Message from Korean Christians – “Guidelines for US-Japan Defense Cooperation”

Stop the Revision to the “Guidelines for US-Japan Defense Cooperation” that is a Threat to the Korean (Chosun) Peninsula as well as to World Peace!

“He shall judge between many peoples,

and shall arbitrate between strong nations far away;

they shall beat their swords into ploughshares,

and their spears into pruning-hooks;

nation shall not lift up sword against nation,

neither shall they learn war anymore.” (Micah 4:3 NRSV)

 

On April 29th, 2015 US President Obama and Japan Prime Minister Abe opened a summit at the White House and agreed upon revisions to the “Guidelines for US-Japan Defense Cooperation” regarding the range of Japanese self-defense forces around the world including the Korean (Chosun) Peninsula. This amendment gives wings to the military buildup of World War II War Criminal Japan, and we cannot cease our dismay that it utilizes a reinforcement of US military supremacy.

At the above Washington summit, the US government not only decided on the revisions to the “Guidelines for US-Japan Defense Cooperation”, but also decided to support Japan’s bid to join the UN Joint Security Council as a permanent member. This is the US granting exoneration to Japan for its war crimes including mobilization of comfort women (sex slaves) and the Nanjing massacre among other war crimes. This US-Japan agreement surely insults those Asians and especially Koreans who suffered under Japanese Occupation. Particularly because of this situation where Japan refuses to take any responsibility for its military invasion, we have no way to suppress our anger.

Moreover this revision of the “Guidelines for US-Japan Defense Cooperation” can be nothing other than a huge catastrophe to the Korean (Chosun) Peninsula which is situated in an explosive state of division. If the US, through this revision, allows for the Japanese army’s landing on the Korean (Chosun) Peninsula in a state of emergency, the peaceful reunification of the Korean Peninsula will be jeopardized, and the extremely unstable state of affairs between the South and North (North and South) will persist.

In addition, this strengthening of the US-Japan defense cooperation will neutralize what was the exclusively defensive nature of Japanese defense policy. This will result in a serious arms race throughout East Asia, which will obviously threaten human and economic interdependence as well as peace and security in the entire region.

Encapsulating public opinion that yearns for peace in the Korean (Chosun) Peninsula as well as in East Asia and the world, we, two churches, state our position as follows:

  1. Immediately abolish the revisions to the “Guidelines for US-Japan Defense Cooperation” which threatens peace in Asia and the world beyond.
  2. The US Government must abandon its desire for military supremacy and convert to the peaceful diplomacy of dialogue and cooperation.
  3. The Japanese Government must apologize before the world for its war crimes, abide by its Peace Constitution, and halt its desire for increasing militarization.
  4. Christians in South and North (North and South), for maintaining peace in the Korean (Chosun) Peninsula as well as in East Asia and the world, along with the churches of the world, should pray and act in solidarity with the forces of conscience around the world longing for peace.

June 8th, 2015

National Council of Churches in Korea (NCCK)     Korean Christian Federation (KCF)