Largest rally held against national security bills
Tens of thousands of people have gathered in central Tokyo to oppose national security bills in the largest rally so far against the proposed legislation
The bill has been welcomed by the US, which is seeking more support from its Asian ally, but was met with disfavor by China and South Korea, which are engaged in territorial disputes with Japan.
The Japanese public has consistently opposed the bill, with the latest poll conducted by the Kyodo news agency suggesting that almost 70 percent are against it receiving final approval.
The organizers say about 120,000 people gathered near the Diet building on Sunday. The police say 30,000 took part in the rally.In front of the gate of the building, protesters carried placards with the messages “Don’t destroy Article 9” and “We won’t let any children be killed”.
Composer Ryuichi Sakamoto told the crowd it’s encouraging to see that the spirit of the Constitution and the war-renouncing Article 9 has taken root. He said this is a crucial time to regain democracy and he will act with them.
A university student said she cannot take responsibility for the lives that would be lost if the national security bills become law.
She also said she doesn’t want her taxes to be used to supply ammunition that would harm children in faraway countries.
She added she is confident that the passage of the bills can be stopped.
The leaders of the largest opposition Democratic Party, the Japanese Communist Party, the Social Democratic Party, and the People’s Life Party & Taro Yamamoto and Friends joined the rally. They pledged to do all they can to stop the bills from becoming law.The organizers of the rally say around 300 similar protests were held across the country on Sunday.Reports NHK
Sea of Masses of people in Tokyo flooded the street just in front of the parliament’s main entrance and surrounded the building. A nearby park was also swarming with demonstrators. Despite being present in heavy numbers, the police were unable to restrict the demonstrators to the sidewalks because of the size of the crowd reports International media.
Tens of thousands of people gathered outside Japan’s parliament building on Sunday to protest Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s controversial bill, which authorizes Japanese armed forces to join foreign military operations. Some also called for the PM’s resignation.