese atrocities in Asia could learn from and help each other. Another participant in the audience thought that it was more urgent and important to abolish the nuclear weapons than to hold the perpetrator accountable. This view is shared by many hibakusha in Japan, that the only way that the U.S. Government and the Japanese Government could compensate for their suffering would be by eliminating nuclear weapons from the face of this Earth.
We also discussed peace museums in Japan, four of which we visited during the trip and Shoko explained during her talk - A-bomb museums in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Kyoto Museum for World Peace, and Oka Masaharu Memorial Nagasaki Peace Museum. I told the audience that this program is positively biased in the sense that we visit two of the museums in Japan, the latter two of the four, which place a special emphasis on Japanese atrocities committed against fellow Asian countries during the 15-year war of 1931 - 1945. This is our approach to help students gain a broader context around the history of atomic-bombing, especially to Japanese students who typically do not get a lot of instruction at school on Japan's wrongdoings during the war.
I will share more later. It was the Moon Festival night yesterday, and I hope everyone enjoyed the view of the bright full moon as they headed back home. Thank you for the special evening. It was one of the most meaningful and memorable events for me.