Let's Get the Nobel Prize for Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution!

Junnosuke Masumi and his wife Hisako are both old enough to have lived through and remember World War II in Japan. As a result, Jun Masumi became a famous political science professor and writer on contemporary politics in Japan, and he has been on the Board of Advisers of the Japan Policy Research Institute since its inception (his full biography is on our web site). Hisako Masumi has been a peace activist for many years, as well as working within her community and for "Sunshine rights" in the postwar years when Japan was building too many high-rises too recklessly.

Hisako Masumi's "My Dream" was initially written for the bimonthly newsletter Shimin no Iken [Citizens' Opinions] (No. 104, October 2007), published by Shimin no Iken 30 no kai, but when she submitted it to the Asahi Shimbun for their start-of-the-new-year letters page, it was chosen as the lead-off piece. Shimin Iken Koukoku Undo [Citizens' Opinions Dissemination Movement] is now raising funds to take full page ads in some of the major newspapers on May 3rd of this year. Americans and Japanese who would like to make a donation are encouraged to do so by sending a traveller's check, made out to Shimin Iken Koukoku Undo (in either yen or dollars) to

Shimin Iken Koukoku Undo
4-29-12-305 Sendagaya
Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Japan 151-0051

"My Dream"
Appeared in Koe [Voice] (Letters to the Editor) page, The Asahi Shinbun; January 1, 2008
By Hisako Masumi
(housewife, Kokubunji, Tokyo, age 78)

My dream is to have Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution [the so-called "no war" clause] awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. I want to appeal to the world that this is the wish of the majority of the Japanese people.

Nobel Peace Prize laureate Ms. Jody Williams insists that all nations should have constitutions with an Article 9 and that what we need now is a Global Article 9 campaign. The noted political scientist Chalmers Johnson maintains that Article 9 is also an expression of Japan's apology to the victims of Japan's war of invasion.

If we discard Article 9, other nations will take it that we have forsaken our apology. More dangerous, our children and grandchildren might be dispatched to a country targeted for a preemptive strike by the United States military. That would invite international terrorists to Japan, and our domestic security would not be assured. That, in turn, could encourage a rebirth of militarism in Japan. I am a member of the Article 9 Society of Kokubunji, and I want to prevent our society from becoming like that. For that reason, my New Year's wish is to have the idea of peace as expressed in Article 9 prevail.

I propose the following: We should abandon the U.S. military's nuclear umbrella and change the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty into a Friendship Treaty. The U.S. military should leave Japan and our Self-Defense Force should be reorganized into a Disaster Aid Force that will never go overseas bearing arms.

In addition to awarding a Nobel Peace Prize to Article 9, I would request the United Nations to declare that the U.N. will protect Japan so long as it maintains Article 9. That would be Japan's best defense in today's world.