Japanese women celebrate International Women's Day

A Tokyo assembly to mark International Women's Day opened with a peace song on March 8, an international action day that began with calls for "Bread, Peace, and Rights."

In Japan, the first International Women's Day, which began in Copenhagen, Denmark, in 1910, was celebrated in 1923.

About 900 women attended the rally in Tokyo, chanting the slogan, "Say No to a war century called for by the U.S. and Yes to a peaceful century upholding the proud Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution."

Dietmember Iwasa Emi addressed the assembly on behalf of the Japanese Communist Party. She said that the wartime legislation which the government is preparing in order to involve the Japanese people in U.S. wars runs counter to the world's current of settling international disputes through peaceful talks. She called on the participants to strengthen grassroots movements against war.

Usui Ritsuro of the Medicines Sans Frontier showed slides to explain how women and children are affected by regional conflicts. The doctor said, "These people are terrified by the prolonged conflicts. I feel so sad to see little children take up arms to kill each other that I want the war ended soon."

Prior to the rally, the women (adorned with spring-teller mimosa) marched in demonstration through the Ginza, Tokyo's exclusive shopping area. Marchers pledged not to repeat the same road Japan once walked by allowing wartime legislation to be enacted. (end)