News Archive
Sep 23, 2014 - Event Report - Save Japan's Peace Article 9. No to war!
5,500 people gather at Tokyo's Hibiya Park Amphitheater
5500 people gathered at the Hibiya Amphitheatre in Tokyo on 4 September, 2014 to demonstrate against war and the Abe-led cabinet decision to reinterpret Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution and allow use of the right to collective self-defence. As one of the organising groups of the "Anti-War Committee of 1000", Peace Boat staff and supporters rallied together to voice their protest against the use of military force to resolve international disputes.

Peace Boat, through its Global Article 9 Campaign, strives not only to locally protect Article 9, the peace clause of the Japanese Constitution, but also to build an international movement supporting Article 9 as the shared property of the world, calling for a global building of peace that does not rely on force. Previously this year, we strongly condemned the Cabinet decision forced through by Prime Minister Abe Shinzo and his administration to reinterpret the Constitution in order to loosen Japan's restraints on the use of force and allow the exercise of the right of collective self-defence.

Protesters parade from Hibiya to Ginza
The demonstration was a space for many strong statements against these changes, and demanding an end to war. As well as calls relating to Japan's constitution, many groups and individuals expressed their opposition to Israel's attacks on Gaza with signs such as "Japan should not support bloodshed in the Middle East" and "Free Palestine".

Starting in the park's ampitheater, the thousands gathered to hear words of encouragement from such well-known speakers as writer and social activist Amamiya Karin, author and feminist Ochiai Keiko and psychiatrist Kayama Rika. These passionate voices joined to oppose the use of force and changes to the peace constitution, seting the protesters on their way for the walking protest. Groups carrying signs and chanting demands for the end of conflicts around the world exited Hibiya Park and circled around Tokyo's governmental buildings before ending the demonstration at Ginza.

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