Friday, September 8, 2017

Preventing War on the Korean Peninsula ~ Civilians and Religious Groups Demand Dialogue Without Conditions

On the afternoon of August 22nd, a day after the United States and South Korea began joint military exercises amid escalating tension over North Korea, citizens and religious groups gathered for an “emergency rally” in front of the Diet Members’ Office Building.
The rally that amassed a crowd of a hundred people chanting “Defend life!” and “Prevent War on the Korean peninsula!” was co-sponsored by citizen groups Don’t Forgive the Undesirable Amendment to the Constitution, Keep the Constitution Alive, and the Network of Religious People Creating Peace. Many of the speakers at the rally demanded that the United States and South Korea should hold dialogue with North Korea without conditions, and that the Japanese government should do everything in its power to make that happen. “In the past, there has been war on the Korean Peninsula and talk of atomic bombings. We can’t say that won’t happen again,” said OKURA Kazuyoshi, a Catholic priest at the rally. “With our pacifist constitution and status as the only country to have come under nuclear bombing, Japan is the only country that can prevent conflict on the Korean peninsula.” He added, “Japan bears the responsibility of dividing Korea through colonial rule. There’s no other way than to raise our voices.” (SASAKI Yumi) 


821日、米韓合同軍事演習が始まった。アメリカと北朝鮮の軍事的な緊張が高まる中、22日午後、国会議員会館前で市民・宗教者による緊急集会が開かれた。許すな憲法改悪!市民連絡会、憲法を生かす会、平和をつくりだす宗教者ネットが共催。100人が集まり、「命を守ろう!朝鮮半島で戦争をするな!」のコールをあげた。発言者の多くは、「米朝は直ちに無条件で対話をすべき。日本政府はそのために力を尽くすべきだ」と訴えた。カトリック教会の大倉一美神父は、次のように語った。「かつて朝鮮半島で戦争があった。原爆投下も検討された。今回もその可能性はある。朝鮮半島の戦争を止めるのは平和憲法を持ち、被爆した日本以外にない。朝鮮の分断の責任は、植民地支配をした日本にある。私たちが声を上げ続けるほかない」。(佐々木有美) 写真速報・動画(5分半)

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