Tokyo Forum

UPF-Japan Forum on Past 70 Years

Japan-2015-04-03-Peace Diplomats Forum Looks Back on 70 Years

Tokyo, Japan—The 23rd Peace Diplomats Forum commemorated the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II and the establishment of the United Nations.

More than 60 people attended the April 3, 2015, forum, including about 30 diplomats from embassies (of whom nine were ambassadors), five former Japanese ambassadors to foreign nations, and a number of leaders from academia, politics, civil society and the private sector.

The keynote speech was given by Ambassador Toshiro Ozawa, former Japanese ambassador to international organizations in Vienna, on the theme of “Japan’s UN Diplomacy: Contributions to International Peace.”

Ambassador Ozawa argued that Japan’s multilateral diplomacy and postwar pacifism were rooted in its participation at the Bandung Conference, a 1955 meeting of African and Asian nations in Indonesia which was the forerunner of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM). It was at Bandung that Japan declared its determination to develop itself as a peaceful nation.

He described Japan’s non-military contributions to peace through Official Development Assistance (ODA) during the Cold War period and direct contributions through UN peacekeeping organizations and other postwar operations.

Ambassador Ozawa mentioned the “proactive contributions to peace” that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe argues for. In the Japanese language the term “pacifism” has positive connotations, he said. He asserted that Japan pursuing proactive pacifism would be more beneficial for the world as a whole than if it practiced passive pacifism.

Dr. Eiji Tokuno, chair of UPF-Japan, opened the forum. Mentioning the UN’s contributions to world peace and prosperity, he said, “The United Nations’ original mission for world peace has not been achieved yet, so more tremendous efforts are needed by not only the UN but also each nation.”

Dr. Yong Cheon Song, regional chair of UPF-Japan, said in his welcoming remarks that, based on the trends and changes of the past 70 years, the world is moving toward becoming one global family composed of sibling nations.

After the Keynote Speech, a productive discussion was held between Ambassador Ozawa and the participants on UN reforms and on the peace operations of Japan.

Also during the forum, three new Ambassadors for Peace were appointed, and the certificates were handed to them by Dr. Song and Dr. Tokuno.

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