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HOME  > Past issues  > 2015 June 10 - 16  > Actions against war bills gain momentum
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2015 June 10 - 16 [POLITICS]

Actions against war bills gain momentum

June 14 & 16, 2015
People’s voices opposing the Abe government’s war legislation are getting louder day by day. From June 13 to 15, various protest actions took place across the country.

About 16,000 citizens rallied on June 13 at a seaside park in Tokyo’s Koto Ward, under the slogan “Stop the out-of-control Abe government!”

At the rally, National Confederation of Trade Unions (Zenroren) President Odagawa Yoshikazu delivered a speech on behalf of the organizing committee. He referred to the fact that all the constitutional law experts summoned by the Diet, including one endorsed by the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, criticized the war-related bills as unconstitutional. “Our campaign is driving the Abe government into a corner. Let’s further increase our concerted efforts to stop Abe’s runaway policies,” Odagawa said.

Representing six groups of lawyers, Minami Norio gave an address. “To pass such unconstitutional bills would be a suicidal act by the Diet. Let’s do all we can in order to protect the war-renouncing Constitution which has enabled Japan to follow the path of a peace-loving nation,” he stressed.

Nakamura Mamoru, leader of a pacifist organization in Okinawa, condemned Tokyo and Washington for trying to construct a new U.S. military base in the prefecture which will be operational until the 23rd century. “Through nationwide struggles, let’s topple the Abe Cabinet which is rushing the nation toward war,” he said.

On June 14, around 25,000 people, holding placards that read “No to war legislation” and “Abide by Article 9”, surrounded the Diet building. This is the largest-scale action since the government submitted the measures to the parliament.

Japanese Communist Party Chair Shii Kazuo encouraged the participants in front of the main gate of the Diet, stating, “Now the tide is turning. Out fight has only just begun.”

On the same day in Tokyo’s Shibuya Ward, young people’s groups staged a joint rally supporting the peace Constitution and paraded through the popular shopping streets, calling for opposition to the war legislation. Some 3,500 people participated in the demonstration parade.

A 16-year-old high school student said, “I think it is wrong for the Diet to enact a law going against the Constitution. I want to show PM Abe how many youths are angry at his war-promoting policies.” JCP lawmakers Kira Yoshiko and Ikeuchi Saori joined these actions and gave speeches in solidarity.

On the following day, a united group opposing the war-related bills, consisting of Zenroren and other civic organizations, launched a weekday sit-in protest in front of the Diet building. Around noon, the sidewalks around the Diet members’ office buildings were filled with some 600 protesters.

In the past few days, similar events were held around the country. In Nagoya City, about 4,000 citizens joined a gathering on June 14 which was called for by the Aichi Bar Association. In Kyoto, approximately 2,300 people attended a protest rally on June 13.

Past related article:
> All constitutional scholars in parliamentary hearing criticize war legislation as unconstitutional [June 7, 2015]
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