Archive for June, 2017

Reporting successes and progress made

June 28, 2017

Thanks to you all, numerous cities have now passed resolutions based on the one I drafted opposing Trump’s budget, and now the U.S. Conference of Mayors has done so too, crediting Charlottesville and other cities with leading the way. The U.S. Conference of Mayors also called on all cities to hold public hearings on what they could do with the money now used on militarism, and to pass resolutions calling for money to be moved from the military to human and environmental needs.

Thanks to you all, I’ve been to Russia and back and posted dozens of posts about it at

Thanks to you all, I’ve upgraded my websites. is a new WordPress site that includes all the content from the old Drupal site. is a new WordPress site that links to all the old content on the old Drupal site.

Some dates to put on your calendar:

August 2-6: Peace and Democracy Conference at Democracy Convention in Minneapolis, Minn.

September 22-24: No War 2017 at American University in Washington, D.C.

October 28: Peace and Justice Studies Association Conference

Find more events here.

Some recent work:

U.S. War Justification Is in the Eye of the Beholder

Against Ignoring the KKK

Crackpot Criminality From Abu Through Zubaydah

Talk Nation Radio: Ajamu Baraka on the Black Alliance for Peace

U.S. Conference of Mayors Opposes Military-Heavy Trump Budget

Sanctions Are Crimes, Not Law Enforcement

You’ll Never Guess What Losing Democrats All Have in Common


Talk Nation Radio: Ray McGovern on Russia and Syria

Audio: Alan Grayson versus David Swanson about Russia on Connect the Dots

Audio: Talking Russia on Rick Smith Show

Murder in Suburbia

Nobody Wants Trump in Office More Than Democrats

The Plot to Scapegoat Russia

Are Marxist Antiwar Meetings Anti-Science?

The Unifying Force of War Abolition

Untrump the World — It Won’t Self-Impeach

Kiwi and Me in Moscow

Leftism’s Moment

Talk Nation Radio: Lisa Ling on Killer Drones

How to Vote in Virginia Primaries

Dear Young People Who Laugh at Climate Deniers

Watching Putin Watch Dr. Strangelove

Suzie Dawson on Activism and Journalism in New Zealand and Russia

Our Monuments Don’t Tell The Whole Truth – David Swanson

Brad Pitt Does Stanley McChrystal: When Netflix’ War Movie Stops Being Funny

A Portrait of the CIA in Prison

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Hope to see you at the Democracy Convention

June 24, 2017

Please forward this email to everyone you can. You’d be amazed how many people close to us don’t know about something that we do.

Peace and Democracy Conference at the Democracy Convention, August 2-6, 2017, Minneapolis

Democracy Convention is a multi-issue convention seeking to build a more unified movement. World Beyond War is organizing the Peace and Democracy Conference portion of it, which will run along with 9 other conferences August 2-6, 2017.

Endorsed by Minnesota Alliance of Peacemakers.
And Women Against Military Madness.

Register here.

This agenda is a work in progress:

August 2, 2:00 – 3:15 p.m.: Do People Want Peace? The State of Public Opinion, the Peace Movement, and Governance.
Leah Bolger, Norman Solomon, Kathy Kelly.
Moderator: David Swanson

August 2, 3:30 – 4:45 p.m.: Peace Media.
Maya Schenwar, Bob Koehler, Michael Albert.
Moderator: Mary Dean

August 3, 9:00 – 10:15 a.m.: Peace Culture and Peace Celebrations: Outgrowing Nationalism, Materialism, Machismo, and Exceptionalism.
Suzanne Al-Kayali, Steve McKeown, Larry Johnson and student(s).
Moderator: Kathy Kelly

August 3, 10:30 – 11:45 a.m.: The Case for War Abolition. Why We Can and Must End Our Greatest Crime.
David Swanson, Medea Benjamin.
Moderator: Pat Elder

August 3, 1:00 – 2:15 p.m.: Replacing War Systems with Peace Systems.
Kent Shifferd, Tony Jenkins, Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer, Marna Anderson.
Moderator: Tony Jenkins

August 3, 2:30 – 3:45 p.m.: Peacenvironmentalism. One movement, Indivisible.
George Martin, Kent Shifferd.
Moderator: Ellen Thomas

August 3, 4:00 – 5:15 p.m.: Overcoming Racism, Militarism, and the Militarized Police
Monique Salhab, Jamani Montague, Nekima Levy-Pounds.
Moderator: Bob Fantina

August 3, 7:00 – 7:30 p.m.: Hole in the Ground, Dramatic Reading.
Tim “Brother Timothy” Frantzich.
Moderator: Coleen Rowley

August 4, 9:00 – 10:15 a.m.: Divestment from Weapons Dealers.
David Smith, Tom Bottolene, Pepperwolf.
Moderator: Mary Dean

August 4, 10:30 – 11:45 a.m.: Counter-Recruitment: Lack of Rights Within the U.S. Military
Pat Elder, Bob Fantina, Dick Foley.
Moderator: Leah Bolger

August 4, 1:00 – 2:15 p.m.: Building Local Power for Peace.
Mary Dean, Betsy Barnum, Sam Koplinka-Loehr.
Moderator: David Swanson

August 4, 2:30 – 3:45 p.m.: Building Alliances Across Borders.
Ann Wright plus live Skype to Afghanistan, plus recorded videos from abroad.
Moderator: Pat Elder

August 4, 4:00 – 5:15 p.m.: Nonviolence Training.
Trainers: Mary Dean, Kathy Kelly.

August 5, 8:30 – 9:30 a.m., off-site: Flyering and talking about Frank Kellogg on Kellogg Blvd, and at nearby farmers’ market in St. Paul.

August 5, 10:30 – 11:45 a.m.: Acting Through Local Governments.
Michael Lynn, Roxane Assaf, David Swanson.
Moderator: Tony Jenkins

August 5, 1:00 – 2:15 p.m.: Ending the Nuclear Nightmare.
Marie Braun, Ellen Thomas, Bonnie Urfer.
Moderator: Bob Fantina

August 5, 2:30 – 3:45 p.m.: Peace Education.
Tony Jenkins, Karin Aguilar-San Juan, Amy C. Finnegan.
Moderator: Tony Jenkins

August 5, 4:00 – 5:15 p.m.: Law vs. War and Global Governance Beyond Nations.
David Swanson, Ben Manski, _______.
Moderator: Leah Bolger

August 5, 6:00 p.m., off-site, Commemorative Tea Ceremony at Lyndale Park Peace Garden (4124 Roseway Road, Minneapolis 55419; across from the Rose Garden near Lake Harriet). A meditative beginning to the August atomic bombing commemoration events. The ceremony, led by Yukimakai Tea Study Group, involves the tea master and assistant brewing and serving special matcha green tea to two selected guests. It is a very quiet ceremony. Everyone sits on blankets or lawn chairs (bring your own). The ceremony itself lasts less than a half hour. We begin with meditative music, this year on the violin. The event is free and open to the public. It takes place near the Peace Garden Bridge at the same time that people in Hiroshima are gathering at their peace park.

August 6, 7:30 – 8:30 a.m., off site, Hiroshima-Nagasaki Commemoration at Peace Garden at Lake Harriet (see above)This remembrance of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki has taken place at the Peace Garden since 1985. It climaxes with a moment of silence at 8:15 a.m. when the Hiroshima bomb was dropped. It begins with singing, welcome, telling the story of Sadako and the 1000 cranes, Veterans for Peace ring bells, and guest speaker, David Swanson this year. Our theme this year is disarmament, building on the UN resolution. After the moment of silence, everyone receives a paper crane to put on a tree. This year we will also have a ‘haiku walk’ where people can walk from station to station and read haiku about war and peace. The program begins at the Spirit of Peace sculpture in the Peace Garden and proceeds to the Peace Garden Bridge. These events are sponsored by the Minneapolis St. Paul Hiroshima Nagasaki Commemoration Committee which offers these events to the community to encourage reflection on the past and hope for the future through action in the present. It calls for the total abolition of nuclear weapons throughout the world as one measure of ensuring a just and lasting peace. There is also a Nagasaki Commemoration event on August 8 in the evening in St. Paul.

August 6, 10:30 – 11:45 a.m.: Drafting a Charter.
Moderators: Leah Bolger, Larry Johnson.

Register here.

To table at the convention, sign up here.

Share on Facebook.

Print flyer: PDF.


Don’t miss it! Hope to see you there!
Sign the Declaration of Peace.

Find events all over the world that you can take part in.

Join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Support World Beyond War’s work by clicking here.

Find out why we support World Beyond War:

Raising women’s voices for nuclear sanity

June 23, 2017

It’s time to tear down the old ways of thinking that for generations have led to devastating wars and dangerous arms races. We must make it clear to the Trump administration — which has increased funding for nuclear weapons by 11 percent while slashing healthcare, education and diplomacy — that it does not look or sound like, nor speak for, the whole of American society.

I hope you’ll consider giving what you can to help us elevate new voices to spread this message.


I firmly believe that women are some of our most powerful messengers. Since its founding by disarmament activist Sally Lilienthal in 1981, Ploughshares Fund has recognized women’s significant contributions to peace and security. In recent years we’ve provided over half a million dollars annually to women and women-led initiatives working to rid the world of nuclear threats.

And I’m thrilled to say that starting this year we’re moving forward with a new effort to further amplify women’s voices — and draw out perspectives from a variety of backgrounds — to make our world safe from nuclear threats.

Last month, Ploughshares Fund convened more than 20 women leaders from both inside and outside the traditional arms control community — including leading peace activists, scientists, feminist thought leaders, indigenous leaders and academics — to help kick-start this new initiative.

Even though women have long been active in nuclear disarmament — from Women Strike for Peace who led a 50,000 woman-strong, 60-city march in 1961, to last week’s Women’s March to Ban the Bomb in New York — they have not always been supported or heard. As January’s Women’s March showed, our voices can be extraordinarily powerful in demanding the best of our leaders, and of our democracy.

So please, join us in making sure women’s voices are heard, and in changing the course of our future so that our children and grandchildren can live without the threat of nuclear weapons.

Thanks to one devoted donor deeply concerned about our future, all new and increased gifts will be matched — dollar for dollar — up to $125,000. Please consider a gift today.

Be assured, whatever you can donate will help make a real difference as we meet head-on the challenges before us. Together, I know we can achieve a more peaceful, secure and just world.


Mary Lloyd Estrin, Board Chair
Ploughshares Fund

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Copyright © Ploughshares Fund, All rights reserved.
Photo: Meredith Horowski, Global Campaign Director, Global Zero; Christine Ahn, founder and International Coordinator, Women Cross DMZ; and Erica Fein, Nuclear Weapons Policy Director, Women’s Action for New Directions
Our mailing addresses are:
1808 Wedemeyer Street, Suite 200 | The Presidio of San Francisco San Francisco, CA 94129 | TEL 415.668.2244

1100 Vermont Avenue NW, Suite 300 | Washington, DC 20005 | TEL 202.783.4401

Upcoming events all over the world are listed here.

June 19, 2017

A few highlights:

Jun 16-18 – Richmond, Va. – United National Antiwar Coalition (UNAC) annual conference

Jun 17 – New York, NY – Women’s March to Ban the Bomb

Jun 17 – Chicago, IL – Women’s Demonstration to Ban the Bomb

Aug 2-6: Minneapolis, MN – Democracy Convention, including Peace and Democracy Conference organized by World Beyond War

NEW: Sep 22-24 NO WAR 2017 at American University in Washington, D.C. Put it on your calendar now. The focus of this yet-to-be-named conference and action will be on activism and bringing together the peace and environmental movements.

Let us know about any event you’re planning. Resources with which to create an event are here.

We Need Your Help for a Travel Fund

We’ve scraped together the funds to hire a fulltime organizer and halftime education coordinator, as well as a halftime director. We have a fantastic speakers’ bureau.
We have new chapters and potential chapters, affiliates, and friends that need our organizer to come help them in person, and she’s willing to do it.

We have people who would like our speakers to come speak, and they’re willing to do it.

We have other speakers we’d like to bring to our conference in September, and they’re willing to come.

What we need is a travel fund to cover low-cost transportation. We can always find free lodging and otherwise get by. But we need a transportation budget.

Can you help? A lot or a little? Click here.

The more we raise, the more we can do. We won’t waste a dime.

And we’ll come help YOU organize if we possibly can and you invite us.

Click here.


U.S. Conference of Mayors to Vote on Our Resolution

June 19, 2017

U.S. Conference of Mayors to Vote on Our Resolution to Support Moving Money from the Military to Human and Environmental Needs
New Haven, CT, Charlottesville, VA, Montgomery County, MD, Evanston, IL (see page 14 of linked document), New London, NH, and Ithaca, NY, have passed resolutions opposing the Trump budget’s moving of money from everything else to the military, urging that money be moved in the opposite direction.

Those passed by Ithaca and New Haven will be voted on by the U.S. Conference of Mayors.

Ask your mayor to contact the U.S. Conference of Mayors now to endorse resolutions #59 and #60.

Your town or city or county can also go ahead and pass its own. For more tips and sample materials from Ithaca, NY, click here.

You can also watch/listen to this webinar done with Code Pink and U.S. Peace Council.

Steps you can take:

Contact to ask for help
Form a coalition of local groups concerned about the cuts, the military increase, or both
Find out how to speak publicly at local government meetings and how to submit a proposal or get one on the agenda for a vote; or ask council members/ aldermen / supervisors to sponsor it.
Collect organizations’ or prominent people’s or lots of people’s names on a petition
Hold rallies, press conferences
Write op-eds, letters, go on radio, tv
Use to calculate local trade-offs
Make use of this petition signed by many prominent people and over 20,000 people total
Revise the draft below:
Resolution Proposed for __________, ___

Whereas President Trump has proposed to move $54 billion from human and environmental spending at home and abroad to military spending[i], bringing military spending to well over 60% of federal discretionary spending[ii],

Whereas polling has found the U.S. public to favor a $41 billion reduction in military spending, a $94 billion gap away from President Trump’s proposal,

Whereas part of helping alleviate the refugee crisis should be ending, not escalating, wars that create refugees[iii],

Whereas President Trump himself admits that the enormous military spending of the past 16 years has been disastrous and made us less safe, not safer[iv],

Whereas fractions of the proposed military budget could provide free, top-quality education from pre-school through college[v], end hunger and starvation on earth[vi], convert the U.S. to clean energy[vii], provide clean drinking water everywhere it’s needed on the planet[viii], build fast trains between all major U.S. cities[ix], and double non-military U.S. foreign aid rather than cutting it[x],

Whereas even 121 retired U.S. generals have written a letter opposing cutting foreign aid[xi],

Whereas a December 2014 Gallup poll of 65 nations found that the United States was far and away the country considered the largest threat to peace in the world[xii],

Whereas a United States responsible for providing clean drinking water, schools, medicine, and solar panels to others would be more secure and face far less hostility around the world,

Whereas our environmental and human needs are desperate and urgent,

Whereas the military is itself the greatest consumer of petroleum we have[xiii],

Whereas economists at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst have documented that military spending is an economic drain rather than a jobs program[xiv],

Be it therefore resolved that the ____________ of ___________, ________, urges the United States Congress to move our tax dollars in exactly the opposite direction proposed by the President, from militarism to human and environmental needs.

[i] “Trump to Seek $54 Billion Increase in Military Spending,” The New York Times, February 27, 2017,

[ii] This does not include another 6% for the discretionary portion of veterans’ care. For a breakdown of discretionary spending in the 2015 budget from the National Priorities Project, see

[iii] “43 Million People Kicked Out of Their Homes,” World Beyond War, / “Europe’s Refugee Crisis Was Made in America,” The Nation,

[iv] On February 27, 2017, Trump said, “Almost 17 years of fighting in the Middle East . . . $6 trillion we’ve spent in the Middle East . . . and we’re nowhere, actually if you think about it we’re less than nowhere, the Middle East is far worse than it was 16, 17 years ago, there’s not even a contest . . . we have a hornet’s nest . . . .”

[v] “Free College: We Can Afford It,” The Washington Post, May 1, 2012,

[vi] “The World Only Needs 30 Billion Dollars a Year to Eradicate the Scourge of Hunger,” Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations,

[vii] “Clean Energy Transition Is A $25 Trillion Free Lunch,” Clean Technica, / See also:

[viii] “Clean Water for a Healthy World,” UN Environment Program,

[ix] “Cost of High Speed Rail in China One Third Lower than in Other Countries,” The World Bank,

[x] Non-military U.S. foreign aid is approximately $25 billion, meaning that President Trump would need to cut it by over 200% to find the $54 billion he proposes to add to military spending

[xi] Letter to Congressional leaders, February 27, 2017,

[xii] See

[xiii] “Fight Climate Change, Not Wars,” Naomi Klein,

[xiv] “The U.S. Employment Effects of Military and Domestic Spending Priorities: 2011 Update,” Political Economy Research Institute,


10. Be prepared for the argument that a national issue is not your locality’s business:

The most common objection to local resolutions on national topics is that it is not a proper role for a locality. This objection is easily refuted. Passing such a resolution is a moment’s work that costs a locality no resources.

Americans are supposed to be directly represented in Congress. Their local and state governments are also supposed to represent them to Congress. A representative in Congress represents over 650,000 people — an impossible task.Most city council members in the United States take an oath of office promising to support the U.S. Constitution. Representing their constituents to higher levels of government is part of how they do that.

Cities and towns routinely and properly send petitions to Congress for all kinds of requests. This is allowed under Clause 3, Rule XII, Section 819, of the Rules of the House of Representatives. This clause is routinely used to accept petitions from cities, and memorials from states, all across America. The same is established in the Jefferson Manual, the rule book for the House originally written by Thomas Jefferson for the Senate.

In 1798, the Virginia State Legislature passed a resolution using the words of Thomas Jefferson condemning federal policies penalizing France.

In 1967 a court in California ruled (Farley v. Healey , 67 Cal.2d 325) in favor of citizens’ right to place a referendum on the ballot opposing the Vietnam War, ruling: “As representatives of local communities, board of supervisors and city councils have traditionally made declarations of policy on matters of concern to the community whether or not they had power to effectuate such declarations by binding legislation. Indeed, one of the purposes of local government is to represent its citizens before the Congress, the Legislature, and administrative agencies in matters over which the local government has no power. Even in matters of foreign policy it is not uncommon for local legislative bodies to make their positions known.”

Abolitionists passed local resolutions against U.S. policies on slavery. The anti-apartheid movement did the same, as did the nuclear freeze movement, the movement against the PATRIOT Act, the movement in favor of the Kyoto Protocol (which includes at least 740 cities), etc. Our democratic republic has a rich tradition of municipal action on national and international issues.

Karen Dolan of Cities for Peace writes: “A prime example of how direct citizen participation through municipal governments has affected both U.S. and world policy is the example of the local divestment campaigns opposing both Apartheid in South Africa and, effectively, the Reagan foreign policy of “constructive engagement” with South Africa. As internal and global pressure was destabilizing the Apartheid government of South Africa, the municipal divestment campaigns in the United States ramped up pressure and helped to push to victory the Comprehensive Anti-Apartheid Act of 1986. This extraordinary accomplishment was achieved despite a Reagan veto and while the Senate was in Republican hands. The pressure felt by national lawmakers from the 14 U.S. states and close to 100 U.S. cities that had divested from South Africa made the critical difference. Within three weeks of the veto override, IBM and General Motors also announced they were withdrawing from South Africa.”

11. Remember that Trump has not proposed a smaller or larger budget. When people only oppose the “cuts,” as the cities of Pittsburgh and Ann Arbor have done, others will reflexively argue against “big government.” But that whole tired debate has nothing to do with Trump’s budget proposal, which is for the same sized budget as last year — except with $54 billion moved from everything else to the military. So you have to oppose the military increase as well as the cuts to everything else, if you want anyone to understand what’s going on — and if we hope to stop it.

12. Use this action to form a new World Beyond War chapter.

What residents said to the City Council in Charlottesville, Va.: VIDEO.

Sign the Declaration of Peace.

Find events all over the world that you can take part in.

Join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Support World Beyond War’s work by clicking here.

Find out why we support World Beyond War:

Help Ban the Bomb!

June 19, 2017


The breakthrough global initiative to negotiate a treaty to ban nuclear weapons just as the world has done for chemical and biological weapons will resume negotiations at the UN in New York on June 15. By July 7, the final day of the negotiations, we expect governments to adopt a historic treaty.

Call on your government to join the negotiations:

Is your government participating in the ban treaty negotiations? So far, over 130 governments are attending- is yours one of them? See

If not, there is still time to encourage your government to join. Send a message to your Foreign Minister encouraging them to join. Ask your parliamentarians to raise this in parliament. Contact the media.

Support a strong treaty

A draft of the treaty, the Convention to Prohibit Nuclear Weapons, was released on May 22 by Ambassador Elayne Whyte Gómez, President of the negotiating conference. The draft treaty is a good basis for negotiations to continue and includes prohibitions on the use, possession, development, manufacture, deployment, stockpiling and testing of nuclear weapons. It also includes a prohibition on assisting, encouraging or inducing anyone to engage in such activities. It includes the provision of assistance to those affected by nuclear detonations, and recognizes ‘the disproportionate impact of ionizing radiation on maternal health and on girls.’ And it recognizes the role of civil society, including the Hibakusha, survivors of the catastrophic atomic bombing in Japan, in building public conscience for a nuclear-weapon-free world.

However, as negotiations continue, governments and organizations will make suggestions for strengthening the language to achieve the best treaty possible. A range of suggestions have been put forward and many organizations will hold side events during the talks. The negotiations are also scheduled to be webcast, so you can follow from home if you’re not in New York (also with translation into the UN languages). For the latest information, check this real-time blog of the negotiations (and the lead up to them). You can also follow the negotiations on Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #nuclearban.

For background information, see It’s Time to Ban the Bomb,

See also, International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, for general campaign information.

And join or create a march!

Jun 17 – New York – Women’s March to Ban the Bomb

Jun 17 – Chicago IL – Women’s Demonstration to Ban the Bomb! – Chicago

Find or create a new march anywhere:
Sign the Declaration of Peace.

Find events all over the world that you can take part in.

Join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Support World Beyond War’s work by clicking here.

Find out why we support World Beyond War:

Ban the Bomb, Spread the Abolition

June 19, 2017

The draft text of the new treaty to ban nuclear weapons was released last week.

Alice Slater writes about the topic here, and David Swanson speaks about it on video to here.
The final treaty negotiations open in two weeks at the United Nations in New York City.

A major march to ban the bomb is planned for June 17 in New York here.
World Beyond War is helping to plan marches in Chicago and other cities.

You can search for a march near you or create one anywhere in the world here.

Then tell your country’s government to help lead this effort, or at least follow — or otherwise get out of the way!

Banning nukes is a first key step toward ending war. Please share this email far and wide.


World Beyond War Selfie Contest

World Beyond War is growing into a movement that can influence agendas. We have people signed on, committed to working to end war, in 153 countries.

Let’s show each other what we look like!

Let’s make a public and global statement.

Here’s how:

1. Take a photo of yourself holding up one of these signs (with the blank filled in — use a big, bold, dark marker).


2. Take a photo of yourself holding up one of these signs (with the blank filled in) in front of a military base, a weapons company, a recruitment office, a department of war, a U.S. embassy, another nation’s embassy, a parliament, a royal palace, a bank or financial institution that invests in war, a local office of an elected official, or another piece of the war machine.


Make up your own sign!


3. Post your photos on social media (such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) along with your location in the world and the tag #worldbeyondwar.

We will publish a collection of the best photos and offer prizes (banners, shirts, books, etc.) to the winners.

Find all the hashtagged photos on Facebook, on Twitter, and on Instagram.

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The world most comprehensive timeline of nuclear weapon

June 19, 2017


The world most comprehensive timeline of nuclear weapon



Abe’s support slumps amid doubts about school scandal

June 19, 2017

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe speaks during an Upper House Budget Committee meeting of Parliament in Tokyo, Friday, June 16, 2017. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe Photo: AP

Today 09:10 am JST 10 Comments
Support for Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe slumped more than 10 points to 44.9% in a public opinion poll published on Sunday, amid opposition party suspicions he used his influence unfairly to help a friend set up a business.

Abe has repeatedly denied abusing his authority to benefit his friend. His grip on power is not in danger, given his ruling coalition’s huge majority in parliament, but the affair looks unlikely to fade away.

The education ministry unearthed documents last week that the opposition said suggested Abe wanted a new veterinary school run by a friend to be approved in a state-run special economic zone. The ministry had earlier said it could not find the documents but reopened the probe under public pressure.

Opposition politicians and the media have identified Abe’s friend as Kotaro Kake, the director of the Kake Educational Institution, which wants to open a veterinary department. The government has not approved new veterinary schools for decades because of concern about a glut of veterinarians.

Nearly 85% of voters responding to a Kyodo news agency survey said they did not think the government probe had uncovered the truth of the affair and almost 74 percent were not persuaded by the government’s insistence that there was nothing wrong with the approval process.

The institution has said it had acted appropriately.

Voters were split over last week’s enactment by parliament of a controversial law that will penalise conspiracies to commit terrorism and other serious crimes, with 42.1% in favor and 44% against the legislation, Kyodo said.

The government says the new legislation is needed so Japan can ratify a U.N. treaty aimed at global organised crime and prevent terrorism in the run-up to the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.

Opponents say it will allow police to trample on civil liberties by expanding the scope for surveillance.

The ruling coalition pushed the law through parliament last week, taking the rare step of skipping a vote in committee and going directly to a full session of parliament’s upper house.

Almost 68% of voters expressed dislike of that rarely used tactic, Kyodo said.

© Thomson Reuters 2017.

Retreating from the Tokyo Plympic Games

June 17, 2017

Dear Friends,

The results of the nation-wide referendum among the listeners
conducted on 17 June by the Hiroshi Kume’s wide-show program entitled
“Should we retreat from the the Tokyo Olympic Games 2010 ?”
are extremely impressive.All age categories except “under 19 years old”
have overwhelmingly supported the retreat from the 2020 Olympic Games.
The results could not but have a far reaching impact on this vital issue.
The future of Fukushima depends on it.

This development coincides with another significant one.
In a surprise move, the International Olympic Committee announced on 16 June
that it was ending its Olympic sponsorship deal with Mcdonald.
The fast-food giant pulled out of its current, estimated £40-million-a-year, deal with
the International Olympic Committee more than three years early,
citing a “focus on different priorities”,severing a relationship that dated to 1976.

A new page is being opened as regards the Olympic Games 2020.

Mitsuhei Murata
Former Ambassador to Switzerland