3 Octobre 2015
October 3, 2015
By RYOSUKE YAMAMOTO/ Staff Writer
Protesters rallied in a central Tokyo park Oct. 2 to express opposition to policies pushed by the Abe administration.
An estimated 3,000 people gathered at an open-air concert space in Hibiya Park in Chiyoda Ward to hear speeches. Audience members held up signs that said "Abe administration No."
The rally was held to protest recently enacted security legislation that will drastically change the overseas role of Japan's Self-Defense Forces, as well as policies on restarting nuclear power plants after the 2011 Fukushima disaster and the U.S. bases issue in Okinawa.
After the gathering, participants marched through the nearby Ginza and Shinbashi districts.
Koichi Nakano, a professor of comparative politics at Sophia University in Tokyo who has been critical of the Abe administration, said: "When politicians who are nothing more than our representatives go out of control, the thing to do in a democracy is to stand up in protest. Let us do our best to bring about a politics that fosters respect for the individual."
Yasumasa Chiba, 24, a member of Students Emergency Action for Liberal Democracy-s, or SEALDs, which has organized protest meetings against the security legislation, said, "The greatest asset we have received is the change in the consciousness of the general public that decided to quit remaining silent."
Kiyoko Shimizu, 73, of Tokyo's Machida city who participated after she attended a concert of classical music, said, "I want to express my intention as much as possible for the sake of my children and grandchildren's generations."