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Statement protesting Russia’s invasion of Ukraine



Statement protesting Russia’s invasion of Ukraine
Tsukasa Takimoto, General Secretary of Japan Teachers‘ Union

On February 24, Russia launched a military invasion of Ukraine. Russia excused to try protecting the citizens in eastern Ukraine, where is effectively controlled by pro-Russian armed groups, but the damage of the war has already spread throughout Ukraine. It has been reported that attacks are not only on military facilities, but also civilian casualties have occurred. Acts, such as independence approval and military aggression in eastern Ukraine, violate Ukrainian territory and sovereignty, disrupt international order and significantly disobey against international laws requiring peaceful resolution.

Military acts cannot be allowed for any reasons. We strongly protest Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and hope that the Russian government will immediately withdraw and solve the problem by peaceful means and dialogues not to damage further.

War is the worst violation of human rights. Although the Russian Defence Minister said that “civilians are not threatened”, the fundamental human rights and lives of Ukrainians have been threatened, and many of them have started escaping from the country. International humanitarian law, especially the Geneva Convention, prohibits attacks on civilians and civilian institutions. We sincerely hope that all the people living in Ukraine, especially children, will regain their decent daily lives with smiles as soon as possible.

Under these circumstances, some politicians are trying to start discussions on the revision of Article 9 of the Constitution of Japan. They emphasise that if there is no stance to protect our country by ourselves, Japan will be the same as Ukraine. However, looking at the current situations in Iraq and Afghanistan, it is clear that “peace cannot be created by force.” The Japanese Government should provide humanitarian assistance and work to resolve the situation through dialogue. Furthermore, Japan should strongly urge Russia implying the use of nuclear weapons to restrain themselves as the only country to suffer atomic weapons.

Under our slogan “Never send our children back to the battlefield,” we protest Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and continue efforts against any wars and military acts in solidarity with civil society wishing peace.