Japanese Government Support of RfP Track 1.5 Engagement
Japanese Parliamentarians and the Foreign Ministry Support Religions for Peace Track 1.5 Engagement in Conflict Transformation and Peacebuilding
(13 November 2012 | Tokyo, Japan)
Approximately 30 senior members of the ruling Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) and the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), senior officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as well as members of the Japanese Trustee Group joined a Religions for Peace (RfP) consultation on “Religion and Foreign Policy: Track 1.5 Engagement in Conflict Transformation and Peacebuilding,” at the Lower House in Tokyo on November 13, 2012. Former Prime Minister Mr. Yukio Hatyama from DPJ, former President Mr. Tadakazu Tanigaki of LDP, Deputy Foreign Minister Mr. Kazuya Hashiba, and Ambassador Yasushi Akashi, Former United Nations Under Secretary-General were among the participants.
The formation of a Japanese bi-partisan parliamentary support group for RfP International was initiated in 2005, which has paved the way for the historic first Japanese Official Development Assistance (ODA) for RfP Thailand’s inter-religious conflict transformation project.
Following the welcome and introduction by Rev. Norio Sakai, a RfP International Trustee, Rev. Kyoichi Sugino, RfP Deputy Secretary General, presented the work of RfP in Syria, Myanmar, Thailand and Sri Lanka, and noted the critical bridge between track 1 governmental and track 2 civil society initiatives. He urged the Japanese government to further support the global trend of more institutionalized governments-religious actors’ track 1.5 conflict transformation and peacebuilding. H.E. Mr. Yasushi Akashi, former UN Under Secretary-General, commended the work of RfP International, particularly in Bosnia and Sri Lanka, and commented “the government of Japan has been oversensitive about the constitutional limitations of separation of religion and state, but should now more actively support such important role in reconciliation and peacebuilding played by religious actors and the organization like Religions for Peace.” Venerable Gijun Sugitani, Chairman of RfP Japan, ended the consultation with words of appreciation.
Mr. Yoshikazu Tanigaki, former President of the LDP, stated “I am proud of the fact that the great global movement of Religions for Peace was born in Japan, and now advancing a critical work of interreligious collaboration in various conflict situations across the globe.”
H. E. Mr. Yukio Hatoyama, former Prime Minister of Japan from the DPJ, stressed “the Japanese government’s ODA support for RfP Thailand is a good beginning. There should be a bi-partisan parliamentary support for the Japanese government’s greater engagement in multi-religious initiatives for conflict resolution and peacebuilding.”
Rev. Norio Sakai and the Japanese Trustee Group led by Mr. Tsuneaki Tanaka have facilitated the process of building multi-stakeholder partnerships in Japan for the work of RfP International. The Japanese Trustee Group has also provided seeds funding for RfP International’s conflict transformation projects in Sri Lanka, Thailand and Myanmar.
Ms. Valerie Nash
Religions for Peace, 777 United Nations, Plaza, New York, NY 10017, USA
Tel: +1 212-687-2163 | Fax: +1 212-983-0098 | www.religionsforpeace.org | E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org