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Home / News-archive / The S9 Campaign - Campaign to Second A-9 in the UNGA

The S9 Campaign - Campaign to Second A-9 in the UNGA

This initiative was started in the city of Hidaka in Japan in late 2017. Japanese pacifists have for a long time wanted to spread the peace message of the Japanese Constitution’s Article 9, which aims at an “international peace based on justice and order.” The unique character of this new Campaign, however, is that the members of this group argue that Article 9 is a ‘motion’ that needs to be ‘seconded’.
 
The ideal platform to second Article 9 is the UN General Assembly. Article 9 states: 

“Aspiring sincerely to an international peace based on justice and order, the Japanese people forever renounce war as a sovereign right of the nation and the threat or use of force as a means for settling international disputes … The right of belligerency of the state will not be recognized.”

An important concept for the Campaign is the “Transitional Period.” (See Art. 106 of the UN Charter) To embark on the transition UN Member States must start to pool ‘security sovereignty’ with the UN Council. This concept, by which national lawmakers, delegating ‘security sovereignty’, can actually define the powers of the future world executive, is—the members of the group believe—still applicable and highly appropriate today. Seconding the Japanese ‘motion’ should start the process of the transition toward genuine collective security and disarmament. (See www.unfor.info/transition_text.pdf) SA9 believes that embarking on the transition will lead to democratic world government. Without it it will be difficult to achieve the end. The Campaign is also refers to the 1961 McCloy-Zorin Accords, which already aimed at abolishing war as an institution. (See http://www.nucleardarkness.org/solutions/mccloyzorinaccordstext)

Among the historical events the Campaign bases its arguments on are the Hague Peace Conferences, 1899 and 1907. The ‘Hague Confederation of States’, as it has sometimes been called, can be seen as the predecessor of the League of Nations. The chief aims of the Hague Conferences were disarmament and the creation of an international court for the peaceful settlement of international disputes. While these aims put the right of belligerency (jus ad bellum) in question, the better known “Hague Conventions” regulate the humanitarian laws of war (jus in bello). 

A minority of nations was opposed to the idea of an international court with binding powers or, as it was called, “obligatory arbitration,” so the conferences failed to avert war. However, the Great Powers that in 1899 and 1907 were in favor of an international order based on the rule of law continued to pursue the project, in due course creating the League of Nations, and later the United Nations. These powers today may be recognized as the "P5." The new Security Council opened itself to national lawmaker to give it a basic laws, and in addition, the International Court, an organization separate from the League before the war, became an integral part of the UN system, making the UN system a blueprint for world federation.

The group recognizes Shidehara Kijuro, who is closely related to the work of The Hague, as the author of Art. 9. In 1899, at the time of the First Peace Conference, he was already on his way to Europe on a diplomatic mission. Later, from 1918 to 1924, his name was on the list of judges to the Permanent Court of Arbitration, and from June 1914 until August 1915 he was Japanese Minister to The Netherlands and Denmark, residing in The Hague. 

Shidehara’s authorship was never seriously questioned in Japan until the Iraq War. The 1977 movie “MacArthur” with Gregory Peck as MacArthur likewise confirms Shidehara’s authorship. 
Like most Japanese the SA9 Campaign group believes that revising Article 9, in order to participate in military engagements under the banner of so-called ‘collective self-defense’, is wrong and dangerous. 

Article 9 is seen as a key to unlock the potential of the United Nations Charter. Indeed, why should it not be possible to make a proposal in the UN General Assembly and initiate a formal legislative process to abolish war as an institution? The ‘normative current’ of peace constitutions—in particular the articles of the constitutions of France (1946), Italy (1948), Germany (1949) and Denmark (1953) etc.—providing for the transfer of sovereign rights to empower the United Nations, suggests that this is indeed possible. More than 20 (mostly European) constitutions have similar clauses.

However, since the Europeans have so far not taken action, even after the end of the Cold War, the “SA9 Campaign” has addressed the more than 20 UN Member states that do not maintain a military and sent numerous mails and fax messages to other nations, their UN Missions, foreign ministers and embassies in Tokyo; with some of the latter we had talks. The group has also written to the “P5,” and received a positive reply from the then French UN Ambassador François Delattre stating in his letter that “We need … innovative initiatives for peace like … the SA9 Campaign.” 

Having gotten a lot of media attention in Japan and abroad, the SA9 Campaign has even been nominated for this year’s Nobel Peace Prize. http://nobelwill.org/index.html?tab=9!

The “Hidaka 4” believe that seconding Art. 9 in the UN General Assembly will initiate a debate on the issues at hand, abolishing war and embarking on the transition toward democratic world government. 

Dr. Klaus Schlichtmann (liaison and academic advisor) T. +81 (0)80-1061-5769
Mr. Mikihiko Ohmori (chair) This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it (only Japanese) T. +81 (0)80-2161-4778
Mr. Kazuhiko Abe (secretary) This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it (French and English) T. +81 (0)42-985-5114
Mr. Toshio Uehara (founding member) This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it (only Japanese) T. +81 (0)80-3013-3736

See also: 

https://www.friedensnews.at/2018/01/21/campaign-to-second-a-9-in-the-unga-japans-antrag-auf-abschaffung-des-krieges/ (in English)
kotoba.japankunde.de/?p=6578 (in German) and
www.pangee.org/SA9-campaign (en français) and
http://www.internationaldemocracywatch.org/index.php/home/584-campaign-to-second-article-9-of-the-japanese-constitution

 
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