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University students stage hunger strike over security bills

By (c) 2015 AFP

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Good luck, guys! I support your actions. They won't accomplish anything, and instead will invite comments like, "These selfish young people today don't WANT to go to war -- it's selfish!" from politicians, and with Abe poised to win September elections for the LDP leadership and with no real opposition he's not about to change his pet projects, but I still applaud you.

14 ( +24 / -10 )

I wonder what their "physical limit" is. I'm gonna go sit in front of them and eat some pizza.

-32 ( +11 / -43 )

They won't accomplish anything,

Smith, I'm not so sure. Maybe just that act wouldn't have, but you do have lawyers fighting this among various demonstrations all across Tokyo. A hunger strike would be VERY shameful for Japan with the Olympic spotlight on it. Hunger strikes are usually associated with harsh conditions like palestinians in israel prisons, journalists in egyptian prisons, and Guantanamo Bay. Uni students nontheless. This will be very humiliating for Abe

I'm gonna go sit in front of them and eat some pizza.


9 ( +15 / -6 )

4 guys? Hardly significant.

-18 ( +9 / -27 )

Aly Rustom: "Smith, I'm not so sure."

Then you must be new to Japan.

-7 ( +7 / -14 )

The pols will let them starve to death without batting an eyelash.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Hunger strike until you feel hungry?

Not quite the suffragettes, is it?

-15 ( +1 / -16 )

Maybe some of their grandparents protested Japan's military relationships with the US back in the 1960's. Maybe what they're doing will catch on with others. Whatever, more power to them; hats off for taking a stand and thereby the risk of not being able to be a zaibatsu functionary down the road. Or is that a reward?


2 ( +3 / -1 )

'I wonder what their "physical limit" is. I'm gonna go sit in front of them and eat some pizza.'

Congratulations on one of the the most puerile, witless, unfunny and childish comments I've ever read.

If Japanese people start coming home from wars of choice started by the US in bodybags, it may shake people out of their complacency over this issue. Lives aren't cheap.

20 ( +26 / -6 )

the first sentence made it seem like Todai students. and why does waseda only get the "prestigious" label?

anyway, four students? i know uni students in general are apathetic but this is rather pathetic. and from the looks of it, their physical limits will be reached before their fifteen minutes of fame are up.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

I think there are more people like them out there but Abe has made sure that companies fire workers who take time off to join protests or rallies.

0 ( +8 / -8 )

the first sentence made it seem like Todai students.

It says Tokyo university students (=students attending university in Tokyo), not Tokyo University students (=students at Todai). Sometimes capital letters have significance.

and why does waseda only get the "prestigious" label?

Yeah, if one is prestigious there's no reason the other shouldn't be. There has long been rivalry between Keio and Waseda. Maybe the author of the article is a Waseda OB.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

They won't accomplish anything, and instead will invite comments like, "These selfish young people today don't WANT to go to war --

BS....it's been shown that the majority of the population dont want war, they want peace. Comments like this are just stirring the pot.

NO ONE in their right mind wants war. Military folks dont want war, but they are prepared to fight one if the politicians decide to send them into one.

These students are doing the one thing they can to get attention of the press and HOPEFULLY it will make a difference.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

Abe has made sure that companies fire workers who take time off to join protests or rallies

No Abe fan, but do you have a link to that information?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Wonder if this will be shown on Japanese TV news. I haven't seen anything yet. Anyone???

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Wonder if this will be shown on Japanese TV news. I haven't seen anything yet. Anyone???

Googling ハンスト brought up coverage by Huffpo and a lot of blogs, but no mainstream media sites.

Press embargo?

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Arab spring started with one fruit vendor burning himself in protest. Why be cynical if you support the cause...

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Under the proposed new rules, Japan’s Self-Defense Forces would have the option of going into battle to protect allies even if there was no direct threat to Japan or its people.

That's not what I've read, but good luck to the students. I doubt Abe and his cronies will take any notice, though. When's the next election due? Japan will have the opportunity to be rid of them then.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

With all due respect it seems to me that the US military & Allies have done more for world peace and prosperity than all the peace activists combined. Pacifism worked in India with Gandhi (pacifistic and peaceful opposition) but he's was dealing with those more reasonable than the actors we have today. I'm for peace but I can't say I am a pacifist and neither are most Japanese I have asked. So I don't know, but the concentration camps were liberated by soldiers and not activists.

-9 ( +0 / -9 )

Rather than hunger striking, I'll like to see them write a series of essays on such issues as:

1) The military-politico environment surrounding Japan. 2) Why should America defend Japan when she's not willing to do the reverse, even in principle? 3) If America demands another price from Japan other than collective self defence, what kind of concessions are they willing to make? 4) If they choose to break off the alliance with America, what is their scheme for achieving at least a minimal defense capability for Japan? 5) How do they read the Constitution (since they are law students, this should be easy)? 5a) If they say the Constitution must be read strictly, how do they ensure Japan's security? Why should China not attack a defenseless Japan? 5b) If they say the Constitutin can be read to allow individual but not collective self defence, how would they justify it as a particularly strong position?

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

PS. Might be a little off thread but I refer to the value of pacifism as an alternative national security strategy. That's all.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Better to be one of the very few who gives up something to work toward making something in the world better than to be one off the many who sits on their butts in the peanut gallery and scoffs.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Please one week two weeks tops, your point will be made.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Yubaru: "BS....it's been shown that the majority of the population dont want war, they want peace. Comments like this are just stirring the pot."

Bud, you need to give your head a shake if you think I'm advocating either the government's position (specifically Abe's) on the legislation or if you think I believe the people want war. I was saying their protest will have no meaning because despite the majority having been against the legislation, against the Secrets Law, and against other things the government rams through, the government rams it through anyway. As for the "These young people are selfish if they don't want to go to war!", did you not see the politician (was it Muto?) who put his foot in his mouth saying this very thing the last time a group of youths protested the bill in front of the DIET?

I HOPE what they are doing makes a difference and I said quite clearly in my comment that I support what they are doing, but I honestly do not believe it will have ANY effect whatsoever, save for the government to possibly try and twist it to their advantage (ie. more fools like the one I paraphrased saying, "You see? Young people lack the discipline Japan needs like it had way back when," etc.). And if you think there are people that don't want war, you would be wrong, and unfortunately some of those have a lot of power.

So, Yubaru, you are preaching to the choir, and also misreading comments.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

My feelings for these honorable students are solely for their health and well being, politicians the world over are known to possess skins thicker than some of the more carnivorous creatures found rampaging on Jurassic World, they more emotionally attuned to avoiding disapproval than getting approval.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

4 guys? Hardly significant.

1 person is significant enough.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

I don't understand how Abe thinks he can get away with this? An historic change of the constitution such as this should be put to the public vote. And we all know how that would go. Wake up people and stop this guy!!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

'I don't understand how Abe thinks he can get away with this?'

I do. He thinks he's in charge of a country with a notoriously docile electorate and appalling turnout rates in elections and he's absolutely spot on.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

are all the four protesting students Japaneses?

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Japan is not really boiling over this so Abe is not far from being correct about this security bill. But it will swallow lot of money and this is the center of concern for some citizens.$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Dem boys skinny. They need to eat yesterday!

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

4 gallant youngmen indeed! The Abe regieme should feel ashamed for being an American puppet! These four men, i urged all of you do not push yourself to the physical limits because you have a reason to survive, thee are alot of civil disobediences required you guys to lead. Abe is nobody just his grand father in law was that notorious Kishi Nobusuke, a traitor like Faust who sold the soul of japan to demon.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The main role to opposition is to challenge and question the LDP government, their policies,but most important of all to hold Government accountable to the public. These essential elements are missing for the present within the political process.

If these four students want to influence, concentrating on the issues at hand is what matters the most, which means lobbying relentlessly, researching the political backers that underpin the LDP core political faction, energy utilities, and the 'road-building' lobby, and subject them to constant haranguing, engaging both domestic, foreign, and social media, the aim is to fracture that relationship.

However well meaning this hunger strike is, it's a blunt instrument with a limited political self life that in the cold light of day can hinder, as much as influence hearts and minds.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Maybe in some other country this form of protest would make a change, but I doubt it will change anything in Japan. A lot of people are already dissatisfied with the direction in which the politics are heading, but Abe doesn't seem to care about it at all.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

It will be interesting to see if these four are joined by others. I think that's what they're hoping for.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

My hope is that their protest will inspire a generation, creating a active political awaking within society, especially in the area of political participation and the role of decision making. I wish I was not so cynical, politics can be harsh and unforgiving, a 19 year old should not be on hunger strike.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Not to worry, these university students will soon be drafted into the military and into wars, which will shape them up in time.

Typical scaremongering tactic used by the opposition which Abe had already stated that this proposed bill will not do. Not only 'drafted' military personnel are ineffective and costly, it violates article 18.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

It's understandable that people in Japan don't want to go to war. But the current policy only works if all countries agree to that same policy, which they don't. If all the "allies" had this policy of "only go to war if they attack us", and China invaded Japan, Japan would be left to fend for themselves. After all, they're not attacking America or any other country. Why should they help? Which means they were never really allies to begin with. They were just business partners.

When you see someone in danger, you have a moral obligation to help them (if you have the resources for it, and it won't cause other greater evils), otherwise you're just as responsible. "I saw him get murdered, but they weren't murdering me, so I just walked by."

-1 ( +0 / -1 )



It could end in August 30th. LOL.

Notice on the picture in the linked article above that they are blocking the tactile paving for the blind/visually impaired.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

While a surprisingly small group of 4 with the moral courage to stand up for themselves, it's enough to provide each other with support. If more people join in it would keep Abe's plans in the news. Nothing will stop him though, so it's a question of when these students get hauled off to hospital or if they can go that far. Good luck to them, it's their country and their future they want to protect. Maybe they can inspire other Japanese to realize this as well

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Today there are only 4 students but after the completion of the Army and then involvement in any war, the misery of that time will bring thousands to the streets but that will be too late.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Yes, yes, how very nice.

Let American and South Koreans die for you.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

Would they continue to starve themselves if Pyongyang scored a couple direct hits on a major japanese city? (unlikely such would occur) Or would they sit back and let the americans do everything?

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

(unlikely such would occur)

@Wc628 you answer your own question:

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Good luck to them! At risk is forced conscription if Japan were involved in war. PM Abe is so illogical in his thinking that he completely fails to understand the result of military aggression. Stil, he won't be the one coming home in a bodybag will he?

2 ( +2 / -0 )


I wonder what their "physical limit" is. I'm gonna go sit in front of them and eat some pizza.

Eating as counter-protest. I like it. How about a beer and pretzels only strike?

America can no longer defend itself and half of Europe and Asia as well. Japan cannot just stand still as the world changes around them. They should not sit back and depend upon the good graces of the radical communists in China and North Korea. These protestors are essentially putting their trust in the leaders of these nations. Not a smart choice.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Remember Shinzo Abe came from a blue blooded family and his political foundation was benefited from Kishi Nobusuke, the A class warcriminal 'on the run'! Abe and that LDP were doing everything on ordinary people's expenses just like his great uncle.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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