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HOME  > Past issues  > 2013 April 24 - May 7  > Constitution Day rally resolves to block relaxation of requirements for constitutional revision
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2013 April 24 - May 7 TOP3 [POLITICS]

Constitution Day rally resolves to block relaxation of requirements for constitutional revision

May 4, 2013
On May 3, the day commemorating the enforcement of the current Japanese Constitution, 3,500 people participated in a Tokyo rally and resolved to increase their efforts to stop constitutional revisionists from achieving the revision of Article 96 to relax requirements for constitutional revision.

The rally was organized by eight civil groups working to protect the Constitution.

Japanese Communist Party Chair Shii Kazuo and other guest speakers, including Social Democratic Party President Fukushima Mizuho and a former Okinawa Bar Association president, delivered speeches.

Shii pointed out that while pro-constitutional revision forces such as the Liberal Democratic and Japan Restoration parties occupy the majority of seats in the House of Representatives, their arguments for amending the Constitution have displayed major weaknesses. He explained the weaknesses from three points.

Shii first stressed that the revision forces are attempting to have Article 96 revised in order to change Article 9, but many people, regardless of differences in their position on an Article 9 revision, have expressed opposition to an Article 96 revision.

Secondly, Shii cited that the Liberal Democratic Party, in its draft constitution published last year, seeks to create “national defense forces,” while intending to restrain the people from exercising their basic human rights, and that this has caused widespread anxiety and criticism among the general public.

Shii then stated that the Abe administration has shown its true nature by supporting and glorifying Japan’s past war of aggression and colonial rule.

Shii called on the participants to “make the utmost effort to increase public awareness and strengthen the movement to have the Abe Cabinet rushing toward constitutional revision stopped in their tracks.”

A 15-year-old participant said, “I love the war-renouncing Article 9. We have to stop the move to change the Constitution which may lead to a repeat of past mistakes associated with war and belligerence.”

After the rally, the 3,500 participants, holding placards reading “Block the move for Article 96 revision!” and “PM Abe must abide by the Constitution!”, marched in demonstration through the Ginza shopping district crowded with people enjoying the golden week holidays.

On the same day, rallies of this kind took place at various locations across the nation, including in Kyoto and Osaka.
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