Japan: Protesters call for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to be ousted as remilitarisation bill goes to vote

The vote could result in Japan having the ability to enter into international conflict, for the first time since 1947

Megan Townsend
Thursday 17 September 2015 18:39 BST
Japan: Abe targeted by protesters wanting to maintain pacifist constitution

An estimated 13,000 pacifist protesters gathered outside The National Diet building in Tokyo calling for a halt the remilitarisation plans, which could see the country entering into international conflict for the first time since World War Two.

The vote would change Japan's pacifist constitution, prohibiting them from using war as a way to settle international disputes. During the vote in Parliament, members of the Japanese opposition began to brawl; while the protest outside remained just as tumultuous with demonstrators clashing with law enforcement.

One protester Makiko Inui told reporters that "Japan is now heading towards war, blindly following the United States. The bills are against the constitution", he added.

"Prime Minister Abe is wrong in his way of trying to build peace. We must oust Mr Abe or Japan could be destroyed".

Earlier, protesters had bombarded a hotel in Yokohama, south of Tokyo, where politicians were holding a public hearing.

In other parts of Japan protesters have began blocking roads, chanting and preventing politicians vehicles from leaving debates.

The public outcry in reaction to the bill shares comparisons to protests in the 1960's outside of The National Diet building when many feared the country could be drawn into conflict with the United States at the height of the Cold War.

Due to the public outcry, Japan signed the treaty, which still to this day, commits the United States to defending Japan.

Though they been strongly protested, it is believed the changes will become law on Friday, allowing Japan to become involved in international conflicts even if it does not appear to be a direct threat to the country.

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