2014: ÖRK/WCC meets Government of Japan

Die Verfassung Japans.  Artikel 9 der Friedensverfassung

ÖRK Präsident CHANG trifft mit SUGA von der jap. Regierung zusammen

Prof. Dr. NISHIHARA Renta von der Anglikanischen Kirche in Japan, auch Mitglied des Zentralkomitees des ÖRK/WCC bericchtet von der Begegnung in der Offiziellen Residenz des japanischen Ministerpräsidenten am 4. August 2014.
Aus den vorgesehenen 10 Mnuten wurden dann 20 Minuten. Dr. CHANG überreichte die beiden Dokumente "Towards a Nuclear-free World" und "On Reinterpretationof Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution". 
Wir geben hier den gesamten Bericht wieder.


Renta Nishihara
6. August 11:02
WCC President Met with Chief Cabinet Secretary of The Japanese Government
4 August 2014

The Rev. Prof. Dr Renta Nishihara
Member of the Central Committee of WCC
The Anglican Church in Japan

On August 4, WCC President Rev. Dr Sang Chang visited the Prime Minister’s Official Residence of Japan to meet face to face with Chief Cabinet Secretary, Mr. Yoshihide Suga and hand him the two statements, "Towards a Nuclear-free World" and " On Reinterpretation of Article Nine of the Japanese Constitution" adopted by the WCC Central Committee in July. The Chief Cabinet Secretary is the second rank in charge in the Japanese government.

In doing so, President Chang conveyed the opinions of approximately 500 million Christians worldwide. Rev. Prof. Dr Renta Nishihara - WCC Central Committee member, the Anglican Church in Japan, Rev. Makoto Kato – Executive Secretary of the United Church of Christ in Japan, Rev. Hiroko Ueda - former Acting Office General Secretary at the National Christian Council in Japan, and Mr. Yoichi Noguchi of the Niwano Peace Foundation, also joined President Chang at the Prime Minister’s Official Residence.

The meeting started at 14:05 with the exchange of business cards after which President Chang firmly handed both statements to Chief Cabinet Secretary Mr. Suga. Dr Chang then spent approximately 15 minutes conveying the message from the WCC to the Japanese government with a focus on the subject matter of the statements through.

The remark of the President Chang is following:

It is a distinct honour for us to present you representing more than 500 million Christians in over 140 countries, with two policy statements adopted by the World Council of Churches in July. The first one, “Towards a Nuclear-free World”, grew out of our global Assembly in Busan, South Korea, in November last year.

In the statement, we note the heavy toll nuclear tragedies have taken in Northeast Asia. We remember the cries of “never again” from the hibakusha, and test site victims. We stress our conviction that humanity is called to live in ways that protect life instead of putting life at risk. We declare that nuclear weapons cannot be reconciled with real peace.

As religious leaders, our immediate concern is drawn to the health and well-being of tens of thousands of people displaced by the disaster or living in areas affected by radiation. We note that churches in Japan have provided assistance to 370,000 survivors of the Fukushima Daiichi tragedy. They are supported in this work by WCC member churches abroad.

The statement encourages churches around the world to support further the work of the Japanese churches for rehabilitation, pastoral accompaniment and legal action. We would also like to request the government of Japan to ensure better protection of public health in all areas affected by the disaster and to phase-out nuclear power plants.

The second document from the WCC Central Committee is a “Statement on Reinterpretation of Article Nine of the Japanese Constitution”.

In it, the World Council of Churches urges the Japanese Government to honour and respect both the letter and the spirit of Article 9. We make this request bearing in mind the strong support for Article 9 among the Japanese people and the deep appreciation for Article 9 in the countries of East Asia.

The Article 9 statement notes that Japan’s post-war image as a peace-loving nation is a diplomatic asset for Japan around the world. It points out that Japan’s many non-military contributions to modern society have been received positively in every corner of the globe.

The WCC recognises and appreciates the moral integrity and spiritual strength of the Christian churches in Japan. We are privileged to have them as members in the worldwide fellowship of the WCC. Although they are a small minority, we believe that their witness on critical issues in Japanese society serve as a beacon of light and hope for the Japanese people. Therefore, the WCC will continue to work closely with the Japanese churches and Japanese people on these matters of peace and justice.

We will continue to pray for the people and government of Japan and look forward to Japan’s leadership in promoting peace in the world. Thank you for taking time from your busy schedule to meet with us today.


The Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga responded as follows:

Thank you. As you mentioned, Japan has, as the only country to have suffered a nuclear bombing, taken the responsibility of addressing the nuclear problem. I would also like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to the WCC and the churches of Japan for their various support in response to the situation in Fukushima.

As for Article 9 of the Constitution of Japan, collective self-defense shall only be exercised in a limited way, and the important point of the cabinet decision the other day is that it will only be used, under Article 9 of the Constitution, within the framework of pacifism. The right of collective self-defense is recognized everywhere around the world and global conditions have changed significantly in recent times. Security issues between nations have intensified along with the advance of internationalization. The important role of the government anywhere in the country is to protect the lives of its citizens. The number of Japanese living abroad has also increased. It is for these reasons we have come to consider the right to collective self-defense within the framework of Article 9 of the Constitution.

Japan's thoughts with regard to world peace have not changed whatsoever. Japan's respect for post-war freedom and democracy has not changed. I sincerely appreciate your understanding of the message I am trying to convey today. Thank you for joining me today.


Although the meeting was originally scheduled for 10 minutes, it continued for around double that time.

The response of Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga was consistent with previous government views, however this opportunity to convey a message from Christians around the world and in Japan to the Chief Cabinet Secretary, essentially the second rank in charge in the Japanese government, was historic and carries with it immeasurable significance. The recognition of Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga that the eyes of the 500 million Christians worldwide will be carefully focused on the subsequent movements of the Japanese government was extremely important.

It was unfortunate that the visit of the General Secretary of WCC, Dr Olav Fykse Tveit to Japan was postponed by his emergency hospitalization, however we are thankful this visit of the President Dr. Chang to the Prime Minister’s Official Residence could go ahead as planned. I appreciate everyone involved this meeting for their efforts from the bottom of my heart.

(Attached pictures were taken by Renta Nishihara.)

      



Die Prssemeldung des ÖRK/WC

 


WCC President for Asia meets with Chief Cabinet Secretary of Japan

Left, WCC President for Asia, Rev. Dr Sang Chang, the Chief Cabinet Secretary of Japan, Yoshihide Suga. WCC Photo by Renta Nishihara.  


06 August 2014

 

The World Council of Churches (WCC) President for Asia, Rev. Dr Sang Chang, met in Tokyo with the Chief Cabinet Secretary of Japan, Yoshihide Suga, on 4 August to convey two recent statements by the WCC Central Committee related to nuclear dangers and to preserving the peace clause in Japan’s constitution.

The visit came two days before the 69th anniversary of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki by the U.S. at the end of World War II.

The WCC statements, "Towards a Nuclear-free World" and "The Re-interpretation of Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution" were delivered by Chang as a show of solidarity between the WCC and the Japanese churches.

Also participating in the visit were Rev. Dr Prof Renta Nishihara, WCC Central Committee member from Japan, Rev. Makoto Kato, executive secretary of the United Church of Christ in Japan, Rev. Hiroko Ueda, formerly the Acting General Secretary of the National Christian Council in Japan, and Mr. Yoichi Noguchi of the Niwano Peace Foundation.

Presenting the statement on a nuclear-free world, Chang noted the WCC’s declaration that “nuclear weapons cannot be reconciled with real peace.” Chang also referred to the assistance churches have given to some 370,000 survivors of the 2011 nuclear disaster in Fukushima.

“We would like to request the Japanese Government to ensure better protection of public health in all areas affected by the Fukushima Daiichi tragedy and to phase-out nuclear power plants,” she said.

Regarding current moves to re-interpret the Japanese constitution’s peace clause Chang noted, “We urge the Japanese Government to honour and respect both the letter and the spirit of Article 9. We make this request bearing in mind the strong support for Article 9 among the Japanese people and the deep appreciation for Article 9 in the countries of East Asia.”

Chang stressed the cooperation between the WCC and Japanese churches. “Although the Japanese churches are a small minority in Japan, we believe that their witness on critical issues in Japanese society serves as a beacon of light and hope for the Japanese people. Therefore, the WCC will continue to work closely with the Japanese churches and Japanese people on the pilgrimage of peace and justice,” she said.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga replied that as the only country to have suffered an atomic bombing Japan has “taken the responsibility to address the nuclear problem”.  He expressed his gratitude to the WCC and the churches of Japan for their various support in response to the situation in Fukushima.

Concerning Article 9, Suga said “The right of collective self-defense is recognized everywhere around the world and global conditions have changed significantly in recent times. Thus we have come to consider the right to collective self-defense within the framework of Article 9 of the Constitution.”

Nishihara said, “Although the response of Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga was consistent with previous government views, this opportunity to convey a message from Christians around the world and in Japan to the Chief Cabinet Secretary, essentially the second ranking official in charge in the Japanese government, was historic and carries with it immeasurable significance.”

Statement on Re-interpretation of Article 9 of Japanese Constitution

Statement towards a nuclear-free world













Artikel 9

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Peaceboat Japan

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