Lay Down Your Arms 〜 ノーベル平和賞・憲法九条
|左）Peter van den Dungen博士
右）Edward W. Lollis氏：世界の平和博物館
Subject: Nobel nomination
Bradford, 30th January 2015
The Norwegian Nobel Committee
Norwegian Nobel Institute
Dear members of the Norwegian Nobel Committee,
I would like to nominate for this year's peace prize two organizations in Japan which, for many years, have been in the forefront of promoting two great and not unrelated causes: abolition of nuclear weapons, and defense of Art. 9 of the Japanese constitution.
The survivors of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki have been for many decades, and continue to be, among the most energetic, passionate, and convincing advocates of nuclear disarmament. These Hibakusha are aging, and for many, it is an agony and great disappointment that the cause to which they have dedicated their shattered lives remains a dream. In this 70th anniversary year, it would be most appropriate and deserved if their efforts would, at long last, be recognized by the award of the prize. They have been and continue to be a major force in the global movement for the abolition of nuclear weapons. Nihon Hidankyo, the federation of survivors' organizations, is the most representative organization to receive the award which would be widely welcomed, both at home and worldwide. It would, moreover, and equally importantly, provide a stimulus for the abolition of nuclear weapons and a counterweight to current plans of nuclear powers to modernise their arsenals.
Article 9 has been seriously eroded over the years, not least with the encouragement of the USA, and now is being further weakened by the measures being introduced by the present government - against the express wishes of the vast majority of the Japanese people. At the same time, these policies of the Abe government are causing alarm in the region, first and foremost in China and Korea where the legacy of Japanese militarism and colonialism is still keenly felt. Grassroots movements for the protection of Art. 9 have existed for many years and at various times have been estimated to number 6,000 groups and more. The Article 9 Association, established by leading intellectuals, is widely seen as the most representative organisation in the field. The strong popular support for the maintenance and indeed strengthening of Art. 9 has been shown by the campaign which has been launched during the past two years, and which has brought many signatures to Oslo. The award to the Article 9 Society would be welcomed not only by the vast majority of Japanese, but also by the country's neighbors. Moreover, it would make this remarkable, indeed revolutionary, constitutional article much better known around the world.
The joint award to these two Japanese organizations would be fully in accordance with the purposes for which Alfred Nobel created the prize.
'Laying Down Arms' has become an imperative for the nuclear age - with Hiroshima and Nagasaki as stark warnings of the alternative. At a time when much of the world is commemorating the centenary of the First World War, an award for the cause of the abolition of nuclear weapons, and of the abolition of standing armies and of the option to go to war (as determined by Art. 9) would be a most meaningful way for your esteemed committee to indicate the necessity of learning lessons.
With kind regards.
Dr. Peter van den Dungen
Peace Studies Lecturer (1976-2000),
Visiting Lecturer (2000-2013),
Visiting Fellow (2014-),
General coordinator, International Network of Museums for Peace (INMP, 1992-),
Visiting Fellow, Norwegian Nobel Institute (2000),
University of Bradford
Bradford BD7 1DP UK