2014: Letter to Japanese Government

PROK
The Presbyterian Church in the Republic of Korea (PROK)
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To: His Exellency Shinzo Abe, The Prime Minister of Japan
Copied to: The Japanese Ambassador to the Republic of Korea

With sincere greetings of Peace in the name of our Lord, who leads us to Justice and Peace, we offer you our heartfelt prayers.

We confess that it is our vocation to work as instruments of God to bring God's peace, and thus The Presbyterian Church in the Republic of Korea has been continuously working for the transformation of the conflicted and burdened relationship of our two nations into a reconciling one. We truly wish to change our relationship from antagonism and competitiveness to friendship and cooperation in order to assure that prosperous development will take place in the North-East Asian region.

The Presbyterian Church in the Republic of Korea (PROK) regards the Words of our Lord, "Let justice roll like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream!" (Amos 5,24) as our main mission agenda, and so we work for, "making the two one and destroy the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility" (Eph. 2,14). It has become for us a very deep concern that Japan is attempting to push through a revision of the Peace Constitution with the given excuse of "Active Pacifism" to revive the "active right of self defense"; through this the stability and peace in the North-East Asian region will be immensely threatened. We hereby express our deepest concerns and regrets towards these kinds of efforts being carried out by the Japanese Government.

In the following enclosure is our statement concerning the above mentioned events and urging the Japanese Government to desist any attempts to justify revising the Peace Constitution and instead defend it.

April 28, 2014

Moderator, Presbyterian Church in the Republic of Korea, Park Dong-Il
Moderator, Peace and Unification Committee, Han Gi-Yang
General Secretary, Presbyterian Church in the Republic of Korea, Bae Tae-Jin

<Statement>

We urge the current Japanese Government under Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to immediately stop any attempts to justify "the collective right of self-defense" and uphold the Peace Constitution.

"If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace - but now it is hidden from your eyes" (Luke 19:42)

The Presbyterian Church in the Republic of Korea, which confesses that only God our Lord is the true peace, sincerely pray that true peace will prevail in the whole world. Being mindful that the Korean Peninsula is still under an armistice agreement, we have prayed that true peace shall come to the Korean Peninsula and the whole Asian region.

The Presbyterian Church in the Republic of Korea also has sent numerous appeals and statements during the past year urging the current Japanese government to stop its current trend of turning to militarism, and uphold the Peace Constitution as its agreement with the international world. However, the current Japanese government is still pursuing their planned path of becoming a super power with the excuse of "Active Pacifism". We again must express our deepest and concerns.

The current government under Prime Minister Abe has taken the "Active Pacifism" principle as central and basic for the country's diplomatic security policy. This can only be an attempt to once again be enabled in legitimate ways to wage war on their own, although the Japanese Government makes claims to the contrary.

This attempt can only be interpreted as an immediate threat to the North-East Asian region, where the arms race will increase, the tensions grow and the territorial problems burst into armed conflict thus endangering the security and stability of the North-East Asian region.

We further express our deepest regrets regarding the territorial problems around the Dokdo Islands, the distortion of historical facts and denial of the Japanese responsibility regarding the comfort women and the massacre in the Kwandong (Kando) area. Furthermore, as the Japanese government is paying homage to the class A war criminals enshrined in the Yasukuni Shrine it makes clear that it denies all responsibility.

As the Bible states in Matthew 26,52, "For all who draw the sword will die by the sword", the current Japanese government will not be able to achieve and keep peace through armaments, and will have to realize that militarism is not the way to be a strong country but one that will rather throw the whole world into a troubled situation.

Therefore, the Presbyterian Church in the Republic of Korea strongly urges the Japanese government to revoke any attempts to justify the collective right of defense so that you may walk the pathway to active pacifism and abide by the Peace Constitution so that all may rejoice in peace. The Presbyterian Church in the Republic of Korea urges the following points to the Japanese government:

Firstly, the Japanese government shall acknowledge all war crimes committed during its imperial time.

Secondly, the Japanese government shall immediately stop any attempts to revive the collective right of defense using the excuse of the changing security policy of the United States of America.

Thirdly, the Japanese government shall uphold and abide by the Peace Constitution and keep it.

Upholding God's Call to work for peace, The Presbyterian Church in the Republic of Korea strongly urges the Japanese government to immediately stop its revival of the collective right of defense, and stand as a responsive and honest member of the North-East Asian region.

We, The Presbyterian Church in the Republic of Korea shall work with the broad network of those protecting the Peace Constitution to bring 'peace without war' in the North-East Asian region and will continue to work on peace issues through God's Justice, Peace and Life.

May the Peace of God be with our two countries, with the North-East Asian region and all the world.

April 28, 2014

Moderator, Presbyterian Church in the Republic of Korea, Park Dong-Il
Moderator, Peace and Unification Committee, Han Gi-Yang
General Secretary, Presbyterian Church in the Republic of Korea, Bae Tae-Jin






 



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