Japan Press Weekly
[Advanced search]
Past issues
Special issues
Fact Box
Feature Articles
Mail to editor
Mail magazine
HOME  > Past issues  > 2024 February 7 - 13  > Rallies to oppose ‘national origin myth’ holiday held at many locations in Japan
> List of Past issues
Bookmark and Share
2024 February 7 - 13 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Rallies to oppose ‘national origin myth’ holiday held at many locations in Japan

February 11 & 12, 2024

Rallies in opposition to “National Foundation Day”, which is based on prewar “Empire Day (kigensetsu)”, took place on February 11 at many locations in Japan.

In Tokyo, a liaison conference consisting of historians and constitutional scholars organized a meeting calling for the protection of freedom of thought and religious belief.

They confirmed the need to strive more for the realization of a Japan where everyone’s rights and dignity are equally defended based on constitutionalism as well as where constitutional principles are put into practice.

The Liberal Democratic Party of Japan, the Komei Party, the “Nippon Ishin no Kai” party, and the Democratic Party for the People insist on the need for the revision of the postwar Constitution so that the office term for Dietmembers can be extended if the holding of an election becomes difficult due to a state of emergency such as warfare.

Ohe Kyoko, secretary general of the liaison committee of six lawyers’ organizations, at the Tokyo meeting pointed out, “The constitutional-revisionist parties are seeking to incorporate a stipulation about state emergencies and war into the Constitution in order to suspend the people’s voting rights at the Cabinet’s arbitrary discretion.” She criticized their plot as “part of the attempt to turn Japan into a war-fighting nation” and appealed for the need to strengthen pro-constitutionalists’ efforts nationwide to stop this plot.

At a rally held in Saitama City (Saitama Pref.), Iwata Hikotaro, a historian, lectured on prewar discrimination against Koreans. Iwata said that the disdain toward Koreans had been developed by Japan’s militarism and that this had led to the 1923 massacre of Koreans after the Great Kanto Earthquake. Considering that constitutional revisionists want to redirect Japan back to support for militarism, he called for the protection of the present Constitution.

February 11 is regarded as “National Foundation Day” in Japan but is based on a mythology of a fictitious emperor’s enthronement. The Meiji government in 1873, for the purpose of authorizing the Emperor’s control, designated February 11 as the day when Emperor Jimmu, a fictional character written in “Chronicles of Japan”, ascended the throne. This story has no scientific or historical grounds at all. The prewar imperial regime took advantage of this myth of “Empire Day (kigensetsu)” as a tool to instill militarism in the people and to mobilize them for the subsequent war of aggression.

Past related article:
> Japan’s ‘National Foundation Day’ based on unscientific origin played an important part in promoting wars of aggression during prewar and wartime [February 11, 2023]

> List of Past issues
  Copyright (c) Japan Press Service Co., Ltd. All right reserved