Sunday, August 23, 2009

Costa Rica Declares a Ministry of Peace

While Japan continues to campaign for a Ministry for Peace [See:] , Costa Rica has become the third country in the world to form one. See announcement below.

----------------------- Original Message -----------------------
From: Peter Prontzos <>
Date: Fri, 21 Aug 2009 18:20:25 +0000 (GMT)


The Costa Rica Congress has passed the Bill creating the Ministry of Justice and
Peace and becomes the third country to have such a Minister. The others are
Nepal and the small Pacific island nation of the Solomon Islands. The Nepalese
Minister of Peace and Reconstruction will speak at the Global Alliance Summit
for Ministries and Departments of Peace in Costa Rica, September 17-21, 2009,
and, of course, we anticipate that the new Costa Rica minister will speak also.

Congratulations are due to Rita Marie Johnson and her team at the Rasur
Foundation, the principal NGO voice for a Minister of Peace, who worked for 3
years on this project. She has particularly noted that holding the Global
Alliance Summit in CR accelerated and added impetus to the passing of this Bill.
The Global Alliance has shown its ability to assist in moving forward our
objective to create ministers of peace in all nations.

In Japan, where the 3rd Summit was held in September 2007, that Summit assisted
in the further strengthening of the threatened Article 9 in the Japanese
Constitution, the article that prevents Japan from acting as a belligerent
against any other nation and renounces war as a vehicle of resolving conflict.
To date, despite considerable pressure from the US and the wishes of the
conservative parties in Japan, Article 9 remains intact as a model clause for
every nation's constitution.

Please circulate this good news widely and consider joining our strong Canadian
delegation of 9 delegates to date to the Costa Rica Summit.

In peace,

Saul Arbess, Co-chair
Canadian Department of Peace Initiative(CDPI)

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Departures [Okuribito] (2008)

Departures [Okuribito] (2008) won the 2009 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. In his review of Departures, Bret Fetzer says,
Departures is surely the gentlest, sweetest movie about death that you will ever see. ... Though it starts out quietly and even seems slight, it gradually builds in emotional power, layer by layer, until scene after scene at the end is richly moving. Particularly affecting is the performance of Kimiko Yo, the secretary of the company, who harbors a troubling secret. A few moments of overt symbolism push the movie from compassion to sentimentality--but every time Departures seems to have lost its footing, a scene follows that strikes all the right notes so deftly it resonates like a bell. A truly marvelous movie. [Source:, 2009]
Part 1 of 8:

Find more videos like this on kanupipi123

Part 2 of 8:

Find more videos like this on kanupipi123

Part 3 of 8:

Find more videos like this on kanupipi123

Part 4 of 8:

Find more videos like this on kanupipi123

Part 5 of 8:

Find more videos like this on kanupipi123

Part 6 of 8:

Find more videos like this on kanupipi123

Part 7 of 8:

Find more videos like this on kanupipi123

Part 8 of 8:

Find more videos like this on kanupipi123

Friday, August 14, 2009

Teaching for Compassion

Children Full of Life is an award-winning CBC documentary about a fourth-grade class in Kanazawa, northwest of Tokyo. The teacher, Toshiro Kanamori, aims to have students learn to live and practice compassion. By building trust, reflecting and writing honestly about their feelings, and sharing and discussing these feelings with classmates, the students develop a genuine caring for their classmates.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Countdown to Decision: To Eliminate or To Proliferate

Steven Leeper, Chairman of The Hiroshima Peace Culture Foundation, addressed the Webster University "Global Issues: Japan" class (June 9, 2009). He explained:
"... we are at a crucial juncture right now, such that the human family will probably decide ... [in May 2010 at the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference], whether we will get rid of nuclear weapons, or let everybody have them..."
[click on image below to play video]Steven Leeper, Director,
Hiroshima Peace Culture Foundation

Addressing: Webster University Class, "Global Issues: Japan"
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, June 9, 2009

Monday, July 20, 2009

Testimony of a Japanese Soldier in China

Ichiro Koyama is now 88 years old. He was drafted into the Japanese Imperial Army at age 20, and was stationed in Qingtao and Jinan (Shandong Province), China. Koyama tells his story as one in a series of interviews among World War II witnesses published by The Japan Times to commemorate the 64th anniversary of the end of the War. The article (See: includes the video below:

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Queen Noor: Are We Approaching a Nuclear Tipping Point?

In an interview with CNN’s “State of the Union” (July 5, 2009) Queen Noor of Jordan explained that we may be on a path toward a "nuclear proliferation tipping point" from which we may not be able to pull back. See

Obama On "The Gravest Threat to Humanity"

At the conclusion of meetings between Presidents Obama (USA) and Medvedev (Russia), the leaders made a joint statement pledging to work together on nuclear disarmament (April 1, 2009). Obama declared that nuclear weapons "... continues to be the gravest threat to humanity."

In the video clip below from
MSNBC's "Rachel Maddow Show" (April 1, 2009), Queen Noor of Jordan applauds the joint statement and explains the work of Global Zero, the international campaign to eliminate all nuclear weapons.

Related Articles and Videos: