900 lawyers demonstrate in Tokyo against wartime legislation

Members of the Japan Federation of Bar Associations, comprising all of the estimated 20,000 lawyers in Japan, took to the streets in Tokyo calling for opposition to the contingency bills. This is first such action for the federation.

On October 23, about 900 lawyers paraded in Tokyo toward the Diet Building, shouting, "We lawyers are opposed to the wartime legislation that will undermine constitutional peace principles and remake Japan to a warring country," and "Such bills must be withdrawn."

This peace parade is quite epochal for the federation since it was established in 1949, said Murakoshi Susumu, the federation's Human Rights Protection Committee chair. That as many as 900 lawyers from throughout Japan took part in this outdoor action shows their deep concern about the dangerous bills.

In front of the Diet Building, they flew colorful balloons which read: "Wartime bills need to be withdrawn."

Dietmembers of the Japanese Communist Party, the Democratic Party of Japan, and the Social Democratic Party welcomed the lawyers at the entrances of both houses.

On behalf of the JCP, Ichida Tadayoshi, Secretariat head, made a solidarity speech, stressing that the lawyers' actions are greatly encouraging to all the people fighting against the contingency bills.

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The government and the ruling coalition on October 23 agreed to finish amending the three wartime-related bills which were carried over from the previous Diet session and draft a public protection bill to be submitted to the opposition parties in November. (end)