Voices
in
Japan

poll

Do you think a protest rally similar in scale to what happened in Hong Kong could ever happen in Japan?

34 Comments
© Japan Today

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

34 Comments
Login to comment

There hasn't been any mass-protests in Japan since the sixties when the workers took on automakers. That round of protests resulted in mass-sackings. These days there is too much fear of losing jobs for people to protest anything. This is why the smaller protests you see are mostly elderly people, people who don't have jobs to lose.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

"similar in scale" means 2mio or 2mio from 7.5 mio population?

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

As long as Japan stays a clean, open (I hope) democracy, no, I don't think so. As for Hong Kong, oh me, sad that they have to go through this, but alas, kommie China has rule now. No telling what will happen there.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

Unless a government or a large company's decision was made that would negatively affect all demographics of the Japanese population (i.e. unilaterally imposing a controversial law, mass laying off of employees, etc.), I think a large-scale riot could happen. I know what I said is vague in every sense, but I think that push any population too hard, and they will push back - even for a very peaceful society like Japan.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

No... on average Japanese are too passive...not even after the Fukushima debacle and LDP pushing the N-restarts despite massive publlic opposition were there anywhere near that number on the streets ...Lack of passion equals the LDP overlords can screw the publlic at whim here unfortunately.

13 ( +15 / -2 )

The Japanese won't have demonstrations like those in Hong Kong on this type of issue, for the Hong Kongers have lots of experience of what democracy is and means. The Japanese are, as (I think) Gen. MacArthur put it, like children when it comes to democracy, meaning that they had no idea what it was until they were defeated in WWII. They're still grappling with it, kind of like the Russians are today albeit under different circumstances. Wasn't that a big reason for the U.S. keeping the emperor in place even as just a constitutional symbol?

Hong Kong, as a former British colony, is a completely different story in terms of its history and politics.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

Japan is too old and young people are too busy playing games and chatting on their smartphones.

SO NO!

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Oh how I wish, but just last week collegues told me again to only report "good news" to the president. People seem to prefer to live in a pretend world. Agree with stormcrow, democracy and human rights are not taught well here. Sd the new era name Reiwa emphasizes - harmony or "grin and bare it" from those in control or you will be locked up. I expect this to change when a new government is elected that can speak English.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Japanese trust their govt too much, so no.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Not possible in jp

3 ( +5 / -2 )

No, but the number of people who shrug and say shouganai outnumbers the population of most countries, so if numbers count...

3 ( +4 / -1 )

HK - Compulsory for the whole system, making China hard to swallow.

South Korea - Strong Unity, therefore Peace Protest

Japan - Never Ever, No Unity there. Pretty much laid back.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

It could happen anywhere if 18 to 30 year old, my generation, continue to take democracy for granted and fail to register their vote.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Japanese are too middle-class to risk anything.They'll grumble about it,but unless it directly affects them,won't care enough to take to the streets.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

They know how to do it in Okinawa but otherwise there's only a few incidences I can think of over the decades, Narita and the Burakumin spring to mind. I'm sure there's far more that isn't talked about/remembered.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

@stormcrow

Hong Kong was a colony and universal suffrage was never granted by the British before the Handover in 1997 although some democratisation began in 1984.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

stormcrow nailed it

I will add, Japanese only protest if it involves a foreigner. They will drive through Azabu and Roppongi and protest with their green vans. I saw a weird site when Trump was in town; a Japanese on a motorbike with many asahi flags and right wing look was driving through Azabu neighborhoods.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

2 million without any riot or looting, gives ways to emergency vehicles, and hardly any police officers in sight. It will be hard to find any.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The 14% in the 'conditional' column is really "YES". Why there are three possible responses to an entirely 'yes-no' question is not indicated. And one has to assume that those who answered "No" see Nihonjin as a completely passive people who will absorb ANY public outrage without comment or protest. Not to my mind a complimentary attitude from these 'no' people. "Under no circumstances would Nihonjin question their masters" is the essential taking from this question and its responses. Horse biscuits! AND, if Japanese rulers ever do squeeze their people to the point that we see such an outrage, it will be much wilder and much more will change in Nihon than will change in Hong Kong. But, better to pray that day never comes...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

These days - no. Back in the 60s - yes.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

william, i love your confidence but no, the japanese will NEVER rise, or even question authority. not too long ago, they gladly committed suicide for the emperor. now, it's just a different master and a different form of subservience.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I agree that Japanese people are more passive, but history has shown numerous times that they will riot in certain circumstances. There were riots when jobs were scarce, when lives were threatened and even when people didn't have rights. If taxes keep going up and wages remain low, people will eventually get fed up. Take away jobs, and people will grow angry. Life is still comfortable in Japan, so there is no reason for riots. Take that away and...

2 ( +2 / -0 )

GyGeneJune 17 08:48 am JSTAs long as Japan stays a clean, open (I hope) democracy, no, I don't think so. As for Hong Kong, oh me, sad that they have to go through this, but alas, kommie China has rule now. No telling what will happen there.

If I recall reading, and it's in Wikipedia too - during the pre-WW2 era when say Japan became totalitarian fascist under Gen. Hideiki Tojo and his ministers around 1932, wasn't there an uprising in Tokyo against the regime in or around 1936 or 1937? Japan was already at war with China and had occupied Manchuria and some Japanese people were angry with the way things were going.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The Japanese won't have demonstrations like those in Hong Kong on this type of issue, for the Hong Kongers have lots of experience of what democracy is and means. The Japanese are, as (I think) Gen. MacArthur put it, like children when it comes to democracy, meaning that they had no idea what it was until they were defeated in WWII.

The important difference is that life in Hong Kong is tied up with life in China in ways that simply have no equivalent here in Japan, and no strong relevance.

The big demonstrations in Hong Kong since the 1980s have been about Hong Kong's future, directly or indirectly, and always in relation to China. There was the huge reaction to the Tiananmen massacre (and the large-scale annual vigils for the next 30 years) the demonstrations against the introduction of a security law (required under the Basic Law), the Umbrella Revolution, and now these demonstrations against an extradition law.

Obviously people in Hong Kong are concerned about China: it's the only neighbour with which they share a land border, and their maritime borders are entirely with China. Hong Kong is surrounded. You can't go more than a few miles in any direction without being in PRC territory or waters: that sharpens the mind and contributes to the anxieties that people may have about Chinese influence.

There really isn't much value in comparing the reluctance of Japanese to take part in street demonstrations with the willingness of Hong Kong people to (occasionally) do so. It's not that Hong Kong people value freedom more, it's that they're justifiably far more worried about losing what freedom they have - potentially all of it.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Maybe if the Internet went down nationwide.

fwiw, there are some great photos of the strikes in the 50s and 60s.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Nothing new about riots in Japan---1960's anti Eisenhower riots leading to the resignation of the present Prime Ministers Grandfather Kishi Nobusuke. Anti US--Japan Military Agreements---asassination of Socialist Asanuma in Tokyo by a student-- young female student killed during violent demonstrations/riots during the same period. Not to mention the violent activities of the Zengakuren. Coild all happen again.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

.

NEVER !

Japanese have "konjo"- however, they do not have the indomitable bravado for bold, organized ,coherent group resistance.

.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Biggest marches I usually see are either Union, or Pension related (in Osaka) and are no more than a hundred people.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Dee,

Never rise? How do you think the Gaijin card had the name Alien removed? How do you think we could finally get a Juminhyo? Yes, they were Japanese led, pro foreigner rights rallies.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Before that, Japanese have fair rights of voting and candidacy. In Hong Kong, candidates must first be certified.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I think it’s impossible because of all the priming that goes into the early education of children here. Furthermore, the system here does a good job of tempering people’s expectations.

When the primary basis of your early education is moral education, it speaks more into societal brainwashing than anything else.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Japanese people are too passive aggressive. They'll find another way to complain and get their own way.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Better not underestimate the Japanese. It would be much more than just a protest rally of millions

depending on what would happen to the country.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

fiery rei

where were these demonstrations? i didn't see or even hear of any. do you really think the japanese care if our cards says "alien" or if we have a juminhyo? no, they don't. they don't even know of these things. but keep on dreaming.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites