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URGENT APPEAL: An open letter to peacemakers around the world on the results of the recent general election in Japan and its implications to global peace

This is a copy of the letter sent today to the GAMIP (Global Alliance for Ministries and Infrastructures for Peace) community of friends (with few alterations marked in brackets) who believe in the value of establishing infrastructures and ministries of peace to consolidate the culture of peace around the globe based on love, peace and harmony for all humanity.

Japanese translation by Tai Hikosaka, author, and member of JUMP

Dear fellow peacemakers in the GAMIP Communty,

With great dismay and disappointment, I must also report the astounding landslide victory of the conservative right in Japan yesterday in our national election and what its implications are.

As you see in most of your media reports the new Liberal Democratic Party majority is considered to be one of the most rightist political forces in Japan's history. It's election promises [and campaign statements] ranged from Constitutional reform of our proud and precious Article 9, the establishment of Japanese military, restriction of civil rights embedded into the Constitution, the restart of all nuclear power plants within 3 years, and even the [possible] revival of conscription laws.

The new LDP coalition government is formed of LDP and Komeito Party (supported by Soka Gakkai International) which comprises over 75% (325 seats out of 480) of the Lower House which can decide to initiate the Constitutional reform and call upon for a national referendum. In the election, the voting rate was 59%, marking the lowest in postwar Japan's history. It went down by 10 points from the last general election, meaning less than half of constituents were responsible for bringing forth this conservative right's victory.

So we still have hope.

Even if referendum law is enacted, there is a still a great possibility that people will not vote down on the Article 9 and our national policy of pacifism. However, the threats from our neighboring countries may easily tip the balance towards in favor of the reform. Then, first time in postwar history, you will see Japan rise to be a military power in the Far East again. There is also the possibility of Japan becoming a nuclear power, supported by the restart of all nuclear power plants. And this means, all activities against the nuclear power establishment may be suppressed in full force, by the industry, the media, the government, and the police.

Peacemakers, anti-nuclear activists, and activists in all forms are very much alarmed of this dark prospect. With forces surrounding Japan posing a continuous threat to the nation of Japan, the media and government can together easily influence the public to favor the government's decision to repeal Article 9 and go forward with militarization.

A very tough fight is ahead of us in all aspects of activism and I can only implore your support in our fight for peace, democracy, and freedom for the Japanese people.

In the spirit of peace on this decisive day for the Japanese nation,

December 17, 2012

Takahiro Katsumi
former Member of the Board of GAMIP
Steering Committee Member
Japan United for Ministry of Peace

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