This is the translated version of the Japanese edition (No.173 dated July2nd, 2013). It is published by Katsuyuki Nara and Sarah Brock of the New English Teachers Association (or Shin-Eiken) (http://www.shin-eiken.com/). The translations are on our own．
Updated August 5tｈ, 2013English version No.107 Dialogue expands the A9A network
The Municipal Leaders Article 9 Association of the Tohoku Regionheld an exchange meeting on May 17th in Morioka. Present at the meeting were 24 representatives of mayors’ A9A groups from Aomori, Akita, Iwate, Fukushima, and Yamagata prefectures. Former Oshu City Mayor Aihara Masaaki addressed the meeting, and said“The amendment of Article 96 (requiring a 2/3 majority of the Diet to propose amendment) is currently being hotly debated, but what will surely come next is revision of Articles 9 and 25.”After the meeting, participants exchanged information about their daily activities. Studying meetings spread around the country
Hata A9A held a study meeting in Kuroshio Town on May 16th. Featured Lecturer Kumon Go said, “Tosa has a history of playing a vital role for gaining freedom and rights.” He bitterly criticizedthe draft amendmentof the Constitution by the ruling Liberal Democratic Party.
In the June 16 study meeting,Catholiclecturer on religion TakamiMitsuaki delivered a lecture on“How War DamagesIndividual personality.” Three prominent figures, Nagasaki University professor Ida Yoko, Takada Ken of “No Amendment of Constitution”campaign, and former Nagasaki University president Tsuchiyama Hideo had a three-way discussion on Constitutional issues.
About 1,200 people packed the venue of lecture by author AkagawaJiro. Referring to the latest trends in popular Japanese novels, he said, “No matter how exquisitely a writer describes war scenes, it won’t lead to description of horrors of war.”
Children’s books group
On May 18th the group held a meeting celebrating 5thanniversary of its founding, which was attended by 600 people, including children. 10 young people ranging from junior-high to university students each made a remark on the Constitution. Some of their remarks are given as follows:
My teacher at junior-high forced me to sit in seizaposition on my kneesfor hours. Then I didn’t know it was “corporal punishment (and illegal).”I want schools to teach laws properly. (junior high 1st grader)
Modern children are hooked on video games, most of which depict violence. I feel that we have been instilled with values of violence before we realize it. (senior-high 2nd grader)
In Okinawa the relocation issues of U.S. bases have caused residents to hold big rallies and demonstration. In Tokyo, where I live now, the issues are not about talked by most people. I wonder if this kind of trend is a bad sign.
Korea has conscription system. It is said that the soldiers commit suicide every four days. Japan’s Article 9 banning military forces is quite amazing! (Senior high third year student with Korean nationality)
1.More municipal assemblies oppose Article 9 amendment
More Municipal assemblies have adopted resolutions opposing Article 96 amendment. They are Sakashiro Town and Obuse Town in Nagano Prefecture, Agano City in Niigata Pref., Ashibetsu City in Hokkaido and so on.
2. 63 % of senior high school kids are against revising Article 9
Nikkokyo (Japanese Senior High School Teachers and Staff Union) surveyed high school students’ views of the Constitution last November, receiving 12,480 responses. Main points of its results are as follows.
Have you ever read the Constitution?
* I have read all the articles. 2.1%
* I have read some of the articles. 80.8%
* I have read none of it. 16.6%
(2) Do you agree with amending Article 9 ?
* Yes, I do. 14.4 %
* No, I don’t. 63.0 %
* I have no idea. 20.8 %
(3) Do you think the Self-Defense Force violates Article 9?