Over 20,000 protesters rally against Japanese PM's security bills
Updated: 2015-07-14 22:13
Civic group members hold placards and chant anti-government slogans in Tokyo on July 14, 2015 to protest against Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's controversial security bills. .[Photo/CFP]
TOKYO -- More than 20,000 opponents of the Japanese government-proposed security bills on Tuesday rallied downtown Tokyo demonstrating their opposition against the administration led by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe who is trying to ram through the bills as early as Thursday.
Holding banners reading that "Defeat Abe's Regime" and "No War," the protesters shouted that they don't need Abe's war policy. Some lawmakers from the country's opposition parties also participated in the gathering.
Yukio Edano, secretary general of Japan's major opposition party the Democratic Party of Japan, criticized the Abe government during the rally, saying it is losing its validity by ramming through such unconstitutional bills, adding an increasing number of Japanese population are now aware of the prime minister's runaway policy and starting to protest against it.
Japan's ruling coalition, which groups Abe's Liberal Democratic Party and its small partner of the Komeito Party, set to vote the bills at a special committee in the Diet's lower house and in the full chamber on Thursday, but three opposition parties are expected to skip the vote in a move to delay the passage of the bills.
The security legislation will allow the Japanese Self-Defense Forces to exercise the right to collective self-defense which is banned by the country's war-renouncing Constitution.
Recent polls unveiled that over 90 percent of Japanese constitutional academics see the bills unconstitutional and a majority of Japanese population are against the legislation, with over 80 percent saying that the government did not sufficiently explain the bills.