Open Letter by Japanese and Korean Academics. Please Take Steps Now for an End to the Ukraine War.

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We express our respect for the tireless actions for peace you have undertaken as United Nations Secretary General. We also have deep respect for your repeated expression of your views as Secretary-General on the Ukraine war and your efforts to mediate a ceasefire over the more than 100 days since the Russian invasion.

Concerned over the war in the Ukraine and the resulting humanitarian crisis, we Japanese and Korean citizens and scholars have been appealing to Russian and Ukrainian forces to cease fighting at their present positions and to engage in serious ceasefire talks. Apart from the fierce fighting in the East of Ukraine, other districts have also been affected by the conflict and even now the loss of life day after day is staggering. We believe that, even at this juncture, the UN can take active steps towards a ceasefire so that the slaughter and destruction stops. First, since this is a cruel war of attrition in which soldiers are being slaughtered at the rate of more than 100 per day and civilians are being also killed, it seems to us that in the current situation both Russia and Ukraine can claim they have not been defeated
and both sides could justify a ceasefire.

Following the efforts at mediation by the government of Turkey, the Italian government drew up a concrete ceasefire plan and the government of France has shown a readiness to play a mediating role. Also, the government of the United States, having from the start been calling for Russia to be weakened, has recently shown some restraint over calls for the overthrow of the Putin government, and President Biden in his 31 May letter to the New York Times wrote that “ultimately this war will only definitively end through diplomacy”. Currently Russia is introducing more destructive weaponry and the Ukrainian side in response is being provided with more destructive weapons. If the war is not stopped now, slaughter and destruction will intensify and there will be no end to hatred and the desire for revenge. The possibility of Russia taking recourse to nuclear weapons or widening the conflict into a world war remains high. This war becomes the cause of global food shortages and serious hunger.

Needless to say, a ceasefire is not a peace settlement. For that, the countries concerned have to lay down their weapons, a demilitarized zone has to be agreed between them and the slaughter and destruction stopped. After the UN and global society first obtain such a ceasefire, consultation and negotiation can begin towards a formal settlement. At this point, it will be necessary for the UN and international society to stand between the two parties to work out fair conditions. An international observer force will presumably be necessary to maintain the ceasefire.

Mankind’s bitter history has been to resolve, whenever going to war, never to do so again, only to have that resolve fail and new war break out. After World War I the League of Nations was formed and an anti-war pact agreed, and after World War II the UN was founded. Even during the Cold War when faced with nuclear weapons, states agreed to nuclear control and disarmament measures, including the Non-Proliferation Treaty, and engaged in mutual trust-building measures. We think that mankind has advanced towards prevention and renunciation of war. We maintain hope even when such hope is repeatedly dashed by the reality of cruel war (the Korean War, Vietnam War, Gulf War, Afghanistan War). The concept of “human security” has emerged. The United Nations has been at the forefront of the struggle to keep alight the beacon of hope. We share the views of the Secretary-General and are encouraged by your efforts to mediate a ceasefire. We look forward to your next steps. Hopefully we will be able to shift public opinion in Japan and Korea towards increased support for a ceasefire.

July 2022

Okamoto, Atsushi Former editor-in-chief of Sekai Magazine, Former President of Iwanami Shoten Publishers
Nam, Ki Jeong Professor, Seoul National University
Wada, Haruki Chair, Group of Concerned Japanese Historians, Emeritus
Professor, University of Tokyo
Lee, Hae-Young Professor, Hanshin University, former Vice-president
Akashi, Yasushi Former Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations
Isezaki, Kenji Professor, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies
Haba, Kumiko Professor Emeritus, Aoyama Gakuin University, President,
International Studies Association (ISA), Asia Pacific
Ahn, Byongjin Professor, Kyung Hee University
Byun, Hak-moon Director, KyoReh-Hana Peace Research Center
Cheon, Jung-Hwan Professor, Sung Kyun Kwan University
Chiba, Shin Professor Emeritus, International Christian University (ICU)
Cho, Chansoo Professor, Kangnam University
Choi, Jinseok Chief-Editor, New Radical Review
Choi, Kab Soo Professor Emeritus, Seoul National University
Choi, Seung Hwan Professor Emeritus, Kyung Hee University
Desmond J. Molloy Professor, Paññāsāstra University, Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Fujimoto, Wakio Professor Emeritus, Osaka University & Osaka University of Economics and Law
Gavan McCormack Professor Emeritus, Australian National University, Fellow of Australian Academy of Humanities
Hida, Tsuyoshi Journalist
Hoshino, Eiichi Professor Emeritus, University of the Ryukyus
Iizuka, Takuya Chairperson, National Christian Council in Japan Peace and
Reconciliation Committee on East Asia
Ishihara, Masaie Okinawa International University, Professor Emeritus
Ishizaka, Koichi Former Professor, Rikkyo University
Ito, Takayuki Professor Emeritus, Waseda University & Hokkaido University
Japan Catholic Council for Justice and Peace
Jang, Chang Jun Professor, Hanshin University
Japan Catholic Council for Justice and Peace
Japan International Volunteer Center (JVC)
Jung, Dae-Jin Professor, Professor, Halla University
Kajimura, Taichiro Journalist・Berlin
Kang, Myung Sook Professor, Pai Chai University
Kang, Nae-hui Former Professor, Chung-Ang University
Kang, Sangjung Professor Emeritus, University of Tokyo
Kano, Tadashi Former Professor, Hosei University
Kato, Shiro Professor Emeritus, Aichi Prefectural University
Kim, Chang Hyun Representative, Cooperation for Peace and Prosperity of Korean Peninsula
Kim, Dae Won Professor, University of Seoul
Kim, Dong-Hyuck Professor, Inje University
Kim, Gwi-Ok Professor, Hansung University
Kim, Gyubeom Professor, Peking University
Kim, Han Taek Professor Emeritus, Kangwon National University
Kim, Jin Hyang Chairperson, Kaesong Industrial Complex
Kim, Jin Seok Professor, Seoul Women’s University
Kim, Joon Hyung Professor, Handong Global University, Former Director of Korea National Diplomatic Academy
Kim, Sungjae Rev./Dr. General Secretary of National Christian Council in Japan
Koo, Kab Woo Professor, University of North Korean studies
Koseki, Shoichi Dokkyo University, Professor Emeritus
Lee, Dong-Ki Professor, Kangwon National University
Lee, Heajeong Professor, Chung-Ang University
Lee, Moonyoung Associate Professor, Seoul National University
Lee, Yoochul Research Associate, Inha Center for International Studies, Inha University
Lee, Younghoon Research Fellow, SKRI
Maja Vodopivec PhD Assistant Professor of Peace and Conflict Studies Leiden University, The Netherlands
Mishima, Kenichi Professor Emeritus, Osaka University
Miyamoto, Kenichi Professor Emeritus of Osaka City university, Professor Emeritus of Shiga University
Miyauchi Katsusuke Writer
Mizushima, Asaho Professor, Faculty of Law, Waseda University
Molloy, Desmond J. Professor, Paññāsāstra University, Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Moon, A-Young Representative, PEACEMOMO
Mori, Kazuko Professor Emeritus, Waseda University
Motohashi, Tetsuya Professor, Tokyo University of Economics
Na, Dongkyu Professor, Inha University
Nagayo, Susumu Professor Emeritus, Waseda University
Narita, Ryuichi Professor Emeritus, Japan Women’s University
Nishi, Masahiko Professor Emeritus, Ritsumeikan University
Nishihara, Renta Rt Revd. Dr, President, Rikkyo University
Bishop, Diocese of Chubu (Mid-Japan), NSKK
Chairperson, Association of Christian Schools in Japan
Nishitani, Osamu Professor Emeritus, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies
Park, Cheon Jo Head of Kaesong Industrial Zone Support Foundation
Park, Sun Song Professor, Dongguk University
Park, Youngkyun Professor, Konkuk University
Saito, Junichi Senior Dean, Faculty of Political Science and Economics, Waseda University
Sakurai, Kunitoshi Professor Emeritus, Okinawa University
Sato, Manabu Professor, Okinawa International University
Seo, Dong-jin Professor, Hanshin University
Shimabukuro, Jun Professor, University of the Ryukyus
Song, Joomyung Professor, Hanshin University
Sonn, Hochul Professor Emeritus, Sogang University
Sun, Jae-Won Professor, Pyeongtaek University
Sung, Weon Yong Professor, Incheon National University
Suzuki, Kunio Co-Representative, Tokyo Network of Citizens and Opposition Parties
Tajima, Yasuhiko Former Professor of Media Law, Sophia University
Takamine, Tomokazu Former President of Ryukyu Shimpo
Tanaka, Hiroshi Professor Emeritus, Hitotsubashi University
Tanaka, Yuko Former President of Hosei University
Taniguchi, Makoto Former Ambassador of Japan to the United Nations, Former
Secretary-General of OECD, Former President of Iwate Prefectural University
Taniyama, Hiroshi Advisor, Japan International Volunteer Center (JVC)
Togo, Kazuhiko Visiting Professor, Global Center for Asian and Regional
Research, University of Shizuoka, Former Ambassador to the Netherlands
Tomita, Takeshi Professor Emeritus, Seikei University
Toyokawa, Koichi Professor, Meiji University
Uchida, Masatoshi Lawyer
Umebayashi, Hiromichi Special Advisor, Peace Depot
Utsumi, Aiko Professor Emeritus, Keisen Jogakuen University
Vodopivec, Maja PhD, Assistant Professor of Peace and Conflict Studies, Leiden University, The Netherlands
Won, Dong Wook Professor, Dong-A University
Yamashiro, Hiroji Co-Representative, Team: No more Okinawan War- Life is a treasure
Yang, Moo-Jin Professor, University of North Korean Studies
Yano, Hideki Japanese Network for Non-Defended Localities.
Yi, Ki Ho Professor, Hanshin University
Yoshida, Hiroshi Associate Professor, Okayama University
Yoshioka, Shinobu Former President of Pen Club, Japan

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