Sunday, August 25, 2013

August 15 Anti-Yasukuni Action: Never give up! Keep fighting on!

The annual "anti-Yasukuni" rally and march organized by nine citizens'organizations took place in central Tokyo on August 15. The venue of the rally was overcrowded with some 250 people. "The number of participants this year is the largest in recent years. It apparently reflects the sense of crisis that people feel with the current Abe administration," said organizers. Rally participants repeatedly confirmed that they would never get resigned nor discouraged and keep doing whatever they can to block the constitutional revision planned by the Abe administration. The march to Yasukuni Shrine started later in the afternoon faced with harder-than-usual obstruction by right-wingers. They shouted at the demonstrators "Get out of Japan if you don't love the country!" and various other abusive phrases and tried to attack the marchers. Many times they managed to go through the row of fully geared riot police guarding the marchers and break into the parade. Eventually they even took away the march banner. Demonstrators however made it to the shrine in about an hour, chanting "No! to Yasukuni" and "No! to PM Abe's constitutional revision" all the way. Though drenched in sweat, they were in good spirit.(By M)

あきらめず めげずに頑張ろう!~8.15反「靖国」行動に250

会場は超満員で約250人。主催者は「最近では一番多い。安倍政権への危機感のあらわれ」と見ている。集会で強調されたのは、「安倍改憲政権のもとでもあきらめず、めげずに頑張ろう」ということだった。午後4時半から靖国神社に向けてデモが始まった。右翼の妨害も例年以上の激しさで、「日本がいやなら出て行け!」と口汚い言葉と怒号がデモに浴びせかけられた。完全武装の機動隊がデモをサンドイッチしているが、右翼が何度も殴り込み、隊列がしばしば崩れる。横断幕も奪われてしまった。しかし参加者は最後まで「靖国いらない」「安倍改憲反対」とアピールを続けた。妨害をはねかえし、1時間余の汗だくだくのデモを貫徹した参加者の顔はすがすがしかった。(M 写真速報デモ動画(YouTube 8分)

Yasukuni Candle Action: No National Defence Force!

The 8th Yasukuni Candle Action was held on August 10 at YMCA Hall in Tokyo. The theme of this year was "Do we allow proposed National Defence Force (kokubo-gun) to produce more war-dead-turned-gods ?"  The participants were alarmed with the situation since the return of ABE Shinzo to the PM post in December last year. In the symposium, philosopher TAKAHASHI Tetsuya, sociologist UTSUMI Aiko, Korean university professor KIM Dong-chun and journalist SHIBA Rei discussed on war from various perspectives. Utsumi spoke of strong discrimination that faced those war time Japanese soldiers who were taken captive. "Prisoners of war suffered from discrimination for years. They received less pensions, " she said. Takahashi commented on a controversial remark that ISHIBA Shigeru, Secretary General of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, made during the upper house election campaign in July. "Ishiba said the soldiers of National Defence Force would be subject to capital punishment in case of disobedience to their superiors. This clearly shows the LDP's militarism." After the symposium was concluded with a call for actions to question Yasukuni and build peace, participants marched in town, chanting "No National Defence Force!" Right-wingers' obstruction accompanied the march. The number of participants in the symposium and the march totaled 500. (By M)
 Photos  YouTube Video (6 min., no subtitles)


テーマは「国防軍の名の下 ふたたび“英霊”をつくるのか」。安倍政権の再登場で、参加者には危機感が広がっていた。シンポジウムは、高橋哲哉・内海愛子・金東椿・志葉玲の各氏が出席し、多方面から「戦争」に迫った。内海氏は、捕虜となることも許されなかった日本兵の実態を話した。「捕虜には汚名がついて回り恩給も年金も違った」。高橋氏は「上官の命令に従わないものは死刑、と石破幹事長が言い出した。軍国主義の地金がいよいよむき出しになった」。シンポジウムは、今こそヤスクニを問い、平和の行動を起こそうと呼びかけた。この日は集会デモあわせて約500人が参加。右翼の妨害に負けずに「国防軍はいらない」の声を上げた。(M
写真速報動画(YouTube 6分)

International Symposium Aims to Establish a UN 'Comfort Women' Memorial Day

Some 400 people gathered at Women's Plaza Hall in Tokyo on August 11 for an international symposium titled "We never tolerate any distortions of historic facts! Let's have the UN recognize the Japanese Military 'Comfort Women' Memorial Day as its world day!"  In the opening speech, Yang Ching-ja, a co-representative of Japan Action Resolution of the "Comfort Women" Issue, explained that August 14 is the day that Kim Hak-sun of South Korea came forward to publicly disclose her experience as a 'comfort womon', a sex slave for Japanese military, in 1991 and other victims in various Asian countries followed Kim to testify their own experiences. These victims later came to play central roles in causing social changes and the Asian Solidarity Conference in December 2012 declared the establishment of the August 14 'Comfort Women' Memorial Day, she reported. (By OZAWA Kuniko)