Joint Declaration from APFS and Takashimadaira ACT regarding the Security-related Bills

The Security-related Bills have passed the Lower House and are currently being deliberated in the Upper House. It is possible that they will be adopted in September, 2015.

Based on our experience helping foreign residents of Japan from over 30 countries solve various problems, Asian People’s Friendship Society (APFS), a non-profit organization, as well as the NPO Asian Community Takashimadaira (Takashimadaira ACT), are opposed to the National Diet’s hasty adoption of the Security-related Bills. It is obvious that a majority of people are against these bills based on the results of various opinion polls. We are very concerned that these bills have been adopted despite the misgivings of the people.

“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.” The spirit of Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution is well-known and respected by many of the foreign residents that visit APFS and Takashimadaira ACT. The significant spirit of this article should be a matter of national pride for Japan. We certainly cannot approve of a reinterpretation of Article 9 simply to allow for adoption of the Security-related Bills.

If the Security-related Bills are adopted and Japan becomes involved in another country’s war, it is possible that the Japanese Self Defense Forces will have to take up arms in a foreign country. Such a situation has the potential to crack the bonds that have been cultivated in Japan between its native and foreign residents. We are also terribly concerned that people from certain countries or that believe in certain religions may begin to be persecuted within Japan itself.

APFS and Takashimadaira ACT are committed to problem solving through dialogue with foreign residents. We have built a relationship of trust by coming to a mutual understanding of our differences. We believe that even the world’s problems must be solved through peaceful dialogue and diplomacy and not through the use of force.

APFS and Takashimadaira ACT, without a since of hostility towards the people of any nation, will continue striving for a society in which the people of all countries can live together in peace.