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Wednesday, June 21, 2017, 12:00 - 14:00

"Revising Article 9 Will Not Protect Japan."

Langugae: The speech and Q & A will be in English

Shinzo Abe, Japan's prime minister, wants to end the unconstitutional status of the Self Defence Forces (SDF) by making explicit reference to them in Article 9, the iconic pacifist clause of Japan's Constitution. The clause bans the maintenance of land, sea or air forces, though the SDF has a powerful navy, over 1,600 aircraft and four large warships.

Abe's announcement, pledging to rewrite the clause by 2020, was welcomed by those in his Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) who have long viewed Article 9 as a humiliation, imposed by victorious Americans after World War Ⅱ.

The prime minister has started his campaign on a forceful note. "Those members of the public who think of the Constitution as an immortal tome are now a small minority," he told his supporters. He has some reason to be confident: His ruling coalition has a hefty parliamentary majority and, with like-minded parties, controls two-thirds of both houses – the required strength needed to call a referendum.

Kenji Isezaki is an international conflict expert who has served on UN missions. He believes Article 9 should be protected to keep Japan from deeper military involvement in wars. Isezaki has seen the impact of war close up: he represented the Japanese government in the disarmament of Afghanistan and helped lead the political process to dismantle the military forces of Afghan warlords after the fall of the Taliban regime.

He also served with the UN Mission in Sierra Leone from June 2001 to March 2002, and with the UN transitional administration in East Timor from February 2000 to May 2001. He has worked on peace initiatives around the world, including Palestine, Sierra Leone and Ethiopia, and has published extensively on UN peacekeeping, Japanese defense policies and the constitution. Isezaki was born in Tokyo on July 1957 and is a graduate of Waseda University.

Please reserve in advance, 3211-3161 or on the website (still & TV cameras inclusive). The charge for members/members' guest is 1,750/2,700 yen; non-members eligible to attend may pay in cash by e mail reservation (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ). (Menu: Roast Chicken Breast with Steamed Vegetables) Reservations canceled less than one hour in advance for working press members, and 24 hours for all others, will be charged in full. Reservations and cancellations are not complete without confirmation. For meal service, please enter the room by 12:25.

Professional Activities Committee

Jun 21 17 PL Kenji Isezaki040

 

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