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HOME  > Past issues  > 2013 May 29 - June 4  > Young lawyers working to inform public of how fearful LDP draft constitution is
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2013 May 29 - June 4 TOP3 [CIVIL RIGHTS]

Young lawyers working to inform public of how fearful LDP draft constitution is

June 3, 2013
Young lawyers, using “manga” leaflets and picture-card shows, have been addressing the challenge of telling people how fearful a Liberal Democratic Party-drafted constitution is.

The initiative was started by 26 junior lawyers after the LDP published its draft constitution in April last year which constrains people’s freedom of speech, and 250 lawyers of the same generation have joined in this action.

As an effort to appeal to young people, they, for example, host talk shows at downtown clubs where many young people gather and transmit information through Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.

Their “weapons” in this endeavor are a palm-sized leaflet with many illustrations and a picture-card show performed in a casual atmosphere.

“When we lawyers write something, it tends to be overly serious. So, we discussed again and again how to make it easier to understand,” said Hosonaga Takako of the “group of junior lawyers defending tomorrow’s freedom” when she explained how the leaflet came about.

The leaflet simulates how things would change if constitutional revision as envisioned by the LDP is realized. They published more than 80,000 copies in just two months after its initial release. They had to print 50,000 copies more last month.

The story in comic form begins by telling what the Constitution is in the first place. It depicts constitutionalism as a mechanism to control government and abuses of power in order to protect individual liberty and rights.

Kurosawa Itsuki, the group’s co-leader involved in the production of the picture cards, said, “People are being split on the war-renouncing Article 9 and the establishment of a national defense force. But we can increase the movement to oppose anti-constitutionalism if the public understands that we would no longer be able to enjoy the fruits of democracy if the Constitution is adversely revised.”

“Once upon a time…,” in an old-tale style, the picture-card show advances. At the very end of the story, people of a mythical kingdom discover, “[L]iberty is not something we are given from the king but we have had it since our birth! Then, why don’t we make rules to fetter the king to prevent him from doing whatever he wants?”
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