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YWCA of JAPAN TOP > NEWS  February 26, 2009
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No military, no violence in Somalia: YWCA of Japan calls to stop sending military troops to Somalia (February 26, 2009)

" 9 "is the sign of peace YWCA of Japan took the initiative to hold a meeting together with 9 other women’s organizations for the dialogue with Diet Members on the theme of “Standing up for Japanese Peace Constitution, Protecting Peace, Life, and Good Living” in the lobby of the House of Representatives on Feb 20th, 2009.

80 people, mostly women, joined the meeting and each host organization gave speech addressing the issue of protecting and promoting Japanese Peace Constitution particularly Article 9 forever renouncing war and all forms of armament, Article 24 stating gender equality, and Article 25 securing people’s rights of wholesome and cultured living, against the current world trend of new military strategy in which key countries such as U.S. have supremacy over other countries no matter what Constitutions they have and regardless of local people’s rights of decision. Japan also is known to be one of the top militarily powerful countries, but the existence of Article 9, and many NGOs and people’s peace actions have been the guard to minimize its military operation. YWCA of Japan and women organizations raised voice to the Japanese Government not to disregard and distort the Peace Constitution but rather to promote its spirit.

“We need to stop the scheme of our Government to send the Self-Defense Forces over off shore of Somalia on the pretext of countermeasures against ‘piracy’, because this move could draw the country into military operations abroad prohibited by Article 9 of Japanese Constitution”, Mayako Ishii, President of YWCA of Japan, addressed at the opening speech. In fact, Japan has Maritime Safety Agency and there are questions from public why not sending MSA only but including SDF to the operation.

Having SDF itself is already a violation of Article 9, but a new bill against ‘piracy’ currently under preparation by the government will enable SDF to be dispatched all over the world at any time to do military operations for international conflicts.

It has been said that ‘pirates’ in off shore of Somalia are professional armed gangs, but it is still a roll of the maritime police (MSA) to deal with them. “We, women, have ascertained that the military operations such as air bombings of Afghanistan in the name of repulsing terrorism, only bring death, suffering, sorrow to women, children, and all innocent people” said Ishii.

It is Somalia, a land in the state of anarchy. It is quite predictable that if the international community sends military forces there, the situation would be even more chaotic in Somalia. It is also said that the world trend of action against ‘piracy’ is just a mask of superpowers’ resource conflicts over the land and sea.

“First of all, we should think about the needs of people of Somalia, not about military. Our very consideration is whether the lives of women and children are valued and secured in Somalia. As a nation having Article 9, Japanese international contribution should not be sending military over, but pursuit for the causes of conflicts in and around Somalia, mediating and supporting for their peaceful solutions, and giving economic and humanitarian aids. We should also contribute to international community by promoting the principle of individual rights to live in peace and working for its realization throughout the world.” Ishii stated.

(February 26, 2009)
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