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HOME  > Past issues  > 2022 April 27 - May 10  > 15K people assemble at Tokyo park to protect Constitution
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2022 April 27 - May 10 TOP3 [POLITICS]

15K people assemble at Tokyo park to protect Constitution

May 4, 2022

Rallies calling for the protection of the Japanese Constitution took place at many locations across the country on May 3, the day marking the 75th anniversary of the enforcement of the postwar Constitution. About 15,000 people converged at a Tokyo park for the Constitution Rally held after three years' postponement due to the COVID pandemic.

Along with other opposition party representatives, Japanese Communist Party Chair Shii Kazuo delivered a speech. JCP Secretariate Head Koike Akira also took part in the event and held a placard that read, "Protect Constitution! Protect Peace! Protect Life!" together with participants.

Shii at the outset of his speech touched upon Russia's invasion of Ukraine and said, "The important thing now is for the international community to stand together to have Russia abide by the UN Charter."

He, however, said that several politicians in Japan are using the current Ukraine crisis as a chance to alter the war-renouncing Article 9 of the Constitution, warning, "A U.S. miliary operation could press Japan into exercising the right to collective self-defense under the national security-related legislation, allowing Japan's Self Defense-Forces to attack enemy bases in tandem with the U.S. military. As a result, the fires of war could spread over to Japan."

He said that if this becomes the case, a gigantic military expansion will take place, and that the Liberal Democratic Party in fact proposes increasing Japan's military budget to more than 2% of GDP within five years. He stated, "This will clearly lead to a massive increase in the consumption tax rate and massive cutbacks in social welfare."

He emphasized, "Japan should take advantage of Article 9 to establish a truly peaceful East Asia in cooperation with ASEAN countries."

* * *

On the same day, asked by the press corps for a comment in regard to Constitution Memorial Day, Shii said, "For the past 75 years, no SDP personnel has killed anyone in other countries in war or has been killed in war. This is rare in comparison with other major countries." He then said that the existence of Article 9 has protected the lives of SDF personnel and protected them from killing citizens of other countries.
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