September 21st is the United Nations designated ‘International Day of Peace.’ The UN has called for this day to be an annual day of global ceasefire and non-violence.Through the international NGO network, this day has also been established as ‘Peace One Day,’ and simultaneous actions calling for ceasefire and peace will be held throughout the world on this day.
In Tokyo on September 21, 2006, a ‘candle action’ was held in cooperation with this campaign to appeal for peace in Lebanon, Palestine, Israel and Iraq. Using candles, this action will spell out heiwa, the Japanese word for peace.
In Lebanon, although the UN resolution has declared a ceasefire, the sounds of gunfire have not yet stopped, and the situation is by no means resolved. Israel continues to ignore the UN resolutions and maintain its occupation of Palestine, and inhumane attacks continue. In Iraq, where the US invasion violated international law, the occupation is sinking into an even more dire situation. Within these circumstances, many innocent people, including children, women and the elderly, are becoming victims.
Given that Japan’s government has deployed SDF troops to Iraq and prioritizes its alliance with the US above all else, this situation is by no means unrelated to the people of Japan. Now, more than ever, is the time for citizens of Japan and the world to take action. We need to appeal for the realization of peace, not through the cycle of destruction and slaughter that using force perpetuates, but through the strength of the United Nations and international law.
In the Northeast Asian region, also on the verge of a crisis that could threaten the peace, we strongly believe that a series of events such as this candle action will contribute to conflict prevention, and can strengthen the international solidarity needed to realize a peace that does not rely on force, as expressed in Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution.
Time: September 21 (Thurs) Meeting 6pm, Begins 6:30
Venue: Meiji Park (7 minutes’ walk from JR Sendagaya station, 6 minutes’ walk from Oedo Subway Kokuritsu Kyogijo station)
Contents: Testimonies from the front
- Rami Nasser Eddin (Palestinian Vision – www.palestinianvision.org)
- Racha Ramez Najdi (Activist with Lebanese NGO Samidoun – www.samidoun.org)
- Kazuo Takahashi (University of the Air)
Live concert by Kotobuki
Candle action Organizer: GPPAC JAPAN
Supported by: Peace Boat, Japan Lawyers’ International Solidarity Association (JALISA), WORLD PEACE NOW, Art Network Japan, Palestinian Children’s Campaign, Femin Women’s Democracy Club, Amnesty International Japan, Nonviolent Peace Force Japan, etc.