August 15 is a day Japan has once pledged never
to repeat the mistakes of exercizing armed conducts and occupation.August
15 has come, this year, in a whirlwind of successive legislations that betray
this pledge. Sending troops to Iraq, that is to a country invaded on falsely
provided grounds, is to participate in the US-led war and occupation. It
is also to coerce the Japanese Self Defence Force personnel into a kind
of relationship with the Iraqi people that is to kill and to be killed.
We are also faced with incidents of blatent acts
that are intended to deny gender equality and to justify control over women's
bodies. The Diet has recently passed a legislation aimed at promoting increase
in reproduction without recognizing individual rights to choose whether
or how to give birth.
Many diet members and scholars are not ashamed to make public statements
such as "childless women should be denied welfare payments in old age,"
"women who are subjected to sexual violence are responsible for it"
"gender-based freedom is a dangerous ideology."
The pre-war state of Japan exercized control over women's bodies to carry
out its invasion and occupation policies. The infamous policy of "breed
and procreate" imposed upon Japanese women the role of a "soldier's
mother." Women participated in this policy actively or in silence.
Meanwhile, women of countries invated by Japan were subjected to sexual
We shall never again allow Japan to exercize state
control over our bodies or over bodies of people in other countries. We
shall not let Japan ignore or forget its crimes from the past war. We shall
not close our eyes, as Japan participates in the US-led war or invasion.
We refuse to stay silent.
WOMEN IN BLACK was first organized in 1988 in Israel to protest against
the occupation in Palestine. Women In Black has developed into an international
network of women resising war, militarism and violence against women, charactarized
by silent street protests in black garment that symbolizes morning.
Women In Black began in Japan after September 11,
2001. Women of diverse generation and career gathered in Tokyo to protest
in view of morning for victims of terrorist attack, US-led attacks in Afghanistan
and cases of violence around the world. Women In Black has since then held
regular standings on various themes.
Women In Black Tokyo understands that silence imposed
by fear and the exercize of control by force are not limited to undertakings
of certain armed groups but are deeply embedded in society and history that
we live in.
We protest against states and orders in the world
that create violence. We wear black to show mourning for the victims of
violence, and stand on streets in silence protest.
This action consists of active participation by
individuals who support the above stated mission. Anyone is welcome to join
the standing at any time during the action. Please stand with us in silence.