Keep up with PNWJ.


PNWJ Supports Fundraising Efforts in Burma and Iraq

☆ Progressive Tokyo Groups Gather to Raise Funds for Burma Cyclone Relief
A group of recent MA graduates from the Rotary Peace Center at ICU Tokyo have spearheaded a series of events aimed at raising funds for the survivors of the recent cyclone in Burma.

On Monday, June 2nd, a talent night called "SOS Burma" will be held at What the Dickens pub in Ebisu, which will feature a diverse lineup of local performers and also offer various prizes for giveaway. 100% of the proceeds will be donated to Save The Children (Myanmar), which has been working to provide food, water, shelter, and other emergency assistance following the cyclone disaster. The event is also being supported by other local organizations, including Peace Not War Japan--which will have its CDs on hand for sale--and the Peace Boat.

The same team of organizers also recently held two other events to raise funds for Save The Children: a dinner party held on May 15th at the Pepacafe Forest restaurant in Kichijoji that drew in 17,000 yen, and an outdoor BBQ event on May 25th hosted by Parties for Peace Kitchen, with sponsorship from the Alishan Organic Center and Second Harvest Japan, which raised a total of 44,200 yen.

For up-to-date information on the cyclone and other Burma-related matters, see the website for the Democratic Voice of Burma and The Irrawaddy News Magazine. Avaaz has also organized a fundraising campaign in conjunction with the International Burmese Monks Organization. For more information, see their website.
☆ Iraq Hope Network: Fundraising Drives for Iraqis in Baghdad and Basra

#1: Campaign in Basra to Support Hospitals/Families in Need
(Japan-Iraq Medical Network / JIM-Net)

The city of Basra in southern Iraq was the site of serious renewed fighting beginning in the end of March, when innocent civilians were subjected to hardships such as bombings and home searches by military forces. The Japan-Iraq Medical Network (JIM-Net), which has been working tirelessly in recent years to provide support to Iraqi children with cancer, is now collecting emergency funds to provide support to citizens who continue to suffer in Basra. Donations will cover clean water to local hospitals, as well as food packages (rice, sugar, cooking oil and milk) to around 400 families in need (including ten families whose children are now sick with cancer).

JIM-Net ( dispenses its aid with the support of local, on-the-ground staff who are in touch with citizens’ real daily needs. Donations will be gratefully accepted via the following account (deadline ongoing):

Postal Account #00540-2-94945
Account Name: Japan-Iraq Medical Network (JIM-Net)
In the comment box, please write “Basra.”

#2: Campaign to Support Iraqi Refugees in Baghdad

The population of Iraq is 25 million people, of which 4 million are presently living as refugees both within and outside of Iraq due to the continuing violence and deterioration of stability in their country. The United Nations has recently called the situation in Iraq a humanitarian crisis.

The Iraq Hope Network is now in the midst of round two of a fundraising effort to help refugees living in northern Baghdad, in an area where a quarter of the children have lost parents due to the war and ensuing violence. The money will be used to purchase clothing, school supplies, food items, and other necessities for their basic daily needs.

This past winter, during the round one of the collection drive, donations in the amount of 580,000 yen collected through the Iraq Hope Network allowed the refugees in this area to receive electricity generators, electric heaters, and blanket sets. The 296 children attending the local Adamiya Elementary also received school bags and clothing, as well as 40 heaters for their school.

For more details (Japanese only), please visit the Iraq Hope Diary. Photos of the refugees from the first round of the fund drive are also available here.
Please send all donations to the following bank account no later than June 4th, 2008:

Postal Account #: 02750-3-62668
Account Name: Nahoko Takato (Iraqi Aid Volunteer)
In the comment box, please write “Baghdad.”

     Remember: If we all do something small and put our efforts together, we can make a huge difference!!

(Translation: Tatsuhito Nakamura)


Photos, Video, and Highlights from the Peace and Music Workshop at the Article 9 Conference!

Many, many thanks to those of you who came out to Makuhari Messe during Golden Week to attend the Global Article 9 Conference to Abolish War. The conference itself was a huge success, exceeding all expectations with around 30,000 attendees in four cities across Japan. WOW!! Around 20,000 people came to the main venue in Makuhari Messe, Chiba, to celebrate peace and issue a worldwide appeal for the protection of Japan's peace-celebrating Constitutional Article 9, which is presently in danger of being revised or even eliminated.

Peace Not War Japan was also thrilled to have the opportunity to organize a workshop titled "Exploring the Connections Between Music and Peace" on May 5th, which was a great success. The room was filled to capacity with around 100 people who came to watch our three fabulous musical acts: genre-bending violinist Kaneko Aska together with bass player Yoshino Hiroshi; reggae duo Likkle Mai and the K; and Poly-n-Asian acoustic fusion band Ben Kemp and Uminari. All of the performances were brilliant, and the artists then regrouped together on stage for a fabulous rendition of John Lennon's "Imagine." This was done with no prior rehearsal...true professionals indeed! For a video of the performance, click here. (Many thanks to tireless peace activist Yumi Kikuchi for helping us publicize this workshop, and also making the video available on her excellent blog and podcast site along with a great post about the conference itself.)

Aska, Mai, and Ben were then joined on stage by broadcaster Peter Barakan, who consistently brings a strong and principled voice for peace and justice across the radio airwaves (not to mention some fabulous music!). Peter asked the artists to share their thoughts regarding the role that music can play in bringing about peace in the world today--whether personal or spiritual or political. Indeed, everyone had something intriguing and thought-provoking to share in this regard.

To give just a taste: Ben Kemp gave the thoughtful analogy of one's sense of inner peace as a garden that must be tended to continually and lovingly--watering, pruning, and weeding, so to speak--before moving on to the next level of peace in the world at large. Likkle Mai then shared her experience of always striving to use her position as record label owner and radio DJ (in addition to vocal performer) to spread her message of peace and love as far and wide as possible. Kaneko Aska went on to describe the connection she feels with audiences while performing onstage, whereby subtle energies and vibrations are transmitted that she hopes then move on to connect with others and contribute toward a more peaceful, spiritually conscious world. Finally, Peter Barakan described real-life examples of music leading people toward nonviolence, such as the Afro-reggae youth movement depicted in the Brazilian documentary film Favela Rising.

Peace Not War Japan greatly appreciates all of the participating artists and event volunteers, as well as everyone else who came out to share their holiday to support Article 9 and a world based upon love, peace, sharing, justice and hope. We also thank everyone who purchased our CD, which allowed us to make a 11,000 yen donation (50% of the proceeds) to the Article 9 conference.

Domo Arigatou, Everyone!!

RSS Feed

Recent Posts