June 23rd, 2015
The Declaration by Civilians in East Asia
- We will open up a new era
on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the End of World War Ⅱ-
Mr. Abe, Prime Minister of Japan, plans to issue the statement this summer on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the End of World War Ⅱ. We are concerned about its contents because Mr. Abe has raised tensions between Japan and neighboring countries over the “History” issues. 70 years ago, Asian countries were liberated from the aggressive imperial wars and the colonial subjugations. Many civilians, in addition to the loss of millions of their soldiers, lost their lives during the absolutely unnecessary wars of imperial aggressions. We should sincerely reflect on the past history, and build a new friendship with neighbors for peaceful coexistence and co-prosperity in East Asia.
Japan, with remorse for its aggressions and colonial rule against Asian countries during the wartime, declared in the Constitution "never again shall we be visited with the horrors of war through the action of government" and "renunciation of war" in its Article 9. Furthermore, Japan was returned to the international community by accepting the decision of International Military Tribunal for the Far East which judged Japan guilty of its aggressions.
In 1995, 50 years after the war, "Statement by Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama" was approved in the Cabinet meeting and announced to the world. It said "during a certain period in the not too distant past, Japan, following a mistaken national policy, advanced along the road to war, only to ensnare the Japanese people in a fateful crisis, and, through its colonial rule and aggression, caused tremendous damage and suffering to the people of many countries, particularly to those of Asian nations. In the hope that no such mistake be made in the future, I regard, in a spirit of humility, these irrefutable facts of history, and express here once again my feelings of deep remorse and state my heartfelt apology". Civilians in East Asia accepted its feelings of sincere remorse and apology and hoped that a new era would be opened for the region.
However, since then, some forces which deny and refute core contents of the Murayama Statement have been rampant, today they now even distort the historical facts by saying "the war was for self-defense or for liberation of Asia". It is a seriously nefarious challenge to the billions of East Asian peoples who have been tirelessly demanding peace, security and co-prosperity in the region. They have also made nonstop efforts to build confidence and cooperation among Asian countries.
However, unfortunately, the present Tokyo government’s repeated attempts to distort and even negate the past history will not only seriously hinder a co-prosperous future of the vast Asian region but also further deepen already-irrecoverable wounds of survivors of Japanese war crimes and crimes against humanity in many Asian nations.
Therefore, on the occasion of 70th Anniversary of the end of the war, we must not allow Prime Minister Abe not only to deny but also negate the core tenets of "the Statement by Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama" under the pretext of "futurism". Japan should take the wartime responsibility as a major culprit who triggered the Asia-Pacific War and invaded, colonized a number of nations in the Asia-Pacific region.
Since the end of the war in August 1945, even if persistent efforts have never been absent either in the region, most, if not all, East Asian nations have never been free from the constant state of conflicts, wars and antagonism.
However we, the concerned peoples of the East Asia region are determined to open up and work for a new era to arrive through sincere and endless dialogues which will be solely based upon mutual respect, confidence and cooperation.
Supported by tenacious efforts and undying commitments, we come up with the following demands and hopes as follows:
1. We demand a peaceful environment which is based upon mutual respect, confidence and cooperation among East Asian peoples by making endless efforts to promote mutual understandings amongst each other and to share a humble understanding of the common history;
2. We insist that the Abe government should recognize and sincerely apologize for Japan’s aggressive wars and colonial rules against its neighbors in Asia-Pacific region, and compensate fully all the victims and their surviving family members;
3. We’ll make extraordinary efforts to build a genuinely peaceful environment and establish a common regional security structure in East Asia region by first replacing the fragile Armistice Agreement on the Korean War with a Peace Treaty, and then by removing U.S military bases out of Japan and South Korea which are the ultimate cause of constant military tensions in the region;
4. We demand Normalization of Diplomatic Relations between Japan and DPRK by the first’s genuine atoning for the past to the latter, solely based upon Pyongyang Declaration and the recent agreement concluded in Stockholm late last year;
5. On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of concluding Treaty on Basic Relations between Japan and Republic of Korea, we require to review the relationship between two nations and to solve the past’s heinous crimes such as Japanese military's "comfort women" which was undisputedly Japan’s serious war crimes, crimes against humanity, and infringement of human rights:
6. We encourage the North and the South, the only divided nation left in the world, to resume their lost dialogues for the realization of the independent peaceful reunification of the Korean peninsula which should be solely based upon the June 15 Joint Declaration and the October 4 Declaration concluded by the leaders of both sides;
7. We will make every efforts for the implementation of true peace and security in the region by holding hand in hand with all the peoples based upon mutual respect, confidence and cooperation.
The Association of Civil Solidarity to Take a Step forward to a New East Asia on the Occasion of the 70th Anniversary of the End of the World War Ⅱ,
Forum Peace, Human Rights and Environment,
Campaign for Reconnecting Japan and ROK,
The National Network for Japan-ROK Peoples’ Solidarity,
Network for Opposing Exclusion of Korean Schools from the Tuition Fee Waiver Programme for High School Education,
Association for Succeeding and Developing " Statement by Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama",
The Team in Tokyo for Investigating Truth about Forced Korean Laborers,
Regional Committee of Koreans in Japan for Implementing June 15 Joint Declaration of North and South Korea,
Support Network for Korean Schools in Japan,
Japan Committee for Supporting Independent Peaceful Reunification of Korea,
Association for Exchange of Education and Science between Japan and DPRK,
Violence Against Women in War Research Action Center,
All Japan Construction Transport Solidarity Trade Union,
People's Action Against War and Realization of Peace,
Korea Christian Action Organization,
The Labor Rights Center,
Supporters Group for Prisoners of Conscience,
Korean Council for Democratic Martyr,
Central Association for Independent Peaceful Reunification of the Nation,
National Conference of Democratic Workers,
Solidarity for Democracy, Public Welfare, Peaceful Reunification and Sovereignty,
Buddhism Peace Solidarity,
April 19 Revolution Committee,
Progressive Solidarity in Seoul,
Conference to Promote Reunification of our Nation in Federal System
Live with Jesus,
Solidarity of Koreans for Independent Reunification and Democracy,
Korean Farmers League,
Korea Association of Bereaved Families for Democracy,
Korean Confederation of Trade Unions,
National Association for Relief of the Poor,
Korea Woman Farmer Association,
National Women's Solidarity
South Headquarters of the Pan-national Alliance for Korea's Reunification
Way to Reunification,
Veterans for Peace, Korea,
Federation of Korean Trade Unions,
Korean Progressive Solidarity,
Korean Youth Solidarity,
Korean College Students Association in 21st Century,
A.N.S.W.E.R Coalition (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism)