Saturday, October 2, 2010

Peace Activist of the Week- The Country of Japan

We all know about Japans involvement in WWII. I had an Uncle who was bombed while on a ship in the Pacific. But Japan has turned it's history of violence and Kamikazes completely around.

Written into the Japanese Constitution, is Article 9:

1) 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.

For 60 years, Japan has maintained it's constitution. The only military they maintain is a militia, which is designed solely to maintain peace and order within the country of Japan.

In that 60 years, Japan has continued to use diplomacy to deal with its more violent neighbors like North Korea and China.

There have been some talks by the Japanese to remove the article, but many defend it's principals. I read an article detailing a Japanese female aid worker who was held captive in Iraq. She attributed her release to telling her captures that she was Japanese and that Japanese believe in non-violence. She told them that it is even written into their constitution.

Wouldn't it be a truly beautiful thing if more countries decided that diplomacy and not military action was the best way to deal with their neighbors?

So to the country of Japan who makes non-violence it's credo, I salute you!

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