Massive Anti-War Rally in Japan – Over 100k Oppose ‘War Law’

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People hold placards and shout slogans as they gather to protest against Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's security bill outside the parliament in Tokyo, in this photo taken by Kyodo August 30, 2015. REUTERS/Kyodo

People hold placards and shout slogans as they gather to protest against Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s security bill outside the parliament in Tokyo, in this photo taken by Kyodo August 30, 2015. REUTERS/Kyodo

Tokyo – Anti-war protesters rally outside parliament to oppose new laws that could see Japanese troops engaged in combat overseas for the first time since WWII. In one of the largest postwar demonstrations in Japan, protesters swarmed in front of the Diet (parliament) building in Tokyo to oppose the current administration’s contentious security legislation.

The legislation, which is now under debate in the Upper House, is aimed at allowing the Japanese Self-Defense Forces to fight with allies overseas. The upper house is currently debating the bills and is expected to pass them by late September, making it law.

The bills represent a landmark change in Japan’s defense policy in the postwar era since the previous governments adhered to the stance that the SDF’s role is basically limited to the nation’s defense in accordance with the war-renouncing Constitution.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has championed the bills for many years, saying the SDF taking up a greater role overseas would contribute to Japan’s defense. The legislation was rammed through the Lower House last month.

Despite the rainy weather, organizers estimate that around 120,000 people participated in the protest. Protesters held placards and chanted “No to war legislation!”, ”Scrap the bills now!” and “Abe, quit!”

War is over, if you want it.



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Image credit: mainichi.jp

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