Antiwar event to facilitate peace on the Korean Peninsula in Tokyo in the evening of 24 February:

Event title: “To the Abe Administration: Stop Enflaming the US-North Korea Crisis”

It is good to see that there has been progress recently in terms of the sudden reopening of North-South dialogue and the postponement of the joint US-South Korea military exercises ahead of the Winter Olympics and Winter Paralympics in Pyeongchang. But US Secretary of Defense James Mattis has stated that the joint exercises will resume after the Paralympics that end on 18 March.

And Prime Minister Abe of Japan’s unrelenting wish is that the “maximum pressure possible” be put on North Korea. We must take the progress further, to the point where the joint military exercises are not just postposed but actually ended, and to where there is dialogue between Washington and Pyongyang.”

In honor of the 99th year of the March 1st Movement (i.e., the movement for the independence of Korea), there will be a gathering on February 24th starting at 6:30 PM on the 3rd floor of the Bunkyo Kumin Center near the Kasuga Subway Station and the Korakuen Subway Station. The doors open at 6 PM. Each participant is asked to contribute 1,000 yen.

Organizations sponsoring the event include Nikkan Netto, Peace Boat, and VAWW RAC (Violence Against Women in War Research Action Center), among others.

Mr. HANDA Shigeru of the progressive newspaper Tokyo Shinbun will give a lecture. He has written a number of books in Japanese, such as Nihon wa senso wo suru no ka: shudanteki jiei ken to jieitai (Will Japan Engage in War? The Right of Collective Self-defense and the Self-Defense Forces, published in 2014 by Iwanami Shoten).

There will also be guests from a federation of 220 progressive groups in South Korea that includes workers, farmers, women, and students, who have been demanding peace on the Korean Peninsula. This federation has been demanding not only a delaying of the joint military exercises during the Winter Olympics and Winter Paralympics in Pyeongchang, but also a lowering of the tension on the Peninsula through the discontinuation of joint military exercises, US-North Korea dialogue, and North-South dialogue.

A demonstration is also being planned.

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