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HOME  > Past issues  > 2022 March 30 - April 5  > Defense Ministry saw antiwar demonstrators as potential mob
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2022 March 30 - April 5 [POLITICS]

Defense Ministry saw antiwar demonstrators as potential mob

March 31, 2022
Materials Japanese Communist Party representative Kokuta Keiji obtained reveal that the Defense Ministry had enumerated "civil demonstration against war" as one of the gray areas subject to the exercise of the national security-related legislation.

According to Kokuta at a Lower House Foreign Affairs Committee meeting on March 30, the ministry's Ground Staff Office distributed the materials in question to journalists participating in a study session held on February 4, 2020.

State Minister of Defense Oniki Makoto responding to Kokuta at the committee meeting said that the phrase "demonstration against war" had been rewritten to "demonstration that turns violent" after being criticized by the reporters present.

Kokuta said he received information that an officer of the Ground Staff Office had explained why it cited "demonstration against war" as a gray area, and that the officer had implied the possibility that violent organizations may be involved in such a demonstration, given the 2014 Ukrainian crisis.

Kokuta said, "The Ground Staff Office changed the wording, but it still saw 'demonstrations against war' as a potential riot. Antiwar demonstrations are the right to freedom of expression the Japanese Constitution guarantees. So, it will be extremely serious if the Defense Ministry takes a hostile view of citizen demonstrators."
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