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Statement on the Invasion of Ukraine by Russia

Chairperson’s Statement Opposing the Military Invasion of Ukraine by Russia

Yuriko Ito, Representative Director, Seikatsu Club Co-operative Consumers’ Union 

Russia has launched a military invasion against Ukraine, destroying the lives of citizens living in Ukraine and causing many fatalities, including among the soldiers of both armies, while refugees fleeing into neighboring countries total more than a million people. Russia has even hinted that it might use nuclear weapons. As the country that has suffered the experience of the horrendous nuclear tragedies of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and as the country that has experienced large-scale radioactive contamination due to the severe accident at Tokyo Electric Power Company’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station at the time of the Great East Japan Earthquake disaster in 2011, we resolutely protest and oppose the military invasion of Ukraine by Russia. 

There is no just war. Japan must never again walk the foolish path of the mutual taking of precious lives, and we should never forget this, however much time passes. Is it not precisely to spread to the whole world the intent of the renunciation of war enshrined in the Constitution of Japan that is the role the people of the world expect of Japan? We demand that the Japanese government take the lead in peace diplomacy that does not require recourse to military force. It is at a time like this when we express strong misgivings concerning the political moves that aim to revise Article 9 (renunciation of war) of the Constitution.

We are a consumers’ co-operative union which is implementing activities toward raising domestic and regional self-sufficiency based on the “FEC Network” initiative (F = Food, E = Energy, C = Care). Thus far, we have made efforts to raise food self-sufficiency together with domestic producers, and have also built sound and equal trade relations with overseas producers. Since the nuclear accident in 2011, we are also taking action to raise the self-sufficiency of renewable energy. We are doing this to make it unnecessary for Japan, with its low self-sufficiency, to have to buy up food from other countries in order to feed itself, and also not to steal food and energy from future generations. We are also pushing forward with activities that aim for peace through international exchanges at the citizen level, including cooperation with consumers’ co-operatives. 

We are extremely concerned that the military invasion that is now occurring will destroy the foundation for the building of voluntary and free future societies by citizens. As one of the organizations that is a part of today’s Japanese society, we have a responsibility to steadfastly protect “the right not to kill” and “the right not to be killed” of our children and their children after them. We believe that it is exactly the bequeathing of a sustainable environment and society toward which we should direct our greatest wisdom and efforts.

In our Seikatsu Club Consumers’ Co-operative Union Charter, we proclaim that “Seikatsu Club Consumers’ Co-operative Union stands firmly for non-violence and co-existence in order to protect peace and the environment, the basis for a sustainable economy, society and culture.” In accordance with our philosophy as a consumers’ co-operative, to protect peace, the great premise of people’s livelihoods, we totally oppose any form of military invasion.
 
[March 3, 2022]

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