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HOME  > Past issues  > 2018 October 31 - November 6  > More than 33K people demand protection of Article 9
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2018 October 31 - November 6 [POLITICS]

More than 33K people demand protection of Article 9

November 4, 2018

With Prime Minister Abe rushing headlong to impose constitutional change, some 18,000 citizens and opposition parties' lawmakers massed in front of the main gate of the Diet building on November 3, shouting in chorus for the protection of the pacifist principles of the Constitution.

The rally organizer called on demonstrators to bring down the Abe government by joint struggles between concerned citizens and opposition parties.

An "All Okinawa" co-leader pointed out that an anti-base candidate won in the Okinawa gubernatorial election in September as a result of the cooperation promoted by everyone who opposes the construction of a new base in Okinawa, and said, "Let us come together again to stop Abe’s move to amend the Constitution!"

Japanese Communist Party Secretariat Head Koike Akira, in order to make it possible for opposition parties to field a united candidate in every single-seat constituency in next year's Upper House election, asked the crowds gathered to increase their voices demanding, "Opposition parties, unite!".

Koike said, in addition to defending the Constitution, it is necessary for the opposition force to share the common goals of rejecting the consumption tax hike, the construction of another military base in Okinawa, and the restart of offline nuclear reactors. Koike added that the opposition parties must also work together so that Japan joins the UN treaty prohibiting nuclear weapons and moves forward toward realizing a nuclear energy-free Japan. The participants responded by chanting the slogan, "Opposition parties, unite!"

Koike criticized PM Abe for stating in his policy speech that it is Dietmembers' responsibility to discuss constitutional revision. He said, "To strictly adhere to the Constitution is Dietmembers' responsibility and the post of Prime Minister itself is bound by this Constitution."

A 31-year-old Tokyo woman who took part in the rally with her 3-year-old son said, "I don't want my kid to live in a war-fighting Japan when he is grown up." A 23-year-old college student said, "If ignoring public demand, for example, the demand for no more bases in Okinawa, is allowed for the central government, then for what purpose do to elections take place?"

At an Osaka park, some 12,000 citizens, including opposition parties' representatives, gathered together to show their support for the Constitution. Live music by an idol group, a dance performance by pupils of a Korean elementary school, and an Okinawan performance of traditional music and dance entertained the participants.

Similar events took place also in Kyoto, Kobe, and Fukuoka cities with about 3,300 people in total assembling under the banner of "Shatter the constitutional revision aspiration of PM Abe!"

Past related articles:
> Ordinance bill to hold prefectural referendum over Henoko base project approved [October 27, 2018]
> Shii criticizes PM Abe’s appeal for constitutional revision as outrageous interference in Diet steering [October 25, 2018]
> Abe’s policy speech completely dodges scandals both new and old [October 25, 2018]
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