March 22 National Rally Voiced “No!” to Abe Administration

About 14,000 people gathered in Hibiya Park, Tokyo, on Sunday March 22, and marched around the National Diet Building and the prime minister 's official residence.

They demonstrated against Shinzo Abe's major policies over rights to collective self-defense, nuclear reactors restart, new U.S. military base in Henoko, Okinawa, and Act on the Protection of Specially Designated Secrecy and so on as was indicated by a variety of boards they held.

The rally was organized by the Metropolitan Coalition against Nukes and participated by a variety of people both young and old. The speakers on the stage included a 16-year-old high school girl, who believes in Japan’s pacifist constitution and a 20-year-old college student, who is an active member of Students Urgent Action for Freedom and Democracy.

On the same day, Abe attended a graduate ceremony in a defense university in Yokosuka, Kanagawa Prefecture to express the government’s resolution to promote the right to collective defense.
He has been accelerating his moves to legally dispatch Japan’s Self Defense Forces (SDF) overseas. His coalition government has just reached a formal agreement on the outline of security legislation that would expand the scope of overseas operations by the SDF troops, marking another step toward the most drastic changes to Japan's postwar security stance.

The demonstrations in Hibiya and other parts of Tokyo represented people’s earnest concerns about such right-leaning politics of Abe. He was quoted as saying "the absurd remarks are irresponsible and instigating anxiety," but it is his hawkish maneuver and unjust reinterpretation of the constitution that make an increasing number of people anxious about their future. The irresponsible prime minister apparently fail to pay due respect to his own country’s supreme law.

Written by FUKUOKA A.A.

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