Japan Press Weekly
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Rallies and demonstrations held to celebrate the Constitutionfs 61st year
On May 3, rallies and demonstrations were held throughout the country to mark the 61st anniversary of the Constitution of Japan, under the slogans: gLet the Constitution guide!h and gStop the permanent law for dispatching the Self-Defense Forces abroad!h
About 4,300 people attended the Constitution Rally at Hibiya Public Hall in central Tokyo, sponsored by the organizing committee consisting of 8 organizations, including the Japanese Communist and Social Democratic parties and various civic groups that are opposed to constitutional revision.
Main speakers included JCP Chair Shii Kazuo, SDP President Fukushima Mizuho, and music critic Yukawa Reiko.
Shii said that we should be convinced that the increase in the number of Article 9 associations at the grassroots level has contributed to the favorable change in public opinion concerning the Constitution.
Referring to advocates of constitutional revision who are taking the offensive, Shii said, gThey are afraid of growing public awareness and the grassroots movement against adverse constitutional revision, and emphasized that the task now is to make every effort to establish a majority in defense of the Constitution.h
Shii also called on the participants to gtake part in the struggle in various fields to let the Constitution guide the effort to defend peace and improve livelihoods.h
In this regard, Shii said that the Nagoya High Court ruling was epoch-making in that it clearly concluded that SDF activities in Iraq violate the Constitution.
Regarding the need to make use of the Constitution to improve living conditions and to reduce the poverty rate and economic inequalities, Shii said that the Japanese Constitution in about 30 articles provides protection of human rights, and that this makes it the most human rights-friendly constitution in the world.
Shii concluded his speech by stating, gThe most effective way to block the attempt to adversely revise the Constitution is for the general public to comprehend the true value of the Constitution.h - Akahata, May 4, 2008
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