Naomi Takanosu, a 37-year-old housewife living in Japan’s Kanagawa prefecture, is campaigning that the Nobel Peace Prize be given to the people of Japan specifically for the preservation of Article 9 in Japan’s post-war “pacifist” Constitution, which prohibits the country to take up arms against any nation or entity except in self-defense. The campaign comes in the middle of a concerted effort from the administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to have the Constitution amended to abolish that very statute and pursue the right to collective self-defense.
Takanosu created a website for this very reason, saying that Article 9 is evidence that the Japanese people are a peace-centered society and have denounced war for around 70 years, and as such should be worthy of the prestigious Nobel Peace Prize. Takanosu has even created an online petition, and several notable scholars from Kobe have added their names to those endorsing the petition. All in all, the petition already has over 19,000 signatures. “Be it for defense or intervention, it’s never ok to exercise military power,” Takanosu said. “We have to give importance to the general meaning of Article 9, which is ‘we will definitely not go to war’”. Takanosu had initially asked the head of the Nobel Prize committee that Japan’s “Article 9″ should be nominated for the prize. But the Nobel Prize committee said that “the prize can only be given to individuals or groups.” She then changed the object of the petition to “the Japanese people, who conserve Article 9″.
There have been a number of negative reactions to this petition, saying that this was a blatant left-wing strategy to derail Abe’s efforts to take out Article 9 from the Constitution. February 1st is the deadline for submission of nominations for the Nobel Prize, and Takanosu is determined to submit her petition, including all the signatures that support it, to the committee. “I want the voices of all those people who say that we must never go to war again to be heard,” she concluded.
[via Japan Crush]
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