Speaking at the May 3 Constitutional rally at Hibiya Public Hall in Tokyo, Japanese Communist Party Chair Shii Kazuo called for majority support of the war-renouncing Article 9 of the Constitution. Excerpts of Shii's speech are as follows:
How is the international community going to observe the 60th anniversary of the end of World War II? The United Nations General Assembly last November declared May 8-9, the days of Germany's surrender, as a time of "Remembrance and Reconciliation" and recommended all member states to commemorate the anniversary of these days every year.
The U.N. chose the days of Germany's surrender because Germany has achieved genuine "reconciliation" with its neighboring countries by expressing thorough remorse for its war of aggression, and this was accepted by the international community.
In contrast to this, Japan, which carried out its war of aggression at an enormous cost to other Asian countries, is worsening its relations with these countries instead of trying to make "reconciliation." The Japanese government and some politicians who are recklessly glorifying the Japanese war of aggression must not be allowed to escape criticism.
The task now is to defend Article 9, with its full implementation, to ensure that "heart-to-heart" relations and lasting friendships are established between Japan and its neighboring countries.
The forces calling for constitutional amendments say that the Constitution should clearly institutionalize the Self-Defense Forces or the Self-Defense National Forces in order to fill the gap between Article 9 and the reality of the SDF.
However, because of the war-renouncing Article 9 banning the possession of war potentials, the Japanese government has been obliged to say that 'the SDF is not a military force.' Therefore, Article 9 obliges the government to advocate that it is unconstitutional to (a) send the SDF overseas if they lead to use force; (b) exercise the right of collective self-defense; and (c) take part in U.N. forces.
If Article 9 is revised to allow Japan to "possess a self-defense national army," it will free the Japanese government of all these restrictions. Those who advocate constitutional amendments want to remake Japan into a "war-fighting nation."
Recent developments show that the Article 9 Association, with chapters throughout the country, represents "the Japanese people's earnest wish for peace."
Let's increase grass-roots efforts to rally the majority of the people in defense of Article 9." -Akahata, May 4, 2005