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15,000 women surround Diet to protest new security bills

30 Comments

About 15,000 women surrounded the Diet building in Tokyo on Saturday to protest against proposed new security legislation that would bolster the role and scope of the Japan's Self-Defense Forces.

The women were dressed in red, colors which international protest movements have adopted to signify "anger" and "rebellion" -- with their origins in a 1975 protest by Icelandic women that came to be known as the Red Stocking Movement.

The rally denounced Prime Minister Shinzo Abe who is trying to force through the Diet a set of controversial bills making the changes.

The bills are a pet project of Abe, who says Japan can no longer shy away from its responsibility to help safeguard regional stability, and must step out from under the security umbrella provided by the United States.

The draft legislation would broaden the remit of Japan’s well-equipped and well-trained armed forces. It would allow them to go into battle to protect allies—so-called “collective defense”—something which is banned by a strict reading of Japan’s pacifist constitution.

Opponents of the bills accuse Abe of trying to move the country away from pacifism, while three scholars summoned to the Diet testified this month that the bills are unconstitutional.

The legislation, which would overhaul 10 security-related laws and create a new one, would also pave the way for the military to deploy abroad on non-combat missions such as disaster relief and U.N. peacekeeping missions.

Revisions include removing geographical constraints on logistical support for friendly forces in “situations that would significantly affect Japan’s security”.

They also say Japan can defend allies “in situations where there is a clear risk that Japan’s existence is threatened and its people’s rights… are compromised through an attack on a country which has a close relationship with Japan”.

Reiko Yukawa, a music critic, who attended Saturday's rally, said: "We plan to hold regular protests until the legislation is scrapped."

© Japan Today/AFP

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

30 Comments
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Lord have mercy on those that piss off women! Good on ya ladies, now get the ossan out there!

8 ( +13 / -5 )

Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned!

3 ( +7 / -4 )

Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned!

agreed, but these women looked very relaxed and were smiling...i saw some photos on Xinhua net.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

There are those who live in "reality" with full view of life. There are those who "idealize" life as "it should be" or as "it could be" . Both, must first put their own feet on the ground and look at the world around them as it "really" is. Is reality everything or idealism everything? In any case, the decision is to find a way to survive and live in this constantly changing world. History and nature has proven that those that do not change are not guaranteed to survive. And one's "perspective" is the key to it all.

What is your perspective?

0 ( +6 / -6 )

well done

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Women power in action.. We openly display and wield power in society that try to limit it and decree female submission and we fight for our rights and for our peoples to pursue our vision in spite of personal cost.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

“We plan to hold regular protests until the legislation is scrapped.”

Probably going to be a long wait - I don't believe the changes will be reversed. Although I understand the protesters' feelings, I think the tide of change is moving towards Japan having a more "normal" military. China is too much of a threat to Japan and regional allies for the SDF to be permanently hobbled by restrictions on what it can and can't do. Maybe if it was still 1990, with the Soviet Union no longer a threat and China decades behind Japan militarily, the previous status quo would do. But things have moved on since then.

And if Japanese people don't like the idea of being dragged into other people's wars, they need to fully fund their own military and not require outside help. That would probably require at least a doubling of the military budget so it reached 2% of GDP. Yet I see no pressure for that. These protesters want to have their cake and eat it, it seems.

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

Way to go, Sisters!

6 ( +9 / -3 )

Good for you ladies. Stick to Abe.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Once again a "weekend" protest. These protests have to continue weekdays and gather more strength to matter!

Why can't we have no military, like Costa Rica? We'd be a happier, healthier society.

If you need an answer to this you really are in the dark to reality.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

Once again a "weekend" protest. These protests have to continue weekdays and gather more strength to matter!

They do. I'm in the area regularly.

If you need an answer to this you really are in the dark to reality.

My reality is seeing through the military-industrial complex that consumes lives through fear, division, hatred and slaughter to feather the nests of a few:

How many of these war millionaires shouldered a rifle? How many of them dug a trench? How many of them knew what it meant to go hungry in a rat-infested dug-out? How many of them spent sleepless, frightened nights, ducking shells and shrapnel and machine gun bullets? How many of them parried a bayonet thrust of an enemy? How many of them were wounded or killed in battle?

War is a Racket (1935). Major General Smedley Butler

3 ( +6 / -3 )

How many of these war millionaires shouldered a rifle? How many of them dug a trench? How many of them knew what it meant to go hungry in a rat-infested dug-out? How many of them spent sleepless, frightened nights, ducking shells and shrapnel and machine gun bullets? How many of them parried a bayonet thrust of an enemy? How many of them were wounded or killed in battle?

Above comment writer must be living in 19th century.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

My reality is seeing through the military-industrial complex that consumes lives through fear, division, hatred and slaughter to feather the nests of a few:

Really good at regurgitating rhetoric I see. Either that or you live in a dream world. Maybe both.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Above comment writer must be living in 19th century

He certainly lived the first nineteen years of his life in it. But the reality continues, Toshiko.

The beneficiaries of war are still in plush board rooms far removed from the slaughter and the screaming orphans. Rarely do they grieve at gravesides, stand through The Last Post, or hear the thud of clods on coffins.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Great women. :)

4 ( +5 / -1 )

My reality is seeing through the military-industrial complex....

Which forces China to threaten to annex Japanese territory how, exactly?

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

The sheer numbers of women protesting against the security bills ought to wake people up. There has been nothing like this since the 60's. And now it is not simply college kids but moms. Stick it to Abe, Ladies.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Yubaru,

Really good at regurgitating rhetoric I see. Either that or you live in a dream world. Maybe both.

Forgive me for not taking the ad-hominem bait. Life - including yours - is too precious to be distracted by it.

I've lived through the nightmare of sustained and bloody armed conflict: of having to fear and, perversely, be feared, though I threatened no-one. And that's precisely the nub of the argument.

Why should I fear or be feared to serve someone else's agenda?

I much prefer to break bread with my fellow human beings, than take wooden nickels from War Inc.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

The draft legislation would broaden the remit of Japan’s well-equipped and well-trained armed forces.

... well equipped? Only for self-defense. This may seem like a small distinction, after all a gun is a gun, but the bigger equipment, like the Aegis, is only really useful for defense.

And well-trained? Again, for self-defense, search and rescue, and disaster relief. Last time I checked these weren't the skills you needed for war.

This author needs a reality check.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

This is pretty good! Now do it on a Tuesday at 9am with 20,000+ and really get people's attention. Especially the husbands

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Slowly but surely, Abe is losing his grip

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Women power in action.. We openly display and wield power in society that try to limit it and decree female submission and we fight for our rights and for our peoples to pursue our vision in spite of personal cost.

I dont know why people let you get away with comments like this. This protest has nothing to do with that

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

About 15,000 women surrounded the Diet building in Tokyo on Saturday to protest against proposed new security legislation that would bolster the role and scope of the Japan’s Self-Defense Forces.

Great idea, but they have to do it on a weekday. On a regular basis. Doing it at the weekend is of little use

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Support Girl Power! They dont wanna be without husbands!

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

@Sense: They use huge earth movers and they don't use men, Not like 19th century. War industries use their equipments than people. 19 years? he must be ober 21p years now. He has to know war industries are money makers now. Drones. etc. They even created robots.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Great idea, but they have to do it on a weekday.

C'mon, this is Japan. We all know that work ethic (for one, showing up on time) supercedes any personal political values. Especially the ones that might change the atmosphere of their offspring. A demonstration on a weekday(s)? Well heck, "IF" NHK decides to cover it live, I got my popcorn ready-

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@dbsaiyaJUN. 21, 2015 - 03:42PM JST Lord have mercy on those that piss off women! Good on ya ladies, now get the ossan out there!

'''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''

Women demo. You mean ossan to get female wig and phony front boob to increase numbers of women demonstraters?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The ladies in the movement are to be commended for making their protest, but at the same time the Japanese people as a whole have to be realistic. Tensions are running high in the region due both to China's aggressive stance over the disputed islands and to the very existence of North Korea. It would be prudent to be prepared militarily. Switzerland provides an excellent example; all able-bodied men undertake military training, have to refresh regularly, and keep their firearm locked away at home ready for use if needed. Yet Switzerland is historically a neutral country. Why should not Japan, in its situation, be prepared? Not to do so simply doesn't make sense.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

It would be prudent to be prepared militarily.

Japan already is prepared, they have an extremely strong self-defense force. They don't need to re-interpret or change the constitution for that, it already exists.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

These women demo will encourage other peace loving Japanese to oppose constitution change.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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