Japan P.E.N. Club

Nihon Pen Kurabu

The Japan P.E.N Club/the Japan Centre of International P.E.N. (日本ペンクラブ) was formed in 1935 by a group of poets and playwrights, essayists, and novelists, with the mission of seeking peace and promoting freedom of speech; the association has been strongly opposed to wars that have suppressed freedom of speech.

The club have publicized statements, including its opposition to the legalization of the national flag and anthem, the dispatch of Self-Defense Forces troops to Iraq, and the anti-conspiracy bill that was approved under the Abe administration in 2017.

In March 2019, they released a statement to protest the Abe administration’s movement to change the constitution, creating a state emergency clause that would allow the prime minister and the cabinet to gain more power under national emergencies; they claimed this clause would undermine democracy and freedom of speech that the current constitution determines.