Global Issues: Japan/Peace Movements & Peace Museums/JUMP
JUMP, Japan United For Ministry of Peace, founded by Yumi Kikuchi, is an organization of individual citizens, whose main goal is to bring about a lasting and sustainable peace by establishing a Ministry for Peace across all of Japan. A Ministry of Peace, referred to in the United States as a Department of Peace, is a specific governmental institution that assesses governmental policy and legal decisions, on national, as well as international level, and then suggests alternatives based on the Culture of Peace, rather than economic gain or strategic / military power. As defined by the United Nations, the Culture of Peace is a set of values, attitudes, modes of behaviour and ways of life that reject violence and prevent conflicts by tackling their root causes to solve problems through dialogue and negotiation among individuals, groups and nations (UN Resolutions A/RES/52/13: Culture of Peace and A/RES/53/243 Declaration and Programme of Action on a Culture of Peace).
The structure and design of a Ministry or Department of Peace is one that would not only establish a formal Department of Peace, but that would also create a Secretary of Peace position, appointed by the President of the United States, who would among many things, hold the cultivation of peace as a strategic national policy objective and work closely with the President and other lawmakers to advance this objective via domestic and foreign policy initiatives.
The Department of Peace would also look to establish an Office of Peace Education and Training that would carry out the functions of the Department relative to the development and implementation of peace education training at the elementary, secondary, university, and postgraduate levels, including the development of a Peace Academy.
One of the most vocal advocates for a Department of Peace here in the United States is Congressman Dennis Kucinich who has been a strong advocate for peace and meaningful reform towards that end in U.S. national and foreign policy.
JUMP, as organization seeking to develop a Ministry of Peace in Japan, shares the basic mission and vision of numerous other independent organizations that seek to establish a Department of Peace with their home countries. JUMP is also one of the founding members of the Global Alliance for Ministries and Departments of Peace, a community of individuals and organizations working within their respective countries to establish ministries or departments of peace. The Global Alliance regularly hosts annual international conferences for current and potential members to encourage program growth and to address relevant global issues.
JUMP has an active voice in the Article 9 debate - the spirited debate over preserving or removing the clause in Japan's pacific constitution that prohibits maintaining a standing army as well as the use of military force to resolve international disputes. JUMP is an advocate for Article 9 preservation locally in Japan, but also supports the international, Global Article 9 Campaign holding Article 9 as a broad mechanism for peace and the shared property of the world. Additionally they work to advocate for and to recognize the relevance that the cultivation of peace has on human rights, disarmament, nuclear weapons abolition, conflict prevention, development, the environment, etc. JUMP is a strong advocate for developing self-sustaining communities, protecting the environment, corporate social responsibility, minimizing the effects of globalization, UN reform and other global issues.
IMPACT ON AUTHOR
I was particularly interested in JUMP because they are an advocate for peace in what is seemingly a tangible and meaningful way. The notion of a Ministry of Peace that works closely with Japanese law makers to develop and implement legislation and policies aimed at cultivating national and international peace was refreshing. I thought that it was an interesting idea to consider what that would like here in the United States. That is, a Department of Peace that works closely with the U.S. President to develop domestic and foreign policies that fully consider the importance of preserving and advancing the principles of peace as well as partnering with the President and other law makers to construct peaceful alternatives to international conflict. I believe that the current political and diplomatic climate is one that is incredibly tenuous. There are a wide and varied range of very serious issues brewing all across the world stage such as the U.S. Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Iran's pursuit of nuclear energy, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, North Korea's testing of nuclear missiles, the issue of nuclear disarmament, pressure for UN reform, U.S. strained relationships with Russia, Cuba, etc., just to name a few. When you look closely at international relations and present-day issues, it is quite clear that the peace that exists is fragile and that there are many opportunities for international conflict. I believe that the establishment of Ministries or Departments of Peace in every country is potentially an important first step towards meaningful, lasting global peace.
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