Koa Tasaka: My Message for 2016

Last year, at the beginning of 2015, I wrote the following: “In order to avoid war and aggression, we should work towards peace and make sure we have a government that keeps peaceful relations with Japan’s neighbours in East Asia, and not engage in exporting weapons. I would like to maintain Japan’s Peace Constitution as a true deterrent, and not rely on military alliances which lead to the endless escalation of armament in our region of the world.” Unfortunately, during the past year we have seen the government move in exactly the opposite direction. In particular, on October 1, 2015 the Acquisition, Technology & Logistics Agency (ATLA) under Japan’s Department of Defense was established. Using tax payers’ money, armaments are being imported from other countries, while Japan prepares to start exporting domestically produced weapons and weapons systems. In my opinion, engaging in trade with weapons that kill indiscriminately is a shameful act. Aiming to make profits in such a way, the Abe administration made this a national policy. Instead, it is my sincere wish that during this new year, we should work towards demilitarization and finding peaceful solutions for the conflicts that are causing so much suffering. I strongly believe that most people agree that this is a better way forward towards world peace.

(Koa Tasaka is co-chair of CUJ)