Abe gov't forcing war bills triggers anger
Updated: 2015-07-16 09:14
A man holds a placard during a rally against Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's administration and his security-related legislation in front of the parliament building in Tokyo July 15, 2015. [Photo/Agencies]
SEALDs, a growing movement of young people in Japan who are politically-savvy and increasingly concerned that the future direction Japan may find itself in will directly affect them and generations to come, mobilized more than 1,500 of the protestors in the latter half of the day, in a sign of a shifting attitude away from political apathy that for years has been the norm for teenagers and twenty-somethings here.
Along with this growing demographic of anti-Abe youngsters, every other age group was represented at Wednesday's demonstration, which reached a fever pitch at around 8:00 p.m. JST, with a host of opposition party members, scholars and celebrities hammering Abe for the damage he is inflicting on Japan.
"Despite the heat and humidity, I'm here with my two-year-old daughter, Hana-chan, because she's the one who will inherit this country once I'm gone, and if I don't fight to protect her now, who will? " said 37-year-old Mamoru Ishii.
"I certainly can't trust this government to ensure the future liberty of my beautiful baby -- look at her -- no, really look at her, her eyes, she's so innocent, she deserves to have a future full of hope and happiness, not fear and anxiety, but the way things are going under Abe, I'm one hundred percent worried about her future," he told Xinhua.
He said that along with his wife he wasn't affiliated with any official protest groups, but simply "loved his daughter unconditionally."
The resounding theme of the demonstration echoed unruly, angry, yet justifiable scenes beamed around the world by news agencies and on social media sites of opposition party members surrounding Yasukazu Hamada of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and committee chairman in Wednesday's lower house session, in a bid to prevent the vote.
Demonstrators waved anti-war placards and shouted in staunch resistance to the LDP-led coalition's forcible move to allow Japan 's Self-Defense Forces (SDF) the right to exercise collective self- defense.
"We don't want or need a military, we have lived in peace for 70 years almost to the day and have stood by our commitment towards pacifism and have honored our constitution which renounces war," Goro Tsunaga, 68, told Xinhua.