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Huge protest in Tokyo, against Japan weakening its pacifist Constitution

40,000 protest Abe’s plans to revise Article 9 of Constitution http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201711040033.htm, By HIROTAKA KOJO/ Staff Writer, November 4, 2017 About 40,000 people, including political party leaders, protested Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s constitutional revision plans in front of the Diet building on Nov. 3, the 71st anniversary of the promulgation of the Constitution, organizers said.

Shouts of, “We are opposed to revising the Constitution” and “Protect Article 9,” echoed throughout the area in central Tokyo.

Participants at the rally, organized by a civic group, included Yukio Edano, head of the main opposition Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan, Kazuo Shii, chairman of the Japanese Communist Party, and Akira Kawasaki, a member of the International Steering Group of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), which won the Nobel Peace Prize this year.

The Abe administration plans to add wording to war-renouncing Article 9, which prohibits Japan from maintaining land, sea and air forces, to clarify the existence of the Self-Defense Forces.

Yuko Minami, a 30-year-old nursery school teacher from Fujimi, Saitama Prefecture, joined the protest with her workplace colleagues.

“First of all, I want the government to improve the environment for child-rearing,” she said. “But (the Abe administration) is going in the opposite direction by trying to revise Article 9.”

Another protester was Naoya Nakagawa, 90, a former university professor from Machida, western Tokyo.

“The current Constitution is the best in the world,” he said. “In order to keep it as it is, we have to change the politics that are trying to change the Constitution.”

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November 6, 2017 - Posted by | Japan, opposition to nuclear

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