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10 Apr 2010

Spring Love Support Message from Peace Not War Japan Founder Dom Pates

The strive for peace is both a personal effort and a
global endeavour. Individually, we gain peace when
we relax, help someone else out, or intervene to a
void an unnecessary argument. Globally, we work
towards peace when we agree cuts in our nuclear
arsenals, don’t go to war despite economic crises,
or rush to help those affected by nature’s wrath.

For those of us living under military occupation, in
conflict with our neighbours, or under oppressive
regimes, it can be hard to imagine that peace will
one day come. For those of us not living under these
conditions, it can be hard to imagine what life must
be like for those that are. For the people in the slums
of Gaza, the hills of Afghanistan, the villages of
Sudan, even around the bases in Okinawa, it is vital
that there are others around the world who are not
only aware of their plights but are actively working
to build the path towards a just peace for all.

PNWJ is now six years old. When it began, US presidents
did not win Nobel Prizes, but were instead seen by many
as major barriers to peace. We live now in different times,
but the need remains the same – for people, groups and
institutions to keep on articulating that vision of a better
world and continue to push for it.

I am immensely proud that since I left Japan, PNWJ was
taken on by such capable hands that have nurtured it
and carried on the work of building that path towards
peace. My heartfelt gratitude goes out to the team for
their hard work and for making it their own. Respect
also goes out to the organisers of 'Harukaze', the artists,
speakers, volunteers and peace workers that have all
played their part in this event.

Coming together for a gathering such as this, to listen
to others, to think about the meaning of peace or to learn
about something previously unknown, is one personal step
on that path. Joining together under the cherry blossoms
gives your support for that vision of a better world.

Thank you all for coming along and sharing your peace
this weekend. It may be a long road, but it’s the only
journey worth taking.

Dom Pates


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