Proposal For the People All Over the World
Overcoming National Egoism
In the preceding "Proposal", I discussed "how should the people of Japan think and act, and what should be the way of being for Japan regarding the crisis faced by humanity and for Japan to be born anew" from my standpoint as a Japanese citizen. Nevertheless, from the perspective that I am a global citizen, the essence of the idea and spirit which form the core of the preceding proposal is universal and applies to all countries of the world.
As described repeatedly, to overcome the unprecedented global- scale crisis of humanity and for the realization of permanent world peace, it is essential to eliminate the conflicts of national egoism in the international society. For this, there is no other way than for each country to renounce national egoism through its own volition. Only by doing so will each country become a "good country" in the true sense, and the people can attain genuine happiness.
The Peace Constitution Is the Greatest Treasure of Humanity
As described previously, Japan has the advantageous condition of having the Peace Constitution, which is the only one in history that proclaims renunciation of national egoism by not only "renouncing war and abolishing the military", but also by "desiring to secure the nation by international contribution through peaceful means."
The following overlaps with Section I of the book, but let us take another look at an excerpt from the Preamble and Article 9 that form the core of the Peace Constitution of Japan.
The Constitution of Japan: Preamble (First paragraph omitted)
We, the Japanese people, desire peace for all time and are deeply conscious of the high ideals controlling human relationship, and we have determined to preserve our security and existence, trusting in the justice and faith of the peace-loving peoples of the world. We desire to occupy an honored place in an international society striving for the preservation of peace, and the banishment of
tyranny and slavery, oppression and intolerance for all time from the earth. We recognize that all peoples of the world have the right to live in peace, free from fear and want.
We believe that no nation is responsible to itself alone, but that laws of political morality are universal; and that obedience to such laws is incumbent upon all nations who would sustain their own sovereignty and justify their sovereign relationship with other nations.
We, the Japanese people, pledge our national honor to accomplish these high ideals and purposes with all our resources.
The Constitution of Japan: Article 9
Aspiring sincerely to an international peace based on justice and order, the Japanese people forever renounce war as a sovereign right of the nation and the threat or use of force as means of settling international disputes.
2) In order to accomplish the aim of the preceding paragraph, land, sea, and air forces, as well as other war potential, will never be maintained. The right of belligerency of the state will not be recognized.
Summarizing the Preamble and Article 9 in simple language:
We renounce national egoism that considers only the interests of one's country, and for the prosperity of the people of the world and for resolution to the famine and poverty of the people of the world, with the all out effort of the entire nation, we will become a nation that is necessary and vital to the countries of the world. By these means, we will secure the peace and survival of the nation. Based on this concept, by peaceful means instead of military force, we will protect the nation through contributing to the peace and prosperity of the world with the efforts of the entire nation. Accordingly, we will hold no military forces and will engage in absolutely no wars including wars for self-defense.
This is an unprecedented revolutionary " proclamation of renunciation of national egoism", and it can be said that it is an unprecedented declaration of a national policy toward the realization of permanent peace in human society. In addition, by reading the Preamble and Article 9 of this Peace Constitution with an open mind, one can see that it is the universal principle for the realization of permanent peace in human society and clearly shows the road on which human society should proceed. The spirit of the Peace Constitution of Japan is vitally significant not only for Japan, but for the future of the world. It is by no means an overstatement to say that this Peace Constitution is one of the greatest treasures given not only to the people of Japan, but to all of humanity.
Movements toward Renouncing Egoism in Countries throughout the World
The preceding proposal directed toward the people of Japan explains the essential spirit of the Peace Constitution of Japan as being more active, rather than passive. Further, it is proposed that now of all times in Japan, as a proactive and concrete measure, let us raise and make vigorous a trend for Japan to aspire toward the realization of a "Nation for International Peace and the Environment".
In this "Proposal ─ For the People All Over the World", I would like to propose that in each country throughout the world, through cooperation with each other, let us heighten a trend and movement to aspire for becoming a "renouncing egoism nation", or specifically, a "nation for international peace and the environment". Fundamentally, the essential spirit of the Peace Constitution of Japan is not the possession of any person or country. It was given to all of us, all of humanity. In order for each country to aspire for becoming a "nation for international peace and the environment", wouldn't it be a very concrete and effective measure for each country to incorporate the essential spirit of the Peace Constitution of Japan into its own constitution, and to create a movement to make "renouncing egoism nation" the country's fundamental policy?
If many people around the world share their wisdom, other ideas will arise for ways to bring to fruition a "nation for international peace and the environment". Not only through the cooperation of the people and organizations within each country, but as global citizens, through the cooperation of people and organizations across national borders, I hope a situation is created in which the nations of the world vie to bring to reality a "renouncing egoism nation" as soon as possible.
Let Us Strive for Fundamental Resolution of Each Problem
As reiterated several times from the beginning of this book, environmental destruction and other problems are in a far more serious situation than many people imagine. At this rate, it is highly likely that the lives and livelihoods of many billions of people will be lost. It is so serious that notable intellectuals warn that the human race may perish. The time remaining for us is becoming shorter and shorter. I believe that the people around the world must engage in fundamental and effective measures even one day sooner.
I believe that if extensive cooperation beyond national borders can be realized following in line with the proposal described here, we can shift away from the direction toward the destruction of human society, and ultimately, not only overcome the crisis of humanity, but minimize the damage. If this becomes the case, although conflicts may remain regionally and between religions, it will become the cornerstone for the entire human society upon which to build a new civilization based on the spirit of coexistence.
To overcome this unprecedented crisis, in addition to symptomatic treatment methods, we must search for the fundamental cause of this crisis and implement fundamental treatment measures to remove the cause itself. Although the proposal in this book follows this way of thought, by no means do I think that it is the best method and that there are no other methods. If there are other good methods, they should be promoted. However, as far as I know, it appears that a means of fundamentally overcoming the crisis of humanity still has not been found. In that case, engaging in activities in line with this proposal would be a practical road to take. Does that sound reasonable?
Through the Cooperation of People around the World
This proposal only indicates the fundamental direction for overcoming the crisis of humanity. I hope that if you agree with this fundamental way of thinking, through the cooperation of everyone, this proposal will become an even more concrete measure, become fleshed out, and grow to become a large movement. At the same time, instead of being bound only to this proposal, I would like for everyone to share their ideas for means to fundamentally resolve the crisis of humanity.
To Protect the Peace Constitution of Japan
Lastly, I would like to ask a favor of the people around the world. At present, in Japan, the movement to revise the Peace Constitution and make it into a "constitution that enables warfare" is becoming extremely strong. This would be reverting the nation's fundamental principle to the national egoism of the past, and would be regressing in history. It is a situation of great concern. This movement can be considered as something arising from a lack of awareness of the critical situation of the human society, and from a near-sighted way of thought steadfastly pursuing immediate economic profits.
If the Peace Constitution of Japan were revised, that would be an irrevocable loss not only for Japan, but for the future of the entire human society. I would like you to deeply understand the significance of this historical Peace Constitution of Japan, and ask for the tremendous support of everyone in protecting the Peace Constitution and drawing forth its full potential
Shohei Nomura April 8, 2008
from the book: BEYOND NATIONAL EGOISM
The Road to a Nation for International Peace and the Enviroment
by SHOHEI NOMURA
Mamizu-Shuppan Publishing Company
written in Japanese (Nanatsumori Shokan 2007)
A Country's Ideal and the Constitution – The Road to a Nation for International Peace and the Environment
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