Organizing Notes

Bruce Gagnon is coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space. He offers his own reflections on organizing and the state of America's declining empire....

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Location: Bath, Maine, United States

Monday, August 31, 2015

Japanese Government Takes Orders from Washington Despite Public Outrage

More than 100,000 people gathered outside Japan’s parliament building on Sunday to protest Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s controversial bill, which authorizes Japanese armed forces to join foreign military operations. Some also called for the PM’s resignation.  

The US has long been pressuring Japan to get rid of its peaceful Article 9 of the Constitution that forbids offensive military forces.  The US wants Japan to become a more active 'partner' in endless NATO wars and to help go after China.  Thus Abe's government takes orders from Washington rather than listening to the will of the Japanese people.

It's great to see so many young people adding their voices to Japan's peace movement that had been an aging one.  One obvious reason for the surge of youth in Japan is they understand that the government would be coming after them to wear the uniforms of this new aggressive military.

An earlier wave of mass rallies protesting the bill was held across the country on August 23.

On Thursday, a group of Tokyo university students started a hunger strike outside the parliament demanding the abolition of the legislation, claiming to be determined to continue the strike as long as possible.

The Japanese public has consistently opposed the bill, with the latest poll conducted by the Kyodo news agency suggesting that almost 70 percent are against it receiving final approval.

“If I were to describe Japan with one phrase, it would be ‘a peaceful nation.’ But, right now, the unimaginable, the unrealistic is happening, where peace is being destroyed. That fear is being cast upon this nation right now,” said one of the protesters, university professor Mami Aoji, as quoted by Euronews.

“The way the government brushes aside public worries . . . it’s as though Japan is slipping back into its pre-World War II state,” said a translator, Hiromi Miyasaka, as quoted by the Japan Times.

“Japan should not become a country that wages war. Besides, Japan must build a good relationship with its Asian neighbours,” added another female demonstrator.

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