On Friday, February 22, 2013, while Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe dined with President Obama at the White House, a small group of peace activists gathered to call for a preservation of Japan’s Article 9, popularly known as “The Peace Clause” including: Columbans, Pax Christi USA, the D.C.’s Dorothy Day Catholic Worker, Torture Abolition and Survivor Support Coalition, Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns, and Network for Okinawa.
We were also joined by a visiting Japanese professor at American University whose academic work focuses on the importance of Article 9 not only for Japan but for the world. He described the Peace Clause as being “written by humanity”.
As we prayed for the victims of Hiroshima and Nagasaki; for an end to all wars, the use of nuclear weapons and drones, we sang, God forgive us for the wrong we’ve done, God forgive us now. It is unlikely that our gathering caught the attention of Prime Minister Abe and President Obama during their talks. With gates and security aplenty, our song could not penetrate the walls of the political elite. But, for those of us standing on the sidewalk, our hearts were inflamed with love and strength to continue on singing and chanting for a peaceful world.
To learn more about Japan’s Article 9 and to Take Action, visit Pax Christi USA.