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About Us

What is Asian Commons?

 Section 1: Democracy

    In democracy, institutionally guaranteeing universal suffrage and public participation in politics is important, and the degree of deepening democracy depends on how people are involved in the operation and improvement of the system. In addition, while protecting basic human rights is indispensable in democracy, there are various ways of thinking about freedom and equality, and as history moves forward, and political economy and society change, new perspectives are constantly being created. We should hold discussions while recognizing diverse values and respecting opinions of others, without falling into "oppression by majority".

    Asian Commons (AC) is a platform set up to accumulate such practices of deliberative democracy and to disseminate what we have learned from Asia to the world. AC intends to have loose networking of citizen groups and professionals.


Section 2: Rule of Law

 An important principle of democracy is the "rule of law." All rulers such as president and prime minister as well as ordinary citizens are equal under the law, and no individual can be transcendental. Democratic governments exercise their powers through laws and are also subject to the restrictions of laws.

 There are various rules in society, and the rule that is enforceable is called law. Law keeps the order of society. But if bad laws are enacted that do not reflect the will of the people, we must strive to transform them in legal manners. Democracy should have the function since it guarantees citizens freedom of expression and the right to political participation.

 Law must also protect freedom and rights of citizens. Citizens must be protected from arbitrary arrests, unjustified home searches, and seizures of personal property, and innocent people should not suffer from false accusations. Citizens accused of crimes have the right to a prompt public trial, to face the complainant and to ask questions. Citizens must be protected from intimidation, ill-treatment and torture so that they will not be forced to testify against themselves and that they will not be punished with cruel or unusual punishment for conviction.

 Furthermore, the "rule of law" and constitutionalism (law and politics should be carried out within the framework of the established constitution) are closely related and are essential for human rights protection.

 In order to maintain public confidence in law and to fully exercise the rule of law, it is important for us to ensure the independence of the judiciary and to raise fair and competent legal professionals including judges, prosecutors, lawyers and others. It is also important to deepen citizens' understanding towards laws and to create environment that facilitate citizens to be actively involved in the Lay Judge System.

 With these thoughts in mind, we launched the Asian Lawyers Network (ALN). ALN aims to protect and promote the rule of law, constitutional democracy and human rights in East Asia. To achieve these purposes, we will carry out the following activities.


1. Exchange activities of lawyers in East Asia

2. Implementation of trainings for lawyers

3. Academic research on law and civic activities

4. Learning activities for citizens

5. Other activities necessary to achieve the purposes of ALN


Board members:Tomoko Ako, Yasushi Higashizawa, Kazuko Ito, Ken Suzuki

Members: Tomoko Ako, Hidemi Shiroyama

Auditor:Aki Shimura


Section 3: Inheritance of Memories

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