Let’s think about importance of peace

Mitsuru Onda

  1. Contemporary political and social problem
    1. The issue of Yasukuni Shrine

    It is said that Prime Minister Koizumi’s repeated visits to Yasukuni Shrine are the biggest obstacles to improve Japan-China and Japan-Korea relations.
    Yasukuni Shrine was used by the government during World War II to promote nationalism. In that shrine, not only the soldiers who were killed in the war, but also Class-A criminals are enshrined as military gods. Any citizens who were killed by bombs are never enshrined. Unmistakably, Yasukuni Shrine is the symbol of militarism.
    Last month, Chinese President Hu told Koizumi, “The biggest reason for difficulties in the political relationship between China and Japan is the visits to Yasukuni Shrine by Japan’s political leaders. Using history as a mirror, I hope the matter is settled satisfactorily with the spirit of looking toward the future.”
    Koizumi said, “It is important to cherish history. I have made the visits in order to pledge to never again go to war while also offering my deepest feelings of sympathy for those individuals who gave up their lives on the battle field.

1.2 The issue of the text book of Japanese history

    Ministry of Education, which often demanded revisions before being adopted by elementary, middle, and high schools. Confrontations have been particularly marked in the fields of social studies especially history. Controversial topics include war, Self Defense Forces, nuclear weapons and comfort women.
In 1982, China and South Korea officially protested textbook revisions, they felt minimized aggression in World War II; the Japanese government made corrections.

2. What was the war like?

* Refer to “My memories of the days after World War II”

  1. The Constitution of Japan
    1. The clause 3 of the preamble of the Constitution of Japan

    We, the Japanese people, desire peace for all time and are deeply conscious of the high ideals controlling human relationship, and we have determined to preserve our security and existence, trusting in the justice and faith of the peace-loving peoples of the world. We desire to occupy an honored place in an international society striving for the preservation of peace, and the banishment of tyranny and slavery, oppression and intolerance for all time from the earth. We recognize that all peoples of the world have the right to live in peace, free from fear and want.

  1. The ninth article of the Constitution of Japan

3.2.1 The clause 1

    Aspiring sincerely to an international peace based on justice 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.

  1. The clause 2

    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.

  1. The political movement to change the Constitution of Japan
    Recently, not a few politician of the LDP (Liberal Democratic Party) and the DPJ (Democratic Party of Japan) began to insist amendment or revision of the Constitution, especially Article 9 Clause 2.
    I suppose there are three risks if the constitution is changed.
First, the stream of changing the constitution was oppressed by America yet, and Japan our country have to subordinate more deeply than ever.
Second, the relationships among Asian countries, especially China and Korea, these are our neighboring countries, are getting worse.
Third, Japan will be the country which is able to go to war in any place in the world. Then many people are going to be killed in the war including innocent children and the helpless aged.

    I’d like you to ponder or think deeply about importance of peace and the political stream as I mentioned so far. Thank you.

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Copyright 2002 Mituru Onda. All rights reserved