8/30: 120,000 protesters surround Japan's Diet against security bills




120,000 protesters surround Japan's Diet against security bills | 2015-08-30 18:18:04 | Editor: huaxia

Protesters attend a rally against the controversial security bills in Tokyo, Japan, Aug. 30, 2015. Some 120,000 people rallied and surrounded Japan's parliament building here on Sunday, demanding Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to rescind the controversial security bills.(Xinhua/Liu Tian)


TOKYO, Aug. 30 (Xinhua) -- Some 120,000 people rallied and surrounded Japan's parliament building here on Sunday, demanding Prime Minister Shinzo Abe rescind the controversial security bills.


Political heavyweight Ichiro Ozawa, who also serves as a co- head of the People's Life Party, and other opposition leaders also participated in the largest rally recently seen in Tokyo. According to organizers, similar demonstrations against the bills were also held across the country at the weekend.


Katsuya Okada, leader of the largest opposition Democratic Party, said the security-related bills violated Japan's pacifist Constitution, adding that the Japanese people were angered by the bills with a sense of crisis.


The Communist Party chief Kazuo Shii said the Abe administration avoided directly answering questions over the bills during parliament deliberations, vowing to stop the bills' endorsement in the upper house.


For his part, Ozawa, in a rare public appearance, said the awkward bills should be thwarted and called for united efforts to retract the bills and force the Abe administration to step down. The new legislation was rammed through the Diet's lower house last month and now is under debate in the upper house.


However, the ruling camp enjoys two-thirds majority in the lower house, meaning that if the upper house vetoes the bills, they could also be enacted in a new poll in the lower house by securing over two-thirds of support.


The bills, which are considered in contravention of the country 's war-renouncing Constitution by about 90 percent of constitutional experts, will enable Japan's Self-Defense Forces ( SDF) to engage in armed conflicts overseas and help defend others even if Japan is not attacked, or exercise the right to collective defense.


The pacifist Constitution bans the SDF from combating abroad and using the right to collective defense, but the war-renouncing Article 9 of the Constitution will no longer serve as a stricture on Japan's use of force.


Opponents said the bills will increase the risk of the SDF being dragged into armed conflicts and thus endanger Japanese people's right to live in peace.


Meanwhile, Teiichi Tanigaki, secretary general of Abe's ruling Liberal Democratic Party, said the security legislation issue should be resolved during the current Diet session, hinting that the ruling party will steamroller the controversial bills through the Diet that has been extended to late September, broadcaster NHK said Sunday.

25,000 people rally against security bills in Japan's Osaka

Protesters attend a rally against the controversial security bills in Osaka, Japan, Aug. 30, 2015. (Xinhua/Yan Lei)


OSAKA, Japan, Aug. 30 (Xinhua) -- About 25,000 people rallied here Sunday, demanding Prime Minister Shinzo Abe rescind the controversial security bills.


"No more wars." "Retreat the security bills." Protesters shouted these words at the city's Ogimachi Park, holding banners and flags.


"The security-related bills, if passed, might put our young generations in danger. Japan may even become target of terrorist attacks," said Kiyomi Tsujimoto, a member of the House of Representatives from the largest opposition Democratic Party.


"The security bills violate our Constitution and undermine democracy. I really hope the government could listen to the opposition voices of the people," said Noriko Ishida, chairwoman of Osaka Bar Association.


Tanaka, a 30-year-old civil servant of the city, participated in the gathering with his mother.


"The security bills will not protect Japan, but only drag Japan into wars. We do not want wars. That's why I come to this gathering," he said, waving a flag with words "Security bills will send young people to wars" on it.


57-year-old Yamashita came to the gathering with his wife and daughter. For him, it is an obligation to fight against the security bills as "the bills would put Japan in a dangerous place. "


"If Prime Minister Shinzo Abe could not acknowledge that, he should step down," said he.


The gathering lasted for one hour. After that, the protesters marched for about 1.5 kilometers to the city's downtown area, calling for the government to respect public opinion.


The security-related bills are now under deliberation at the Upper House, after being railroaded through the Lower House by the ruling coalition amid protests.


The bills are considered a violation of Japan's war-renouncing constitution by 90 percent of the country's legal experts.



Spotlight: World intellectuals urge Japan to rethink past for peaceful future


BEIJING, Aug. 15 (Xinhua) -- As Saturday marks the 70th anniversary of Japan's surrender in World War II, international experts have criticized the Japanese government for denying history and trumpeting rightist policies, urging it to reflect on its past to ensure a peaceful future.


In a statement issued Friday, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, a well-known historical revisionist, mentioned previous governments' apologies, but dodged offering an outright apology of his own. Full story


Abe shies away from direct apology


BEIJING, Aug. 15 (Xinhuanet) -- China is urging Japan to repent in concrete terms after Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe attempted to downplay his country's aggression in a long-awaited statement marking the end of World War II.


In a statement released one day ahead of Saturday's 70th anniversary of the end of the war, Abe did mention the awaited key words�"aggression", "apology", "colonial rule" and "deep remorse". Full story



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