My Films

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Report from the Global Article 9 conference!

The Global Article 9 Conference was held at Makuhari Messe (just outside of Tokyo) on May 4-6th. Over 10,000 people turned up for the opening ceremony. 1100 people from Hiroshima, 2500 from Sendai, and 8000 people from Osaka participated in the event locally in their respective cities. There were also 150 people from 40 countries in attendance. In total, there were 30,000 participants over the three days! On the opening day, the main event hall reached its capacity while a line stretched out the door and people had to be turned away. What an amazing turn out. In my peace activism career I have been to many workshops and conferences before but this event by far blew the rest out of the water. WTG Peace Boat!

I unfortunately could not stay for the entire three-day event due to the impending thesis deadline of May 15th. I did try to get some footage of the opening remarks and various workshops which I hope to use in a film I'm planning to make this summer. I'll be updaiting with more clips over the next couple of months now that my graduate studies are winding down.

Here's a short clip of Yoshiyoka Tatsuya, Peace Boat Director, as he opens the conference. (In Japanese) Enjoy!

To give you a quick translation (my first real attempt):

"Welcome to the Article 9 conference. It's amazing to see this many people, in fact there are still many people standing outside waiting. All these people coming here for the Article 9 Conference... this is a truly historic event at this moment in time. As the co-chair for the Global Article 9 conference and of Peace Boat, I am here to give opening remarks. First though I want to respond to that, even at this time, there are many people because of war, conflict, disaster, sickness who are losing their lives. I believe that there are huge numbers of people from World War II and the conflicts before that were lost and as a result, from the desires of not just Japanese people but the victims of all of Asia--from these wars and colonization--that Article 9 was born.

I have met many people from around the world and have spoken to them about Article 9. And every time I speak about the spirit of Article 9, that it will really abolish war, that it will really abolish military... that spirit is in fact a desire of most people in the world. They deeply feel for it and desire it. Particularly, the people who have been affected by conflict like the Palestinians, the Kosovars, Africans or those from East Timor. People around the world want to create a world without war and without military as soon as possible. They truly desire this. Those people from around the world have come to this conference today. Please welcome them..."

(please message me if I've incorrectly translated anything)

Anyways here are some links to English press coverage:

Japan Today (Kyodo): Thousands convene for int'l Article 9 conference

AP: Thousands rally for Japan constitution

Japan Times: Nobel Peace Prize winner hits moves to change Article 9


Anonymous said...

You're an angel! Thank you for the brief update and the translation. I hope to see you again sometime.

Johdub said...

Heya Megu -- thanks so much for posting this, I really appreciate the chance to see it & was so bummed to miss it on the day. Looks like Japan Today + Yahoo! News have already changed the location of those articles, which kinda sucks...hopefully we can relocate them. Hope Miami was great fun :)