8・10 Candle action to the darkness of Yasukuni

Appeal for Approval and Support
Lighting Peace Candles to the Darkness of Yasukuni 2008
-Yasukuni ・War ・Poverty

June 15, 2008
Dear Friends,

We, East Asia Committee of Anti-Yasukuni Joint Counteraction, thank you for your continuous support to anti-Yasukuni actions.
In Tokyo, we will get together and light candles of culture, art, and dialogue, once again this summer in 2008, to the darkness of Yasukuni, hoping to shine the future of East Asia with friends from the region. We ask you for your kind support and approval to the event taking place this August.

In the summer of 2006, the Anti-Yasukuni Joint Counteraction of four regions gathered 4000 people in all, giving considerable impact in the region. Through the action, we had strongly called for liberating ancestral souls from Yasukuni shrine, not only for Japanese bereaved families who refuse the enshrinement, but for some 50,000 souls of Koreans and Taiwanese. We also expressed our objection to Yasukuni’s historical perception on the last Pacific war, which glorifies war and act of depriving people of their lives under the name of “contributing to one’s own country.”

Following the joint action in 2006, we went to New York to stage another joint action in November 2007 to look as the shrine with the eyes of peace, human rights, and universality, as well as from such stand point, as to question the responsibility of the US who had been playing the role of copartner in preserving and taking advantage of causes of Japanese militarism.

The environment surrounding the Yasukuni Shrine in 2008 seems to have completely changed. It is most unlikely that Prime Minister Fukuda will pay a visit to the shrine. Japan, however, still continues to dispatch SDF to Iraq and Afghanistan. The enactment of the law legitimating permanently the SDF activities overseas is being on the schedule, implicating that Yasukuni is still a vital issue for the people in power.

In addition, many of Japanese people are overwhelmed by hardship of lives that lie beneath the materialistic pleasure-oriented society of Japan. We have witnessed the outburst of such reality in Akihabara mass stabbing incident that occurred recently. Young people of Japan or US say that the biggest fear they have is over loan and being out of work. One of the most selling books among the young in Japan is “Kanikosen”, which is a proletariat novel published in 1929, featuring the hardship of workers in a crab ship. This is the reality of Japan and the US. Under the veil of neo-liberalism, often described with the term “reform,” poverty is spreading out. People are losing hopes and cannot find way out. Amid such reality, we are seeing evil nationalism and Yasukuni sprouting from it.

  How are we to face up to the rising tide of historical revisionism? Nationalism is following such trend although we haven’t yet reconciled with the people in the East Asia, not to mention of pursuing wartime responsibility or atonement for the misdeeds of the last war. How can we light the darkness of Yasukuni? What can we do to change the reality in which the youth are driven into “war of anti-terrorism”, “fight for liberty and democracy”, or “patriotism”, by their wish to live better lives or to seize brighter future being abused?

The challenges we face seem all serious and daunting. But we believe it’s time we moved forward, hand in hand, to light up with countless candles the darkness of oppression in Tokyo, Seoul, Taipei, and Okinawa.
Please share with us your idea, wish for peace, and resources in making the event successful.
East Asia Committee of Anti-Yasukuni Joint Counteraction
【Joint representatives】
Hea Hak Lee(Pastor, Candle Movement Committee in South Korea), Hee Ja Lee(Representative of Korean Council for Redress and Reparations for the Victims of WWII), Suk Tae Lee(lawyer, Korea), Uchida Masatoshi(lawer, Japan), Yoshinori Murai(professor of Waseda University, Japan), Haryu Ichiro(Japan), Osamu Niikura(Chief of Japanese Lawyers International Solidarity Association), Rumiko Nishino(Director of Women’s Active Museum on War and Peace, Japan), Sung Suh(Professor of Ritsumeikan University, Japan), Tsuguo Imamura(Attorney), Tsutomu Shoji(Pastor, Chief of Korea Museum, Japan)

【Suggestions & Requests】
1. Approval for the Aug. 10 Event.
Donation: 1,000 yen or many times Postal Account: 00140-3- 446364
2. Purchase tickets for the event. 1,000 yen each
3. Join the Secretariat to help prepare the event.
4. Spread the info. about the even by mail, word of mouth, etc.

【Lighting the Peace Candles to the Darkness of Yasukuni 2008】

Date & Time: 13:30~ (door open 13:00) Aug. 10 (Sun.), 2008
Venue: Nihonkyoiku Kaikan (5 min. walk from Jinbocho st.)
◆ Part One Talk over Yasukuni Issue
Takahashi Tetsuya: Tokyo Uni. / Post war responsibility
HAN-Myong Suk: Former Korean Prime Minister
Nakajima Takeshi: Hokkaido Uni. / History of modern political thought
Yasuda Koichi: Journalist
◆ Part Two Testimonies
Testimonies requesting cancelation of enshrinement form Korea, Taiwan, Japan, and Okinawa
◆ Part Three Peace Concert
SONG-Byong Hi Korea / Singer
Kwon-Hae Yo Korea / Actor
AHN-Chi Whan Korea / Singer
Kotobuki Japan / duo singers
Mime, song and dance by Korean students
◆ Part Four Peace Candle Walk

◆ Artistic Expression -Going into the darkness of YASUKUNI
Date & Time: 10:00~18:00/ Aug. 4 (Mon)-Aug. 11 (Mon), 2008
Last day close at 16:00
Place: Hitotsubashi Gallery ( 1F of Nihonkyoiku kaikan)
Korea: AHN Sung keum/ HONG Sung dam & Audio-visual media workshop
Taiwan: Inoue Osamu from the film “The Song of Shusso”
Okinawa: Kinjo Minoru
Japan: Iguchi Daisuke, Ikeda Tatsuo, Ohkawa Yu, Kojima Noboru, Tomioka Taeko
-For the first time, artists from the four regions will get together to express and light the darkness of Yasukuni.
Producer: Furukawa Mika PR: Hata Yasunori

※ Special exhibitor: Korean cartoonist, KO Gyong il
& his partners:YOON Jeong won & HAN Sunhyun
Caricature of Yasukuni
※ Exhibition of Japanese military’s “comfort women” issue

【Film & Talk】
◆ Film: Annyong・Sayonara
11:00~13:00 Saturday, Aug. 9, 2008
Rm 901 at Nihonkyoiku kaikan
◆ Relay talk related to the art exhibition: Yasukuni & its Expression
13:00~17:00 Saturday, Aug. 9, 2008
Rm 901 at Nihonkyoiku kaikan
Haryu Ichiro (literature and art critic), Suzuki Kunio (advisor to Issuikai),
Mouri Yoshitaka (Sociologist), Yamaguchi Izumi (Writer)
Exhibitors (AHN Sung keum, HONG Sung dam, Kinjo Minoru and others)

【Press Conference】
Date & Time : 2:00 pm, August 5, 2008
Venue: Hitotsubashi Gallery, 1F of Nihonkyouiku kaikan

Uchida Masatoshi(Lawyer), SUH Sung(Professor)
Iguchi Daisuke(Artist), Furukawa Mika(Producer),Others

Contact: East Asia Committee of Anti-Yasukuni Joint Counteraction
 e-mail:peacecandle2006@yahoo.co.jp  HP:http://www.peace-candle.org