To the person responsible
  == From a Press Conference ==
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Their Imperial Majesties
the Emperor and Empress of Japan
c/o Consulate-General of Japan in Vancouver
800-1177 West Hastings Street
Vancouver, BC
V6E 2K9


July 9, 2009

Your Imperial Majesties
the Emperor and Empress of Japan,

We are writing to you as some representatives
of groups of Canadians that make up the rich
diversity of this country: Japanese, Chinese, Korean,
Filipino, and European.
We hope you enjoyed your visit to Eastern Canada,
and we would like to extend you our warm welcome
to Vancouver, Canada’s gateway to
the Asia-Pacific region.

With so many immigrants from all parts of Asia,
we believe that Canada is an ideal place from which
to promote peace and understanding among the
Asia-Pacific nations.
For example, Japanese-Canadians, along with people
from other cultural heritages, have been working to
raise awareness of Article 9 of
the Japanese Constitution.
Here in Vancouver, one of the first Article 9 groups
outside of Japan raised funds to send Canadian
delegates to the world’s first
Global Article 9 Conference held in Chiba, Japan.

As Canadians with Asian connections, we also work
together to heal the wounds of Japanese
aggressions in the Asia-Pacific region before and
during the Second World War, and to learn from the
history of devastating wars to create a peaceful
future together.
For example, every year a group of Canadian
educators travels to China and Korea to learn
about the history of the Asia Pacific War
(1931-1945), including the Nanjing Massacre and
Japan’s military sex slavery system.
A group of Canadian students also travels to Japan
every summer to learn about the history of
atomic-bombing in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and
these educators and students share their learning
with the wider community when they return.
Our aim is never to foster bitterness toward
a specific country or group of people; instead,
our goal is to create an environment for
open-minded learning that transcends national
borders and cultural differences.
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While our educational activities have been
well-received among communities in Canada,
Asia and beyond, we have witnessed many
non-reconciliatory responses from Japan to the
global community’s efforts to help bring healing
and justice to the war crime victims of this tragic
chapter of history.
The Japanese Parliament has yet to pass a
resolution that fully admits and apologizes for
Japan’s responsibility for the loss and suffering
of the victims of the Asia-Pacific War, or to pass
laws that stipulate compensation to those victims.
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Canada is among the nations that are concerned
with these issues.
On November 28, 2007 the Canadian House of
Commons unanimously passed a motion urging
the Japanese government to take full responsibility
for the involvement of the Japanese Imperial Forces
in the system of forced "comfort women”, to offer a
formal and sincere apology to these women,
and to continue to address those who are affected
in the spirit of reconciliation. Although Canada as
a nation has not been perfect in addressing its
own past wrongdoings, one of Canada’s
achievements in this regard has been the
compensation of Canadians of Japanese ancestry
who were interned during the Asia-Pacific War.
We would also like to see such redress offered
Japanese government to the Canadian POWs
captured in the Battle of Hong Kong and to the
victims of China, Korea, the Philippines,
and all the other countries and regions where
Japan’s military committed war crimes.
We would also like to see Article 9 of the
Japanese Constitution remain as it is, as we and
many people in Asia see Article 9 as Japan’s pledge
to the world never again to engage in wars of
aggression.

Your Imperial Majesties, we are aware and
appreciative of how much you have demonstrated
a commitment to peace and history issues.
For example, your paying tribute to the Korean
victims’ monument when you visited Saipan in
2005 was considered a gesture of reconciliation.
When you visited China in 1992, you also
expressed regret for the suffering that Japan
brought to China during the Asia-Pacific War.
Your words were a positive step toward healing
a historical wound.
Your 1993 visit to the Okinawa sites where tens
of thousands of civilians died in the war was also
appreciated by many people throughout Japan
and beyond.
We would like to appeal for your continued efforts
to help bring healing and justice to the victims of
atrocities committed by Japan before and during
the Asia-Pacific War, and for your support of the
endeavours to keep Article 9 intact in
the spirit of peace.

Thank you for your attention to our letter,
and again, we would like to sincerely welcome you
to Canada’s West Coast. We hope you will enjoy
the beautiful sunshine, ocean and mountains of
our land, and the rich and dynamic communities of
our multicultural society.

Yours faithfully,

(Signed by the following organizations)


Thekla Lit
Co-chair, Canada ALPHA
(Association for Learning & Preserving
the History of WWII in Asia)

Satoko Norimatsu
Founding Director, Peace Philosophy Centre

Ellen Woodsworth
President, Women’s International League
for Peace & Freedom, Vancouver

Tatsuo Kage
Member,
Human Rights Committee of Japanese
Canadian Citizens Association

Fernando P. Salanga
President,
Philippine War Veterans & Ex-servicemen
Society of BC

Jane Ordinario
Chairperson, Migrante-BC

Beth Dollaga
Chair,
Canada-Philippines Solidarity for Human Rights

Kevin Sung,
Director, Korean Drama Club Hanuree
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---------------
Some related reference materials

Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution is
a clause in the National Constitution of Japan
that prohibits an act of war by the state.
The Constitution came into effect on May 3, 1947,
immediately following World War II.

The official English translation of Article 9 of
the Japanese Constitution reads:

“ ARTICLE 9. Aspiring sincerely to an
international peace based on justice and order,
the Japanese people forever renounce war as a
sovereign right of the nation and the threat or
use of force as means of settling international
disputes. (2) In order to accomplish the aim of
the preceding paragraph, land, sea,
and air forces, as well as other war potential,
will never be maintained. The right of belligerency
of the state will not be recognized. ”


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Japanese war crimes occurred during the
period of Asia-Pacific War (1931-1945) have also
been described as an Asian Holocaust

These war crimes include:-

• Mass killings

• Human experimentation and biological warfare

• Use of chemical weapons

• Preventable famine

• Torture of POWs

• Cannibalism

• Slaved labor

• Military sexual slavery system

• Looting

The Asian Holocaust is often compared to the
Nazi Holocaust
The historian Chalmers Johnson, president and
co-founder of the Japan Policy Research Institute,
an organization promoting public education
about Japan and Asia, has written that:

It may be pointless to try to establish which
World War Two Axis aggressor, Germany or
Japan, was the more brutal to the peoples
it victimised.
The Germans killed six million Jews and
20 million Russians [i.e. Soviet citizens]; the
Japanese slaughtered as many as 30 million
Filipinos, Malays, Vietnamese, Cambodians,
Indonesians and Burmese, at least 23 million
of them ethnic Chinese.
Both nations looted the countries they conquered
on a monumental scale, though Japan plundered
more, over a longer period, than the Nazis.
Both conquerors enslaved millions and exploited
them as forced labourers—and, in the case of
the Japanese, as [forced] prostitutes for
front-line troops. If you were a Nazi prisoner of
war from Britain, America, Australia, New Zealand
or Canada (but not Russia) you faced
a 4% chance of not surviving the war;
[by comparison] the death rate for Allied POWs
held by the Japanese was nearly 30%.
(Chalmers Johnson, Looting of Asia, 2003)
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「 人斬り競争 」 が日本軍の遊び。
右の男は106人、左のは105人を斬った。
今、日本で流行の人殺しゲームや通り魔殺人の素質は
前からあった。
軍隊や軍隊的な 「 抑えつけるいじめ社会 」
「 洗脳社会 」 では、そういう人間が増える。
[PR]
by fighter_eiji | 2009-07-10 10:07 | English
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