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You may be surprised to learn that the Peace Studies Association of Japan (PSAJ) is the biggest national peace-studies association in the world. Its current individual membership is about 750, with 13 corporate members. Partly because of the language barrier, the fruits of peace studies in Japan have not been widely publicized in the rest of the world, and I hope this short introduction will help rectify this.

1. History

I myself am too young to be able to give a full personal account of peace studies in Japan. The following introduction owes much to Professors Mitsuo Okamoto (1), Tadashi Kawata (2), and Masatsugu Matsuo (3). As in Europe and the United States, a number of individuals were working on the idea of `peace thinking' or `peace philosophy' even before the Second World War (4). Japan's defeat in the war led to the adoption of the `Peace Constitution', which `renounce[s] war as a sovereign right of the nation, and the threat or use of force as a means of settling international disputes'. The scale of Japanese initiatives in regard to the peace movement and peace education was restricted during the post-war occupation, but both trends broke to the surface after the Bikini incident (5) in 1954. Many Japanese people became involved in these activities at least in part because of the memory of the catastrophic events of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

However, it was not until 1964 that peace research really began to blossom in Japan. A small `Research Group on Peace and Disarmament' was established in Tokyo in the autumn of 1964. Two core members of the group--Professor Tadashi Kawata (Tokyo University) and Professor Iwao Munakata (Sophia University)--took part in the first IPRA conference in Groningen (Netherlands) in 1995, and Professor Kawata was elected to the IPRA council. The group, which had between thirty and forty members, changed its name to the `Japanese Peace Research Gathering' in 1966. Its activities included organizing research meetings and publishing a newsletter.

Any description of the development of peace research in Japan must include mention of the great contributions made by Professors Kenneth and Elise Boulding, who taught at the International Christians University from 1963 to 1964. Known as the mother and father of peace research, they supplied vital information and moral support to the Japanese researchers in the formative years of peace research in Japan.

The Peace Studies Association of Japan was set up in Tokyo in September 1973 and at the outset had only 72 members. The PSAJ's purpose is `to focus on conflicts between nations, to carry out scientific research on the causes of any resultant strifes and conditions for peace, and to contribute to academic progress in related fields of study'. Professor Hiroharu Seki (formerly of Tokyo University) was elected as its first president. Since its foundation, the Peace Studies Association has been very active in developing peace research and, as mentioned before, has gradually grown to be the largest national peace-research association in the world. Notable events in relation to IPRA were the election of Professor Yoshikazu Sakamoto (formerly of Tokyo University) as its secretary-general, and the location of the IPRA secretariat in Tokyo until the Budapest conference of 1982. Needless to say, the Peace Studies Association supported the IPRA's activities and secretariat in many ways during this period.

The Asia Peace Research Association (APRA), a regional affiliate of IPRA, was founded in Kanagawa in 1980, and Professor Takeshi Ishida was elected as its first secretary-general. He was succeeded by Professor Sakamoto, and the APRA secretariat was located in Tokyo for a period of about ten years. Professor Kevin Clements took over the role for four years, during which time the secretariat was located in New Zealand and Australia. At the Canterbury conference in New Zealand, the association changed its name to the Asia-Pacific Peace Research Association (APPRA). APPRA now has its secretariat in Mie, and its secretary-general is Professor Katsuya Kodama.

IPRA's fourteenth conference, in 1992, took place in Kyoto, under the joint sponsorship of the Peace Studies Association of Japan and the Science Council of Japan. The conference attracted nearly 500 participants from over 40 countries, and approximately half of these were members of the PSAJ. As one of the host organizations, the PSAJ contributed in large measure to the great success of the conference. About ten presentations from Japanese members were made to the `Peace and Japan' work-group, and some of these were included in the book Peace and Japan edited by Sakia Takayanagi and Kazuya Kodama. (6)

2. Activities

The activities of the Peace Studies Association of Japan include: holding study-groups and lectures, including two major conferences each year and a number of smaller ad hoc meetings; publishing research conducted by the association's members (Annals of PSAJ, Peace Studies (in Japanese), books, and other publications); co-ordinating with other national and foreign academic societies and related institutions, and promoting exchanges among researchers; sponsoring various activities consonant with the purposes of the association.

Foreign readers may be interested to know that the PSAJ publishes a Newsletter available free of charge to all those wanting to know more about the association's activities. In order to promote global networking with similar newsletters, it would be appreciated if notice of the availability and contents of the Newsletter could be included in any suitable publication known to AFB-INFO readers. Anyone wanting a copy of the Newsletter should contact either the PSAJ secretariat or the PSAJ overseas liaison committee. For contact addresses, please refer to the following section on current structure.

3. Current Structure

The present officers of the Peace Studies Association of Japan (until October 1997) are as follows. President: Hatususe Ryuhei; vice-presidents: Alexander Ronni and Ishi Mayako; secretary-general: Matsuo Masatsugu; chairperson of the programme committee: Usui Hisakazu; chairperson of the editorial committee: Ito Takayuki; chairperson of the overseas liaison committee: Yamawaki Keizo, chairperson of the newsletter committee: Kikkawa Gen. PSAJ has also set up fifteen research commissions, and these now form the core for the development of peace studies in Japan. The commissions and their co-ordinators are as follows:

1. `Development and Peace': Motohiko Sato, 22-D3 Ishizuka, Takashiishizukacho, Toyohashi, Aichi 441, Tel.: +81 (532) 47-4111, Fax: +81 (532) 47-4197.

2. `Gender and Peace': Mayako Ishii, 4-18-6 Yoda, Setagayaku, Tokyo 155, Tel.: +81 (3) 3322-2360.

3. `Human Rights': Park Il, 4-21-10, Inabasou, Amagasaki 660, Tel.: +81 (6) 416-6137, Fax: +81 (6) 416-8272.

4. `Civil Society and Peace': Haruhiko Yoshida, 302 Florence Omae, 6-9-22, Nishihara, Asaminamiku, Hiroshima, 731-01, Tel.: +81 (82) 803-1752, e-mail: yoshida@intl.hiroshima-cu.ac.jp.

5. `Culture of Peace': Morio Watanabe, 3-25-25 Maimatsubara, Higashiku, Fukuoka 813, Tel./Fax: +81 (92) 672-0003.

6. `Global Issues': Shinji Sawada, 28-203 Yakumocho, Shouwaku, Nagoya 466, Tel.: +81 (52) 835-3793, Fax: +81 (52) 789-4951.

7. `History of War and Peace': Aiko Utsumi, 1-14-2 Nakayama, Ichikawa 272, Tel.: +81 (473) 35-5002.

8. `Peace Education': Takahiko Ito, 2-4-7-203 Manpukuji, Asaoku, Kawasaki 215, Tel./Fax: +81 (44) 951-1904, e-mail: PAH00314@niftyserve.or.jp.

9. `Ecology': Susumu Takayama, Faculty of Bioresources, Mie University, 1515 Kamihama, Tsu 514, Tel.: +81 (592) 31-9248, Fax: +81 (592) 31, e-mail: takayama@edu.mie-u.ac.jp.

10. `Africa': Osamu Shinohara, 13-1 4 chome, Ushidahigashi, Higashiku, Hiroshima 732, Tel.: +81 (82) 228-0386, Fax: +81 (82) 227-4502.

11. `Nonviolence': Susumu Ishitani, 30-8 Yanagimachi, Kanazawaku, Yokohama 236, Tel./Fax: +81 (45) 784-6200.

12. `Refugee Studies': Kouichi Koizumi, 27-1-1122, 1 chome Wakagi, Itabashiku, Tokyo 174, Tel. +81 (3) 3936-0841 or +81 (493) 34-3113, ext. 6526, Fax: +81 (493) 31-1522.

13. `Disarmament and Security': Mitsuru Kurosawa, 5-29-37, Minamitanabe, Higashisumiyoshiku, Osaka 546, Tel.: +81 (6) 698-5848, Fax: +81 (6) 850-5146, e-mail: kurosawa@law.osaka-u.ac.jp.

14. `Constitution and Peace': Kazuo Ota, 91-2 Wakabacho, Nopporo, Ebetsu 069, Tel.: +81 (11) 383-0277, Fax: +81 (11) 383-1077.

15. `Methods of Peace Studies': Mitsuo Okamoto, 3-32-2 Midorii, Asaminamiku, Hiroshima 731-01, Tel.: +81 (82) 870-8073, e-mail: okamoto@shudo.u.ac.jp.

I hope this brief introduction to the history and organization of peace studies in Japan will promote communication between Japanese peace researchers and their colleagues overseas.

Kazuya Kodama

Contacts: Peace Studies Association of Japan, c/o Institute for Peace Sciences, Hiroshima University, 1-1-89 Higashisendamachi, Nakaku, Hiroshima 730, Japan, Tel.: +81 (82) 542-6979, Fax: +81 (82) 245-0585, e-mail: psaj@ipc.hiroshima-u.ac.jp.


(1) Mitsuo Okamoto, Heiwagaku wo Tsukuru (Creating Peace Studies, in Japanese) (Hiroshima Peace Culture Foundation, 1993).

(2) Tadashi Kawata, Heiwa Kenkyu (Peace Research, in Japanese) (Tokyoshoseki, 1996).

(3) Masatsugu Matsuo, Heiwa Kenkyu Nyumon (Introduction to Peace Research, in Japanese) (Hiroshima Peace Culture Foundation, 1990).

(4) These include Chomin Nakae, Shushui Kotoku, and Kanzo Uchimura.

(5) During the hydrogen-bomb test conducted by the United States on Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands on 1 Mar. 1954, 239 islanders received heavy doses of radiation. Three hours later, the `ashes of death' also fell on the Daigo Fukuryumaru (Lucky Dragon No. 5), a tuna-fishing vessel from Yaizu in Shizuolka Prefecture. When the vessel returned to Yaizu on 14 Mar., all 23 members of the crew were diagnosed as suffering from the effects of radiation. On 23 Sept., crewman Aikichi Kuboyama died. This incident shocked the Japanese public and inflamed feeling against nuclear weapons.

(6) Sakia Takayanagi and Kazuya Kodama (eds.), Peace and Japan (Mie Academic Press, 1993).

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