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Japan: Thousands protest against military change

THOUSANDS of people protested outside Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s office today in protest at his government’s intention of reinterpreting the constitution to allow the military a larger international role.

They demanded that the plan to allow the Japanese military to help defend other nations be scrapped. 

The constitution renounces war and permits the use of arms only for Japanese self-defence and critics say that the change undermines the charter.

Beating drums and carrying placards and banners, the protesters demanded that Mr Abe resign, expressing outrage that the constitution could be changed by interpretation rather than by democratic process through a referendum.

Communist MP Yoshiki Yamashita accused the government of turning a deaf ear to the people’s voices. 

“Can we really keep peace by sending young people to a distant battlefield? We must stop the cabinet decision,” he declared.

The Cabinet is expected to announce its decision tomorrow.

 

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