2011 progress report to the Global Alliance for
Ministries and Departments of Peace
Campaign: J.U.M.P. (Japan United for Ministry of Peace)
Contact Person: Takahiro Katsumi
Contact Email: email@example.com
COUNTRY REPORT OF THE DELEGATION OF JAPAN
THE FIFTH GLOBAL SUMMIT FOR MINISTRIES AND DEPARTMENTS OF PEACE
September 30 – October 7, 2011
“Aiming for an organizational and operational capacity that would embody the Culture of Peace”
Aiming to embody the Culture of Peace within our organizational framework, during the past two years we embarked on a structural reform of our organization. We abolished the positions of “Representative” and “Co-representative” and assigned the functions of these positions to our Steering Committee as a whole. This signifies our aim to employ a more democratic, all-participating decision-making structure that operates on consensus to discuss all matters and share all responsibilities. This embodiment of the principles of the Culture of Peace is also incorporated into our objectives and policies as follows.
II. OBJECTIVES AND GUIDELINES OF OUR CAMPAIGN
- Establish a cabinet level Ministry of Peace in Japan, which proposes and implements conflict resolution measures by non-violent creative negotiations for all situations involving conflict.
- Foster and promote a Culture of Peace, which is one of the fundamental principles of the Ministry of Peace.
- Make efforts to establish a Ministry of Peace in Japan to foster and promote a Culture of Peace
- Collaborate with all groups or individuals who share the same goal
- Put the Culture of Peace into practice within our own activities
- Respect Japan’s Constitution which clearly articulates a Culture of Peace.
- Give an ear to each other’s opinions or ideas, develop new ideas through creative dialogue and then put them into practice
- Take care of ourselves, find the right things for each person to do and put them into practice, and enjoy this growth process with each other
Progress Report on JUMP’s Current Activities
We are in the preliminary stages of our activities. Right now we are focusing on empowering ourselves as a
team so as to consolidate the MoP concepts in each of us so in turn we can effectively share our ideas with as many people as possible. We believe this is needed as we feel it would be difficult to lead a successful campaign by approaching legislators without the support of their constituents.
To empower ourselves so that we can present our thoughts and ideas to the public in a more effective way, we have held many workshops and camps to train and deepen the discussions amongst ourselves. The results of these training and discussions sessions culminated in the creation of our first FAQ web page on the MoP, publication of a compact folded brochure describing our activities and a leaflet, which is due for publication soon.
The publication of these materials has been a good training exercise for us as in the process we consolidated our policies, objectivized the concept of the MoP, and shared these insights with our members and the general public.
One month before the GA South Africa Summit we plan to hold a workshop tentatively entitled, “What Could The Ministry Of Peace Have Done After The 3-11 Disaster?” so as to share the insights and ideas we have on the role MoP could have played in the aftermath of the event. We feel it is important for ordinary people to understand that the MoP can play not only in international affairs but in domestic areas as well.
Brief History of JUMP
- JUMP hosts its first global summit, “The Third Summit of the Global Alliance for Ministries and Departments
of Peace in Kisarazu”
- JUMP compiles reports and holds a reporting session on the 2007 Global Alliance Summit in Kisarazu
- JUMP holds a special reporting session on “Fourth Summit of the Global Alliance for Ministries and
Departments of Peace” in Costa Rica
- JUMP members attend a NVC study session, inviting NVC Trainer Mr. Francois Beausoleil as the lecturer
- JUMP begins the publication process of a general leaflet that is based on the organization’s policy of
consolidating the concepts of the MoP
- JUMP hosts a series of study sessions inviting Mr. Ryuji Ito (on the general concepts of the MoP), and Mr.
Takahiro Kastumi (on the Ministry of Human Security) as lecturers
- The JUMP Steering Committee holds discussions on the ‘roadmap’ of the MoP campaign
- JUMP publishes its first FAQ Website that includes a compactly folded leaflet on the MoP
- JUMP Steering Committee hosts a study camp with core members
- JUMP members attend a NVC study session inviting NVC Trainers Ms. Catherine Cadden and Jesse Wiens as
- Special Workshop on What Could The MoP Have Done after the 3-11 Disaster (tentative title)
IV. POLITICAL CLIMATE IN JAPAN
In September 16, 2009, a new center-left government came into power under the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ). Many people had high hopes for the DPJ government that distinguished itself from the former Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) administrations that advocated amendments to Article 9 of our Pacifist Constitution. The new leader of the DPJ, Prime Minister Yuiko Hatoyama, differentiated himself from former leaders by holding high the principle of fraternity (Yuai), demonstrating his strong determination for nuclear nonproliferation and disarmament, debureaucratization, peacebuilding, tackling poverty, and his desire to build an equal relationship with the United States. There were also several legislators within the DPJ who had shown interest in the concept of Ministry of Peace and many of us thought that the change in government would be advantageous to for us in promoting our cause.
However, it wouldn’t be correct to say that our campaign has come close to the point of materialization; within the Japanese parliament, there is an intertwined, complex political dynamic, and there are still more than few influential DPJ legislators who advocate national security through military force, with some of them having stronger stances than their LDP counterparts! In fact, the Hatoyama administration, which demonstrated its proactive approach to foreign diplomacy through the Okinawa U.S. Base Realignment Issue, collapsed in a very short period of time, and by July 2010, many of the DPJ legislators who had advocated peace lost their seats in the Upper House Election.
Under such a political climate, the people of Japan faced the horrific 3-11 earthquake that shook the entire Eastern half of Japan, resulting in unimaginable destruction and loss of life as well as the catastrophic failure of several nuclear plants. The long-lasting myth of our nation’s so-called ‘nuclear safety’ collapsed when the true nature of our deficient crisis management system and the government cover-up of critical information were exposed. Today, there’s a growing debate among the common people and the mass media, with much criticism directed towards the government’s pro-nuclear power policy. Within the DPJ government, there are divisive forces that struggle to gain an upper hand. Some want to break free from our nuclear-dependence and change the course of our energy policy, others want to maintain the status quo and continue to promote the use of atomic energy.
It has been revealed that the supposedly ‘peaceful use’ of the atomic energy is a policy that in fact disregards the value of all forms of life. The immediate task we face now is to demonstrate to the general public the role a Ministry of Peace can play in a crisis situation like this.
V. LESSONS LEARNED
At this stage, we have not yet engaged in a structured political lobbying phase. This is because we have come to understand that first we must consolidate each of our member’s thinking within the MoP concepts. Then we can empower ourselves with confidence to present our common thoughts in order to make our campaign a success. We have in the past lobbied for the MoP through the Japanese Parliament, but without having a deep internal discussion on what the actual policies of the MoP would be or what its specific functions would be like. We needed to rethink our campaign strategy in order to reach this new understanding.
We believe that we will have a better chance in succeeding with our campaign if we approach the Japanese constituents by consolidating our concept of the MoP, and by establishing a concrete campaign policy. It would be difficult to approach the legislators without having the support of their constituents. So our short term focus will be to establish policies and make a concrete roadmap.