Hiroshima-area writers establish association to promote Article 9

by Kazunobu Ito, Staff Writer

Writers of children’s literature and people engaged in activities of reading to children have established an organization to promote the spirit of Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution for future generations. The organization, Children’s Books and Article 9 Association Hiroshima, held its inaugural meeting on June 21 at Aster Plaza in Hiroshima. Some 1,200 people listened to lectures by two of the advocates of the group’s founding, writer Hisashi Inoue and Yuko Takesako, originally from Hiroshima and now the assistant director of the Chihiro Art Museum Azumino in Nagano Prefecture.

Mr. Inoue referred to the Antarctic Treaty, which imposes a freeze on territorial sovereignty claims to the Antarctic and prohibits nuclear explosions, saying the spirit of the Japanese Constitution is incorporated in this treaty. “South American and South East Asian countries began to pursue nuclear-weapon-free zone treaties following the Antarctic Treaty. Now nuclear-free zones cover two-thirds of the globe,” he said, stressing the leverage of Article 9.

Masamoto Nasu, a writer of children’s literature and resident of Hofu, Yamaguchi Prefecture, read aloud the group’s appeal, declaring, “We can help assure a peaceful future, free of war, to our children.”

Children’s Books and Article 9 Association Hiroshima, whose members live in and around Hiroshima Prefecture, is the second of such groups after the first founded in Tokyo in spring 2008. Members will offer mutual support in conveying the importance of the constitution.

(Originally published on June 22, 2009)