Japan's Diet gets 1.65m signatures against security bills

Updated: 2015-06-29 21:41


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TOKYO - A citizen group named "Anti-war Committee of 1000" on Monday submitted to the Diet of Japan more than 1.65 million signed protests demanding the Diet to give up the controversial security legislations and the decision to lift the ban on collective self-defense.

The committee, sponsored by constitution scholars and authors, has launched an initiative in January 2015 to collect signed protests regarding the Cabinet's decision last July to allow Japan exercise collective self-defense right and the planned passage of "war bills" during the current Diet session. As of late May, they have collected more than 1.65 million signatures and have submitted them to the Prime Minister's office on June 23.

One speaker, renowned freelance journalist Satoshi Kamata said at a press conference Monday that "It is terrible that some young people who do not even know what war is now become lawmakers. The ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) is gradually losing its self- control ability."

Kamata's speech came after some young LDP lawmakers' assertion to "punish" media critical of the government's contentious national security bills. During last Thursday's gathering of a group of young LDP lawmakers close to Abe, attendees bashed media organizations for criticizing the security legislation being debated in the Diet, saying an effective way to "punish those media is to take out their ad revenues."

Regarding the issue, Jiro Yamaguchi, professor of Japan's Hosei University also pointed out "those kind of statements suggested unbelievable prejudice and stupidity. The training system of LDP for young lawmakers has collapsed," he said.

The committee promised to continue collecting such signatures and protest against what they see as Abe's efforts to revise the war-renounce constitution and to steer the nation toward war.