United to End Racism (UER) at the Global Article 9 Conference to Abolish War (Japan)

The Japanese RC Community carried out its first large-scale UER project in 2008 by participating in the Global Article 9 Conference to Abolish War. Article 9 is the article in the Japanese constitution that renounces war. Successive Japanese governments have stretched the interpretation of it (for example, to allow them to send the Self-Defense Forces to Iraq), and this has been opposed by citizens’ groups. In 2007 the government passed legislation to allow a referendum on altering the constitution. The conference UER participated in was organized by a coalition of peace groups, to highlight the international importance of Article 9 and its wide-spread support among the Japanese public.

Twenty-seven Co-Counselors participated in the two-day conference. UER staffed a booth and people stopped by and talked non-stop throughout the two days. Some Co-Counselors wore sandwich boards with questions on them, such as “What conflict would you like to stop?” The delegation also held three introduction to RC classes.

Participating in the event was empowering for everyone. All appreciated being trusted to use individual initiative and act flexibly while at the same time not having to do anything alone. A number of contacts made at the conference have been maintained.


Last modified: 2016-08-22 02:11:22-07