Meetings against 'National Foundation Day' held throughout Japan

On February 11, "National Foundation Day" opposition meetings were held in many places throughout Japan. In Tokyo, some 400 people took part in the meeting held under the slogan, "Don't make Japan a war fighting nation! Let's live along with the Constitution!"

Japan's Meiji Government in 1873 announced that the "Emperor Jinmu", who was a mythical person in the "Chronicles of Japan", had ascended the throne on February 11 in order to have the people admire the emperor as divinity.

This definition of the day of foundation was abolished after the war on the grounds that it ran counter to the constitutional principle of people's sovereignty.

But in 1967, the Liberal Democratic Party government revived this idea and stipulated that February 11 is National Foundation Day, as part of its scheme to adversely revise the Constitution and control education.

At the Tokyo meeting, Tokyo University Professor Komori Yoichi gave a lecture criticizing the United States for being more of a "rogue" state than Iraq and North Korea.

He said that the Koizumi Cabinet, which supports every action of the U.S. Bush administration acting to protect interests of U.S. oil companies and the military industry, will only ruin Japan.

Kurita Yoshiko, Chiba University assistant professor, said that in the Middle East people are afraid that if the United States overthrows Iraq's Hussein administration and establishes a pro-U.S. regime, the region might be again in a state like that under the rule of the Colonial Powers after World War I.

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The Association for Celebrating Japan's Foundation held a ceremony on February 11 at the Meiji Shrine Hall, with about 1,700 people attending.

The resolution adopted in the ceremony called for the Self-Defense Forces' global contribution and people's support for the contingency legislation, and promised to develop a national movement for revisions of the Constitution and the Fundamental Law of Education.

Prime Minister Koizumi Jun'ichiro sent a congratulatory telegram to the ceremony. (end)

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