QUESTION 3:            With regard to the implementation of the right of peoples to peace at the national level:

- What mechanisms are necessary for the State to better enhance this right? Could you provide                            observations/proposals and/or examples of good practices?

Free speech without distinction of any kind is, as puts it in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the basis of progress and development.  The state should promote and protect among others free speech on the very issue of the right of peoples to peace. That leads to conclude that the state is legally obliged to organize forums in which every individual or group of persons can freely participate, to make talks or discussion of any kind without discrimination. 

As our members in Japan put it, we have already good practice in some national courts decisions. For example, we can quote three cases in Japan.

1. Sapporo district court ruled in so-called Naganuma case, 1973, that the right to live in peace enshrined by Constitution of Japan in its Preamble was not a mere declaration of political will, but also a legally recognized right or legally binding.

2.  Nagoya court of appeal ruled also in a case against over sea dispatch of Japanese Self-Defence Forces to Iraq, 2008, that the right to live in peace in the Constitution of Japan had legal substance to be protected as a right.  The Court went further to say that people were entitled to seek redress through the courts (1) when the Government violated individual freedom against Article 9, as well as  (2) that people were forced to support a war efforts which infringed Article 9.

3.  Okayama district court also held in a case against the Government on over sea dispatch of Self-Defence Forces to Iraq, 2009, that the right to live in peace as stipulated in the Preamble of the Constitution of Japan had a legal binding force to give sufficient legal basis to a court’s ruling.

- What should be the role of civil society?

As for a theoretical point of view, it is important to avoid any misunderstandings or confusions.  It is therefore recommendable to start our study from international dimension of the right of peoples to peace, not abruptly from a domestic or national dimension of the right. Peace is of course a matter of domestic and international  concerns as well, but it is also sensitive matter at the same time even today when we are getting more interdependent than a half century ago. As the Charter of the United Nations puts it in its Article 2.7, the principle of self-determination of peoples is still legally binding, and a state is still a pertinent instrument of people’s sovereignty under obligation of mutual respect, which can go to non-interference into domestic or internal matters of a state. Indeed there are many examples we should condone that the right to live in peace in a domestic territory was severely infringed. But it is also true that a state acted like an instrument to protect economic or strategic interests of foreign countries rather than that to protect the sovereignty of the people. It is far from seldom that a civil war or uprising within a national border is brought about or stirred by such interests.

As for civil society movements, we can quote some experiences from our members associations. 

In Japan more than 7,000 circles, large or small, have been set up for a single cause of protection of Article 9 against eventual constitutional reforms.  Annual meetings both in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and even in Okinawa, have been held in memory of war victims, especially unknown sufferers from atomic bombs or massive ground fights. These commemorative events are all good examples to keep good memory of war scourges and to give lessons to peace education. The right of peoples to peace has been particularly hoisted by popular movements against US military forces stationing in Japan, especially in Okinawa, which has in its soil over 75% of US military bases within Japan.

In 2008, a Global Conference of Article 9 to Abolish War was held in Japan to gain more than thirty thousand participants to confirm international solidarity for peace, international or national, and human rights, against war, poverty, humiliation or foreign military bases.

Every two years civil society organized a World Social Forum in developing countries, Brazil, India, Kenya, Senegal, etc. Innumerable encounters between person-to-person or group-to-group may help mutual understandings and enhance mutual awareness on human conditions including peace, culture, welfare, economy, so on.