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Japanese troops set to fight overseas for first time since World War Two - BBC News



It looks like its turning into a long, hot, political summer in Tokyo. On the streets, anger against Prime Minister Abe and his government is growing.


These are some of the biggest demonstrations we've seen here in Japan in recent years. You can see on the other side of the street here probably ten, twenty thousand people here this evening. They've been coming out every night. The reason they're coming out here is because inside the parliament, the ruling party has just passed a new bill from a Committee that allow Japanese troops to go and fight overseas for the first time since the Second World War.


Inside the chamber, passions were also running high, as opposition MP's tried to stop the vote from going ahead. This sort of behavior is almost unheard of here.


Outside, the crowd is addressed by one of 9,000 academics who've declared the new security bill to be unconstitutional.


"Mr. Abe is trying to change the Constitution by making legislation. This is a denial of Constitutional reasoning. So I must say liberal democracy in Japan is facing the deepest crisis in the postwar history." - Professor Jiro Yamaguchi, Hosei University.
「安倍首相は法律を作ることで憲法を変えようとしています。 これは憲法解釈の否定です。日本の自由民主主義は戦後最も深刻な危機に瀕しているといえるでしょう。」国会で参考人陳述を行った法政大学の山口二郎教授 

Japan's youth, usually written off as apathetic and apolitical appears to have suddenly woke up.


Is it the new law that you're most angry about, or is it Prime Minister Abe you're most angry about? 


"I'm angry at both; the new security bill and the Prime Minister Abe. The new security bill is against the Japanese Constitution, or Article 9. And Japanese Prime Minister Abe doesn't understand the Japanese Constitution or Constitutional reasoning. So this is a danger of Japanese democracy." - Jinshiro Motoyama, Student

Mr. Abe will not lose Thursday's vote at the parliament, but this could be the beginning of a long fight for the future of Japan.


These protesters aren't just here to try and stop young Japanese men from being sent overseas to fight again. This is really about a battle for what Japan's Constitution means. These people believe the postwar Constitution is a precious gift that was given to Japan by the Americans. Prime Minister Abe and his supporters inside the parliament believe it was a humiliation imposed on Japan by the American conquerors. In the end, they'd like to get rid off it.

デモに参加する人たちは、ただ日本の若者たちが再び海外で戦闘することを止めるために、ここにいるのではありません。 これは日本国憲法とは何か、という戦いなのです。彼らは、日本国憲法はアメリカから与えられた大切な贈り物だと思っていますが、国会の中にいる安倍首相やその周囲の人間は、アメリカの占領軍によって日本に押しつけられた屈辱であり、最終的にはなくしてしまいたいと考えているからです。

Text & Translation by: Office BALÉS News

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