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2,000 attend rally to oppose national referendum bill

About 2,000 citizens attended a rally at the Hibiya Amphitheater in Tokyo on May 19 to oppose a national referendum bill that will prepare constitutional revision.

Japanese Communist Party Secretariat Head Ichida Tadayoshi in his speech said that the public does not want a procedural bill in preparation for adversely revising the Constitution, particularly in its Article 9 section 2 renouncing war potential and the right of belligerency, to enable Japan to fight wars abroad. Ichida called for popular resistance in all areas, including peaceful well-being, education, and democracy, to isolate the pro-constitutional revision forces.

Ichida also said that the current session of the Diet is in an extraordinary situation with the ruling Liberal Democratic and Komei parties pushing the bill to adversely revise the medical insurance system through a Lower House committee and trying without explanation to railroad through a bill to completely undermine the democratic provisions of the Fundamental Law of Education.

Social Democratic Party leader Fukushima Mizuho criticized the government for trying to pave the way for war. She said that the struggle to defend Article 9 must succeed.

Lawyer Uchida Masatoshi from the Japan Federation of Bar Associations spoke on the national referendum bill, and Komori Yoichi, a professor at the University of Tokyo, spoke on the bill to adversely revise the Fundamental law of Education. Greenpeace Japan Secretary Hoshikawa Jun criticized the bill to newly establish the crime of conspiracy.

The rally was jointly called for by 8 organizations including the Liaison Council of Various Circles for Prevention of Mal-Revision of the Constitution. After the rally the participants walked in demonstration to the Ginza.
- Akahata, May 20, 2006

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