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HOME  > Past issues  > 2019 June 5 - 11  > Young people march in demonstration through Harajuku, calling for new politics
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2019 June 5 - 11 TOP3 [POLITICS]

Young people march in demonstration through Harajuku, calling for new politics

June 11, 2019

Young people, calling for a new political setup to be formed following this summer's Upper House election so that they can have a chance at a better future, marched in demonstration through Harajuku in Tokyo on June 9. They shouted in rhythm to the music from a leading pickup truck, "Use money for education, not for weapons!" and "Let's vote!"

At a rally prior to the march, 26-year-old Japanese Communist Party member Yoshii Shunpei, a Nago City assembyperson, reported that in the February 24 prefectural referendum over the Henoko base issue, 90% of 18- and 19-year-old Okinawan voters voted against the Henoko reclamation work. He said, "Memories of the Battle of Okinawa are slowly but steadily being passed on to young Okinawans. Antiwar voices are spreading among the youth of Okinawa. I hope all people in Japan see the U.S. base issue in Okinawa as their own."

A college student talked about his hard life as a student, saying "Three meals a day are a luxury for me, and dinner and drinks get-togethers with fellow seminar students and professor are so costly that I cannot attend. I want to change politics in order for everyone to be able to go on to enjoy the experience of college without money worries." A young primary school teacher said that she and her colleagues often hold study meetings to deepen understanding of the link between the Constitution and school education. A university student reported that he set up a student group opposing municipalities' provision of personal information to Self-Defense Forces recruiters. A young carpenter spoke in opposition to the increase in the consumption tax rate.

JCP Chair Shii Kazuo delivered a speech in solidarity with the young demonstrators. He said that Article 9 of the postwar Constitution is a "treasure" based on a reflection upon Japan's war of aggression and based on the experience of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

He focused on the Constitution's Article 13, Article 25, and Article 26 which guarantee individual dignity, the right to life, and equal opportunity in education, respectively. He said that these articles provide a basis for the people's movements calling for gender equality, higher minimum wages, and tuition-free education.

Shii also said that Article 1 of the Constitution stipulates the principle of popular sovereignty and added, "It is us, the people as sovereigns of the nation, who create social change."

Regarding the jointly-endorsed candidates who the opposition parties, including the JCP, will field in all 32 single-seat constituencies in the House of Councilors election slated for this coming July, Shii encouraged the participants, saying, "Let's work together to make the approaching election a trigger to achieve a new political framework for young people to have hope for their future well-being."
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