Young people, lawyers, and citizens call fr no war solution
In their first-time ever demonstration on October 4, about 30 college
students and their friends marched through Shibuya Ward's downtown district
holding a large banner reading, "War is not the answer."
The day's action was organized to call on the Japanese government to
propose and act for a non-military solution to the recent terrorist attacks
on the United States.
Participants used a microphone to express concern about the imminent U.S.
military action and the Japanese government's preparations to send the
Self-Defense Forces abroad to help in a U.S. war.
A participant said, "Everyone knows that a missile can kill people. We
don't want to see innocent people hurt. Japan must think twice."
Later in the day, the demonstrators went to the Cabinet Office to deliver
their 150 signatures calling for a non-military solution to the problem and
a letter in which each participant wrote specific requests.
The group which organized this demonstration is called "1,000 Sparrows."
Group leader Hiratsuka Shinichiro, a Tokyo Geijutsu Daigaku (University
of the Arts) student, said, "A Japanese proverb says, 'A single crane's
voice is worth much more than a chorus of one thousand sparrows,' meaning
that an authoritative person's opinion is much more important than the
opinions of insignificant masses. We are challenging this notion in order to
get Prime Minister Koizumi to listen to young people's calls for peace."
Around the Diet building, about 180 lawyers, workers, and citizens
marched in demonstration at lunchtime at the initiative of the Japan Lawyers
International Solidarity Association, the Japan Lawyers Association for
Freedom, Japan Democratic Lawyers Association, and Japan Young Lawyers
Niwayama Hideo, Japan Democratic Lawyers Association director, in his
speech said, "We won't allow the spirit of the Constitution, which we have
so far protected, to be easily destroyed."
A lawyer who was taking part for the first time in a demonstration said
that the terrorist attack case must be legally and peacefully settled in an
international criminal court.
Peace Action Day in Kyoto
In Kyoto, some 300 people took part in "Kyoto Peace Action" to condemn
terrorism and oppose military retaliation.
A junior high school student's essay which was read out at the rally
stated, "Revenge will invite more revenge and will only make people suffer.
Japan's Constitution declaring pacifism, which was established after many
people were sacrificed in WWII, must not be changed."
Unions, peace organizations....
In a street publicity campaign in Tokyo, Trade unions, peace
organizations and other democratic organizations making up the Liaison
Council of Various Circles for Prevention of Mal-Revision of the
Constitution emphasized the importance of the Japanese Constitution's
preamble and Article 9 which rejects war as means of settling international
In Okinawa, a stronghold of the U.S. Forces in the Asia-Pacific region,
about 180 people attended a rally to condemn terrorism and oppose military
retaliation in response to a call of the Okinawa Prefectural Liaison
Council for United Action for Abrogation of the Security Treaty and
Defending People's Living and Democracy.
A farmer complained about restrictions imposed on their entry into the
farm by the U.S. Forces which are gearing up for a retaliatory war. Another
participant said that with the U.S. Forces on alert for a war, many tourists
have canceled their trips to Okinawa, including high school trips involving
more than 16,000 students. (end)