2021: Article 9 - Presentation 2

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Article 9 of the Japanese
 Peace Constitution and Peace
 in Asia -Prayer from Okinawa
 ー 沖縄からの祈り ー
The 7th Global lnter-Religious Conference on Article 9  
of the Japanese Peace Constitution

Presentation 2
Mr. Cheong Wooksik,    Representative, Peace Network, Korea

The Korean Peninsula As the Path To Safeguarding the Peace Constitution

1. Introductory remarks

To safeguard the Peace Constitution, it is extremely important to establish peace in North-East Asia, which isinseparably connected with peace on the Korean peninsula. That is because Japanese right-wing efforts tochange the Peace Constitution and turn Japan into a “country that can make war” are reflected in the ongoingsense of crisis caused by North Korea’s enhanced nuclear missile function, and by the rise of China.

The Japanese government, still under right-wing control, has two contradictory post-war goals. One is theaforementioned revision of the Peace Constitution, and the other is normalization of relations with North Korea.But it is realistically difficult for the Japanese right wing to “catch two rabbits at once.” Accordingly, to protectthe Peace Constitution, we need to seek peaceful solutions to the Korean peninsula problem while working toencourage North Korea-Japan diplomacy. In addition, it is important for Korea and Japan to try to compose a“third force” that can further prosperity and peace, while acting to mediate the conflict and competition betweenthe two powerful states—USA and China—amid their intensified competition for hegemony.

In this regard, while pointing out the reasons why the Korean peninsula peace process is now in danger ofIn this regard, while pointing out the reasons why the Korean peninsula peace process is now in danger ofrunning aground, I would like to propose a new solution: make the Korean peninsula a nuclear-free zone.Though there has been occasional discussion of a North-East Asia nuclear-free zone, the idea of a nuclear-freeKorean peninsula is something new. Japan would not be included in the first stage of formation of a Koreanpeninsula nuclear-free zone. But once a nuclear-free Korean peninsula is actualized, Japan—which hasmaintained its “three non-nuclear principles”—also can participate, and discussion of North-East Asia as anuclear-free zone can be activated. Moreover, if we approach the Korean peninsula problem through thenuclear-free zone method, this will not only weaken the use of the “North Korean threat” as a pretext for revisingthe Peace Constitution, but will also give buoyancy to North Korea-Japan diplomatic relations.

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