The importance of Article 9 is proclaimed in Hiroshima

by Tsuyoshi Kubota, Staff Writer

The Global Article 9 Conference to Abolish War held a satellite event in Hiroshima on May 5, 2008. About 1,200 participants affirmed the importance of disseminating the spirit of Article 9, which renounces war, both in Japan and abroad from the A-bombed city of Hiroshima.

The Hiroshima gathering began with songs by “Chorus 9,” a chorus of children and adults. Mairead Corrigan-Maguire, a peace activist who received the Nobel Peace Prize for her contribution toward resolving the conflict in Northern Ireland, then addressed the attendees. “I urge the city of Hiroshima and the A-bomb survivors to continue calling out your message of peace to the world,” she said, “so that every nation will adopt a philosophy of non-violence.”

Four other speakers, including Steven Leeper, Chairman of the Hiroshima Peace Culture Foundation, also offered their views in regard to Article 9. Mr. Leeper declared, “I cannot overstate the importance of this struggle over Article 9. You are not fighting just to save Article 9 and your peace constitution. You are fighting to save peace itself.” At the end of the conference, a joint declaration was released that read, in part, “We want to tell the people of the world about the spirit of Article 9…and hand it down to the next generation.”

The event in Hiroshima was one of the satellite conferences linked to the main Global Article 9 Conference to Abolish War, held in Chiba, outside Tokyo, from May 4-6. The Hiroshima conference was organized by an executive committee chaired by former Hiroshima Mayor Takashi Hiraoka.