TOKYO, August 30: Tens of thousands of protesters gathered near Japan’s parliament building on Sunday to oppose legislation allowing the military to fight overseas, the latest sign of public mistrust in Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s security policy. In one of Japan’s biggest protests in years - organizers put the crowd at 120,000 - people of all ages braved occasiol rain to join the rally, chanting and holding up placards with slogans such as “No War” and “Abe, quit”.
Demonstrators swarmed into the street before parliament’s main gate after the crowd size made it impossible for police, out in heavy numbers, to keep them to the sidewalks. A second nearby park area also filled with protesters.
The rally was one of more than 300 this weekend in Japan protesting Abe’s move to loosen the post-war, pacifist constitution’s constraints on the military. “Sitting in front of TV and just complaining wouldn’t do,” said oko Hiramatsu, a 44-year-old associate professor in French and one of the Tokyo protesters. “If I don’t take action and try to put a stop on this, I will not be able to explain myself to my child in the future,” said Hiramatsu, holding a four-year-old son in her arms in the thick of the protest. (IANS)