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Monday, May 26, 2008

John Junkerman, "The Global Article 9 Conference: Toward the Abolition of War," Japan Focus, May 25, 2008.

While much of Japan was enjoying the extended holiday of Golden Week this year, supporters of Article 9, the war-renouncing clause of Japan’s constitution, were hard at work. The first Global Article 9 Conference to Abolish War drew 15,000 people to its plenary session and concert outside of Tokyo on May 4th, while 7,000 gathered on May 5th to participate in a day of symposiums and workshops. The crowds far surpassed the expectations of the organizers, who hastily staged an ad hoc rally in a nearby park for several thousand people who were unable to get into the main arena on the first day.

An affiliated conference in Hiroshima on May 5th drew 1,100 participants, and on May 6th another large arena in Osaka was filled with 8,000 people while 2,500 attended a fourth conference in Sendai. Overall, organizers counted more than 30,000 admissions to the series of events.

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John Junkerman is an American documentary filmmaker and Japan Focus associate, living in Tokyo. His most recent film, “Japan’s Peace Constitution” (2005), won the Kinema Jumpo and Japan PEN Club best documentary awards. It is available in North America from First Run Icarus Films. He was a co-initiator of the Global Article 9 Conference to Abolish War. Japan Focus associate Douglas Lummis, another co-initiator, contributed to this report. Posted on May 25, 2008.Recommend this Post

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