Japanese anti-Vietnam war advocate passes away

Philosopher and peace campaigner Shunsuke Tsurumi died of pneumonia at the age of 93 in Kyoto on July 20.

After graduating with a degree in philosophy from Harvard University in the US in 1942, Tsurumi became a professor at the Kyoto University.

In 1965, he established a citizens’ movement with influential writers Makoto Oda, Takeshi Kaiko and others called the Japan “Peace for Vietnam!” Committee, known by its Japanese acronym Beheiren, to seek peace in Vietnam where US forces were waging war against Vietnamese people.

Beheiren continually staged a wide range of activities to protest the war in Vietnam. On June 15, 1969, it organised the biggest anti-war rally in Tokyo, drawing over 70,000 to the streets. 

The movement expanded and eventually had 350 groups across Japan. Beheiren’s operation had a huge influence on later civil movements and became a model for anti-war movements. 

Shunsuke Tsurumi left the academic life in 1970, resigning as professor from Doshisha University, and devoted himself to writing about philosophy and other subjects.-
VNA