One-thousand member committee criticizes government’s reinterpretation of Constitution

One-thousand member committee criticizes government's reinterpretation of Constitution

On March 4, at the National Diet, the "1000-member committee to prevent Japan from entering wars" declared their opposition to the Abe administration exercising the right of collective self-defense.

March 5, 2014 Ryukyu Shimpo

In an attempt to prevent the reinterpreting of Japan’s Constitution by the Abe administration to be able to defend allies who come under attack, on March 4, distinguished intellectuals set up a group called the “1000-member committee to prevent Japan from entering wars.” They proclaimed, “We will step up our criticism of and protest action against the government which has been trying to change Japan to enable it to enter wars. They treat Article 9 as a dead letter and approve the use of the right of collective self-defense.”

Founders of the committee are cultural workers and intellectuals such as writer Kenzaburo Oe, Buddhist nun Jakucho Setouchi and play writer So Kuramoto. Tetsumi Takara, a professor of graduate school of law of the University of the Ryukyus took part in the press conference. Former Okinawa Governor Masahide Ota also joined as a founding member.

In their announcement, they referred to Okinawa, which hosts U.S. military bases, as being closely related to the issue of collective self-defense. They criticized the government, saying, “Without lessoning Okinawa’s burden of hosting the bases, they are forcing through building a new base in the Henoko district of Nago.”

Professor emeritus at the University of Tokyo, Yasuhiro Okudaira, critic Makoto Sataka and writer Keiko Ochiai and freelance journalist Satoshi Kamata took part in the press conference held in the National Diet. Okudaira said, “Reinterpreting the Constitution to defend allies under attacks changes what the right of self-defense means. This is the same as revising the Constitution.”

The committee will hold a rally on March 20 at the Hibiya Open-Air Concert Hall in Tokyo. In addition, they will work to collect signatures and set up committees across the country.

(English translation by T&CT and Lima Tokumori)

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