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HOME  > Past issues  > 2016 February 10 - 16  > ‘Say No to the Abe Gov’t!’ demonstration attracts 10,000 people
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2016 February 10 - 16 [POLITICS]

‘Say No to the Abe Gov’t!’ demonstration attracts 10,000 people

February 16, 2016
Calling for opposition parties’ joint struggle against the Abe government, around 10,000 people on February 14 marched in demonstration through Tokyo’s major shopping streets in Shibuya and Harajuku. Holding placards reading “Opposition parties should unite!”, representatives of five opposition parties marched together.

This action, named “Abe Under Siege SAY NO to the Abe Government! Bring back democracy! No war! Protest in Shibuya & Harajuku”, was organized by the Abe Seiken NO! Executive Committee consisting of civil groups working on various issues such as opposition to nuclear power generation.

At a rally held before the march, Misao Redwolf of the Metropolitan Coalition Against Nukes delivered a speech on behalf of the organizer. She said, “The Abe government is adopting a dictatorial stance which disregards constitutionalism. It is not an exaggeration to say that the current government is the worst in postwar Japan.” She encouraged the participants to work hard to have opposition parties jointly struggle to achieve victory in the upcoming national elections.

Representatives of the Japanese Communist, Democratic, Japan Innovation, Social Democratic, and People’s Life parties also gave solidarity speeches. JCP Vice Chair Koike Akira, who is a member of the House of Councilors, said, “People’s voices are affecting the very nature of politics. We will keep doing our utmost to establish cooperation among opposition parties.”

The demonstrators were joined by three sound trucks, marching bands, and drummers. On the back of one of the trucks, a 21-year-old university student of the student group SEALDs told the marchers that there is no reason for hesitating to raise their voices against the Abe government and expressed his determination to continue saying “No” to the Abe government in order to maintain a peaceful and non-belligerent Japan.

One of the participants, a 24-year-old woman living in Tokyo’s Toshima Ward, said, “Such a large number of people came to join the action because we feel a sense of crisis with the moves by the Abe government. I want opposition party lawmakers to respond to our call.”
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