Japan Christian Activity News No.749, Winter 2012
Christian Peace Network (Heiwa Net): Working Diligently for Peace
Heiwa Net is a member of the planning committee for “Goodbye to Nuclear Power Plants” (Sayonara Gempa-tsu), an anti-nuclear group pro-natural energy spawned from the Fukushima Daiichi disaster. On December 10, an anti-nuclear rally was held in Hibiya Park featuring Nobel laureate in literature, Kenzaburo Oe. Tani Daiji, Catholic bishop of Saitama, also was given the opportunity to speak, a surprising choice for a non-Christian organization in Japan. He explained that “out of respect for God, humans have to safeguard creation” and insisted that we “should get away not only from our dependence on atomic energy, but also from our addiction to electricity.” An estimated 5,500 concerned citizens attended the rally with many joining the march afterward. Participants ranging from mothers pushing babies in strollers to grandparents, Buddhists and Catholics to environmentalists and labor safety staff marched past TEPCO (Toden), through Ginza and past Tokyo Station. Currently, Sayonara Gempatsu is collecting signatures for an antinuclear / pro-clean energy petition with a goal of 10 million! Upcoming events include a rally on February 11 at Yoyogi Park and a protest in Fukushima on the one-year anniversary. (http://sayonara-nukes.org/english/)
Members of Heiwa Net and other Christian organizations joined in a December 14 protest on Japan’s use of sexual slavery during World War II. This day marked the 1,000th Wednesday a weekly demonstration has been held in front of the Japanese embassy in Seoul requesting Japan to recognize and compensate the former “comfort women.” In solidarity, protesters in Tokyo formed a human chain around the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Marking the Christmas season with prayers for peace, Heiwa Net held its annual “Caroling for Peace” service at Tokyo Union Church on December 16. After the service, participants joined in a peace walk to Shibuya – singing Christmas carols and handing out prayer cards that included Japan’s renunciation of war in Article 9 of the Constitution.