A statement to the Abe administration

The following statement was sent to us by Hiro Katano, a board member of the Hokkaido Mennonite Peace Missions Center and a member of the Steering Committee of the Northeast Asia Regional Peacebuilding Institute (NARPI), a sister institute of MPI. This statement by the Hokkaido Mennonite Peace Missions Center affirms their pacifist faith tradition and expresses a concern with the governmental change of constitutional interpretation on the right of collective self-defense.

A protest against the decision of the cabinet to permit the exercise of the right of collective self-defense

The Peace and Mission Center
Japan Mennonite Christian Church Conference
September 20, 2014

The Peace and Mission Center of the Japan Mennonite Christian Church Conference, following the words
of the Bible, protests the Abe administration for having forced the decision of the cabinet to allow for the
exercise of the right of collective self-defense.

In the Bible, it is written that:

“He must turn away from wrong and do right; he must search for peace and keep after it.” (I Peter 3:11).

Our Lord, Jesus Christ, obeyed God completely until his death on the cross and devoted himself to loving
people. His life brought reconciliation and peace with God to us. We believe that we can make peace only
through love following the life of Jesus, who even loved his enemies, and that no amount of violence or wars will solve conflicts.

Based on these beliefs, we declare the following in Article 5 of the Confession of Faith of the Mennonite

“We, believers, follow the non-violent way of life of Jesus and won’t take part in war.”

It is our interpretation of the overall discussion of the Diet that the exercise of the right of collective
self-defense isn’t permitted under the ninth article of the Constitution. The Abe administration is not
allowed to change this interpretation and make our country fight against other countries.

It was with the Constitution of Japan that Japan swore never to fight a war with another country after
the cruel experiences of the Pacific War. We’ve lived under the Constitution for 69 years, not killing or being
killed by people in other countries. We mustn’t forget the importance of this history.

It is contrary to the hopes for peace, not only of Japanese people but also people in the rest of the world, to
permit the exercise of the right of collective self-defense. We, Christians, who follow the non-violent way of
life of Jesus Christ and eagerly support peace and justice as disciples of Jesus Christ, serve people suffering
from various acts of violence because of wars, poverty, and injustice.

As a result, we strongly ask for the withdrawal of the decision of the current administration because it
violates the principles of the Constitution, and we are against any further related revisions.

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