||International Day of Protest
Report from: Tokyo
By Rieko Asato and Sayuri Miyazaki
The Panel Discussion "Missile Defense: Goal of Bush Administration in the wake of the terrorist attack" was held in Tokyo on Friday, October 12, with the participation of 80 people, including the leaders of local Gensuikyos from 12 different prefectures, representatives of national organizations, students and grass-roots peace activists from Tokyo. Earlier on the same day, Gensuikyo organized a delegation to visit the Prime Minister's office and Foreign Ministry, urging them to take responsible initiatives to abolish nuclear weapons -- to refuse to cooperate with the U.S. on joint research for the Star Wars, block the calls of U.S. warships at Japanese ports in observance of the Three Non-Nuclear Principles of Japan, and take due steps to start negotiations for an international convention to abolish nuclear weapons. These two actions on the day -- a panel discussion and petitioning to the Government -- were carried out as part of the International Day to Oppose Star Wars and War in Central Asia, and the participants in the event were informed of the initiatives and actions being planned all around the world.
The video "Star Wars Returns" was shown at the opening of the Panel Discussion with the narration in Japanese translated by Gensuikyo. The three panelists (Ueda Koichiro, Former Senator, Vice-Chair of the Japanese Communist Party; Noguchi Kunikazu, Secretary General of Japan Scientist Association; and Kurosaki Akira, Law School of Tohoku University/Young-Student Pugwash Japan) criticized Bush's Missile Defense Program sharply, shedding light on the problem from a variety of angles, through the questions of security, Japan's domestic politics, science and technological cooperation, threat to the effort for nuclear weapons abolition, followed by an active discussion with the floor. Strong opposition was expressed by many participants against the bill proposed by Prime Minister Koizumi and now debated in the Parliament, which will enable the Japanese 'Self-Defense Forces" to join the war in Central Asia in the name of "counter-terrorism", in blatant violation of the Japanese Constitution.
The day's events provided the participants with updated information and knowledge about the implications of the current crisis and ongoing Star Wars program, and helped them renew their commitment to mobilize the opposition in their respective localities. (Two digital photos from the panel discussion are attached.)
From: Sayuri Miyazaki,
I am writing on behalf of the Japanese groups, the NCC (National Christian Council) Peace & Nuclear Issues Committee and the Japan-Korea People’s Solidarity Network, to report their action on Sunday, October 14.
A march against the War in Central Asia and the Missile Defense System was carried out in Tokyo on Sunday, October 14. About 1100 demonstrators marched peacefully with riot police officers around. Before the march, there was a two-hour rally at Miyashita Park and many speakers including peace activists from Korea and Okinawa appealed the peace and solidarity. The NCC (National Christian Council) Peace & Nuclear Issues Committee and the Japan-Korea People’s Solidarity Network were main groups that organized the march. Also they held a meeting the day before the march, with the participation of 200 people.
I attached digital photos which they sent me.
All the best,