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HOME  > Past issues  > 2018 July 18 - 24  > Cross-party assemblypersons in Shinjuku demand removal of restriction on demonstration gathering points
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2018 July 18 - 24 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Cross-party assemblypersons in Shinjuku demand removal of restriction on demonstration gathering points

July 19, 2018

Fifteen cross-party assemblypersons in Tokyo's Shinjuku Ward on July 17 made a representation to the ward mayor, demanding that the recently-imposed restriction on demonstration gathering points be removed.

The Shinjuku ward administration recently decided to limit the use of ward-owned parks for demonstration marches to only one park. Until then, the local government had given permission to the use of four public parks as the points where demonstrations started. Public protest against the tightening of the regulations is now increasing in Shinjuku.

As well as eight Shinjuku assemblypersons of the Japanese Communist Party, four from the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan, one from the Social Democratic Party, and two from local political groups accused the municipality of having decided to tighten its control on demonstration parades without putting the matter to the ward assembly.

They said, "The majority of the residents in Shinjuku want restrictions on hate-speech demonstrations, not on all demonstrations," and criticized the local authorities for ignoring public demand to make anti-hate speech ordinances and not even intending to take countermeasures against incitement of racist actions. In addition, they proposed that the ward government and residents discuss together ways to ensure both the right to freedom of expression and a quiet living environment.

The next day, organizers of a citizens' anti-nuclear energy demonstration visited the Shinjuku ward government office and submitted a written request for the abolition of the restriction on gathering points preceding demonstrations.

Because of the new restriction, this group will no longer be able to use a park at which its no-nuke demonstration started every year. This is the only group which used this park. The organizers said that they had always greeted shop owners along their parade route beforehand and have established good relationships with these shops. An official of the Shinjuku ward park division also admitted to the fact that there have been no complaints by any people living or doing businesses along the route.

Past related article:
> JCP in Shinjuku: ban on use of public parks as demonstration gathering points violates freedom of expression [June 28, 2018]
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