1,500 protesters march in Naha to demand scrapping of security bills
August 1, 2015 Ryukyu Shimpo
A rally against new security bills that would change Japan’s pacifist constitution was held in the evening of July 31 at the public square in front of the Okinawa Prefectural Government Office in Naha. About 1,500 people, including citizens, Diet lawmakers, lawyers and political scholars, took part in the rally, which was the third of its kind. Similar rallies were held on July 15 and 17.
The participants raised their voices, saying, “We are absolutely opposed to a war bill.” They protested against the controversial bills, which were passed forcibly by the Lower House of the Diet, and they demanded the bills be scrapped in the House of Councillors.
They adopted a resolution statement that reads: “U.S. military bases are concentrated in Okinawa. If war happened, the islands will become the first target of attack. Based on the experience of the Battle of Okinawa, we should not allow the country to advance along the road to war.”
On behalf of the organizers, Tetsumi Takara, a professor at the University of the Ryukyus, spoke out for the participants: “We should convey a strong message about Japan’s pacifist constitution and lesson from the Battle of Okinawa. We must scrap the security bills. Let’s raise our voices from Okinawa, which experienced the war, and tell everyone that we should never repeat war.”
After the rally, the participants marched down Kokusai Street for about 1.5 km from the square in front of the prefectural government office to Makishi park, raising their voices, “We are absolutely against the War bill.” There was applause from the roadside in response to the protesters, but there were also angry voices coming from an organization that favors the bills.
The Society for Spreading the Constitution (Kenpo Fukyu Kyogikai), the prefectural assembly’s ruling party group and the Okinawa Peace Movement Center organized the rally. It was initially scheduled to be held on July 25, but it was postponed to July 31 because of a typhoon close to the island.
(English translation by T&CT)
Previous Article:Leader of movement for Okinawa’s reversion to Japan passes away
Next Article:10,000 Eisa Dance Parade rouses audience members’ hearts
- 2,500 protesters gather in Okinawa as part of national action against new security bill
- War victim group seeks to establish a war victim assistance law
- Protest action against Abe administration in front of Camp Schwab
- Okinawa youth group protests security bill and new US base
- Okinawa Governor Onaga criticizes forcible passage of security bills in Lower House