NAJC Open Letter on Israel-Palestine

National Association of Japanese Canadians

November 17, 2023

The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau, P.C., M.P., Prime Minister of Canada
The Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Deputy Prime Minister
The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Foreign Affairs

Via Email

Dear Prime Minister and Ministers:

Open Letter from the Japanese Canadian Community: Urgent Call for an End to the Deadly Israel-Palestine Conflict

The Japanese Canadian community calls on the Government of Canada to press for:

  • An immediate ceasefire to the fighting in Gaza;
  • The release of all hostages;
  • Increased access to Gaza for humanitarian aid and humanitarian corridors; and
  • Increased action against hate-crimes inflicted upon Arab, Jewish, Muslim and Palestinian communities in Canada.

The National Association of Japanese Canadians expresses its profound horror and shock at the level of brutality, loss of human life and the humanitarian crisis now occurring in Israel and Palestine. Although Palestinian people have endured decades of deprivation and human rights violations, the cruel atrocities and inhumanities carried out by Hamas on October 7 must be condemned. Retaliatory military actions by the Israeli government have however, resulted in the deaths of thousands of innocent civilians including children, helping to perpetuate the never-ending cycle of violence and hate. It is with heavy hearts and an urgent sense of responsibility that we reach out to call for an end to the deadly violence and destruction.

Japanese Canadians also stand against the evil of anti-Semitism and Islamophobia. We know all too well that wars waged in other parts of the world can result in those who are innocent being vilified and targeted here at home. We implore all to reject hate, never to inflict suffering upon people because of who they are, to uphold human dignity and rights and to stand in resolute solidarity today and tomorrow with Arab, Jewish, Muslim and Palestinian people.

We would like to remind all parties involved of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states in its preamble that “recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice, and peace in the world.” Article 3 of the declaration reaffirms that “everyone has the right to life, liberty, and security of person.” We implore all parties to prioritize the lives and well-being of their fellow human beings. The world is watching, and the time for lasting peace is now.

Yours sincerely,

Les Kojima
President