Launched by a coalition of civil society organizations in Japan and coordinated by Japan-based international NGO Peace Boat, the Global Article 9 Campaign seeks to locally protect Article 9, Japan's famous peace clause, which renounces war as a means of settling international disputes and prohibits the maintenance of armed forces and other war potential. The Campaign also underlines Article 9's role as a regional and international peace mechanism and encourages governments to work towards disarmament, demilitarization and a culture of peace. Today, Japan's peace movement seeks the urgent support of those who wish for peace – for Japan’s peace constitution and against the Japanese government’s trend of nationalism, historical revisionism and its path to militarism that risk having grave consequences for Japan, the regional context and international peace.

Success Achieved

The Global Article 9 Campaign has mobilized domestically with the creation of a diverse and wide-ranging coalition and has received the support of a strong international network of NGOs and individuals, including Nobel Peace Laureates. At the regional level, in 2005, the UN-convened Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict (GPPAC) submitted an action agenda for Northeast Asia that declared Article 9 as "the foundation for collective security for the entire Asia Pacific region." Since then, the Campaign continues to dialogue with regional partners.
The Campaign held an international conference in Japan in 2008 that attracted over 33,000 participants from 40 different countries, and peace conferences on peace constitutions in Costa Rica and Ecuador in 2009. At the global level, the Campaign advocates and engages partners worldwide on topics that promote peace, such as conflict prevention, disarmament for development, reduction of military spending, and the human right to p

Challenges Faced

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, a key figure of Japan’s ideological conservative right, has long been a strong advocate of amending and/or reinterpreting the constitution to allow Japan to take collective action in the name of self-defense, abandon the country’s prohibition on arm exports and strengthen Japan’s security and military posture. Since his return to power as prime minister in 2012, Abe has adamantly pushed through a number of initiatives that overstep Article 9 and some of the country’s longstanding peace policies. In the current context of regional tensions, the debate over amending Article 9 threatens to disrupt the delicate balance in Northeast Asia, trigger an arms race and escalate into a regional – if not global – conflict.

Lessons Learnt

The Global Article 9 Campaign has garnered a high level and broad range of support locally and internationally. Public opinion polls show that revising Japan’s peace clause is not popular among Japanese people and strong reactions by Japan’s neighbors make clear that the issue remains sensitive at the regional level, threatening to destabilize the fragile peace in Northeast Asia, the Pacific region and beyond. The growing international movement and support for the Campaign makes clear that the world values Article 9 as an ideal to which all people aspire, and as a model to follow.

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