Huge Demonstrations For Peace In Japan - 2015

Events this week could lead to a change in Japan's Constitution, but tens of thousands of people or even more are demonstrating on the streets to keep Article 9, that prohibits Japan from taking part in war zones abroad.

I hope that of course, "War is Over" and that Japan will continue to contribute to peace.

Great to see such mass events in front of the Diet, the Japanese Parliament, where the ruling coalition of the Liberal Democratic Party and Komeito (do google them, why would a Buddhist sect support Japan going to war?) are arguing for Japan's right to collective self-defense and thus stepping into all kinds of war zones.

The opposition parties need to get their act together.

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Tens of thousands of protesters surrounded the Diet building in Tokyo on Monday amid growing public opposition to controversial national security bills that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe aims to have passed this week.
The mass rally in the center of Japan's capital came after a similar one at the end of last month that its organizers said attracted about 120,000 people at the same site.
The government-sponsored bills would greatly expand the scope of the Self-Defense Forces' overseas activities, including allowing Japan to exercise the right to collective self-defense, or coming to the aid of its allies under armed attack even if Japan itself is not attacked.
Led by young people including members of Students Emergency Action for Liberal Democracy-s, or SEALDs, leaders of opposition parties, including the Democratic Party of Japan and the Japanese Communist Party, and Noble laureate for literature Kenzaburo Oe are expected to take part in the rally.

People rally against controversial security-related bills being debated in the House of Councillors, in front of the National Diet Building in Tokyo on Sept. 14, 2015. (Mainichi)
People rally against controversial security-related bills being debated in the House of Councillors, in front of the National Diet Building in Tokyo on Sept. 14, 2015. (Mainichi)

The bills are currently under deliberation in the upper house of the Diet, after the ruling coalition, led by Abe's Liberal Democratic Party, pushed them through the lower house in July.

Do support our effort to keep Japan out or war zones. I work for Consumers Union of Japan, with a focus on peace. CUJ was founded in 1969 so we have a long history. And we like the new wave of protests:

Drone footage.

Do check out Students Emergency Action for Liberal Democracy-s, or SEALDs, (English)

SEALDs (Students Emergency Action for Liberal Democracy) is a platform of emergency actions by students to protect a free and democratic Japan. We are a group of youths from late teens to early 20s. We aim to rethink and enact democracy.

We uphold the tradition of freedom and democracy in Japan that has been built for the past 70 years after the World War . Our principal aim is to protect the Constitution of Japan which is fundamental to this tradition. The philosophy of Japans Peace Constitution is a project that is yet to be accomplished. In order to protect our Constitution which is currently in danger, we state a clear vision with focus on Constitutionalism, Social Security, and National Security.

The situation of Japanese politics continues to worsen. In 2014, the Secret Protection Law and the right to collective defense have been forcibly passed, severely undermining the fundamental ideas enshrined in the Constitution of Japan. In the meantime, a new social security system needed to deal with the rising rate of poverty and aging population does not seem to be emerging. Another challenge is posed by the increasing tension among East Asian countries. In this coming July, the Abe administration will pass a series of security laws that will enable Japan to execute the right of collective defense abroad. The ultimate aim of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) is to amend the Peace Constitution after the Upper House election next year. We believe we are in a critical period this year for the future of Japan.

We as the young generation have to be the ones to think about these issues and present a realistic vision. We ask all the liberals across the conventional political spectrum to form a united front to protect Japan’s tradition of liberal democracy. We also urge each and every member of the society to face up to this task, think through the issues at hand, and take actions. The actions each of us takes in the coming months will become a shield that will protect freedom and democracy in Japan.

Top photo from Kyodo. by 


Pandabonium said…
I'm all for self defense, but "collective defense"? What is that? Sounds like a slippery slope to to foreign entanglements to me. Perhaps the US imposed constitution should be replaced, and I think the Japanese people are up to the task. But that doesn't mean that all the safeguards such as Article 9 would be chucked out. To the contrary. I think a new set of principles - put down on paper in a new constitution - would be even more clear about the importance of peace, freedom, and democracy in Japan.
Unknown said…
This to be done under the rule of Abe and with that mild-mannered reasonable chap in Osaka Toru Hashimoto (indeed, is he still around?). Maybe a feeling in Japan that back in the 30s and 40s normal folks were led into a folly, will or no will, by the much overbearing military. And Okinawa expendable. Once bitten...

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