February 25, 2022
Japan Federation of Newspaper Workers’ Unions
Mami Yoshinaga （Executive Committee Chairperson）
Russian’ invasion of Ukraine was launched on February 24, 2022, when President Vladimir Putin of Russia declared the start of a military operation in eastern Ukraine on television.
Missile attacks hit military installations in the Ukrainian capital of Kiev and other cities, and Ukraine’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Dmytro Kuleba said that Russia had “launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine.” U.S. President Joe Biden publicly condemned Russia’s action, issuing a statement saying that “President Putin has chosen a premeditated war that will bring a catastrophic loss of life and human suffering”. We have already heard the news of explosions that have taken place in Kiev, along with reports of deaths. War is the most brutal human act of violence, which additionally deprives people of their precious lives and livelihoods, aggravates conflicts and hatred, brings chaos to the world economy, and accelerates environmental destruction.
The Japan Federation of Newspaper Workers’ Unions strongly rejects this war, and we will not tolerate any inhumane acts to be committed. We call upon the Russian military in the strongest possible terms to halt its invasion and withdraw from Ukraine immediately.
President Putin stated in his speech that “our actions are self-defence against threats”, and claimed that the Kremlin had no plans to occupy Ukraine. This claim is totally unacceptable, however, as it is obvious that this military invasion violates Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty, and is an act of aggression in violation of international law.
The UN Charter stipulates as follows: “All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations.”
Since Russia is a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, which was established to avert war and the use of armed force, we urge President Putin to respect Ukraine’s sovereignty and seek a pathway of conflict resolution through peaceful measures as stipulated by the UN Charter.
Article 9 of the Constitution of Japan states: “Aspiring sincerely to an international peace based on justice and order, the Japanese people forever renounce war as a sovereign right of the nation and the threat or use of force as means of settling international disputes.” The Japanese government, which aspires to create a world of peace, has the responsibility to take a firm stand against Russia’s hegemonic and domineering acts of violence, which disrupt the international order; and to do its utmost to explore avenues for negotiating a diplomatic settlement in solidarity with global citizens who seek peace. Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida promised to never repeat the horrors of war following our nation’s deep remorse for the Second World War, and we strongly urge him to exercise utmost efforts to help peacefully resolve the conflict unleashed by this invasion.