This video from Japan is about a man’s suicide in protest against the militarist policies of the Shinzo Abe government.
Japanese man self-immolates protesting govt push to end 60 years of pacifism
November 12, 2014 09:19
A Japanese man has died after setting himself on fire in a central Tokyo park in what appears to be a protest against the country’s renunciation of its pacifist constitution and the prime minister’s military push.
The unidentified man’s body was found on Tuesday evening in Hibiya Park, near the parliament in one of Tokyo’s administrative districts, NHK and Asahi daily report.
The man was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead after police responded to an emergency call alerting them of the incident.
Media reports suggest that the man was protesting Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s unpopular policy of military expansion and the country’s shift away from post-war pacifism.
The Japan Times reports that the man left a note addressed to Abe and the heads of both houses of the Diet, Japan’s legislature, in addition to a video capturing the incident. Police have declined to confirm the reports.
In a dramatic move earlier this year, Abe’s cabinet reversed a post-war constitutional ban on military operations abroad. Japan renounced war after the adoption of the 1947 constitution.
This so-called “reinterpretation” enables Japan to come to the aid of the US or other allies, even if Japan is not the target of the attack, in a provision allowing “collective self-defense.” Previously, Japan’s military could only act if the country was under direct threat.
“Our peace is not something given by others,” Abe said in a press conference in July. “We ourselves must establish peace. There is no other way.”
Probably, Mr Abe’s words are inspired by the fictional dictatorship of ‘Oceania’ in George Orwell’s novel 1984. That dictatorship proclainmed: ‘War is peace’.
Abe justified the US-backed move as a response to mounting Chinese military activity, especially in the East China Sea. Tensions have risen between the two neighboring countries as they remain locked in a dispute over the uninhabited Senkaku Islands (known as the Diaoyu Islands in China), believed to house underwater oil reserves. …
A similar self-immolation occurred in June, as Abe’s government was discussing the revision. A man set himself ablaze on a busy pedestrian walkway in Shinjuku, a major commercial and administrative center in Tokyo, in front of hundreds of onlookers to protest the proposed change. The man reportedly survived, but authorities have not released details on his current condition.
The “reinterpretation” alarmed many of the country’s citizens committed to the pacifist constitution. Over the summer, thousands protested in front of the PM’s residence urging the government to stay true to the constitution following the announcement.
From the Japan Times today:
Japan appears headed for a Dec. 14 general election, with an official from the ruling coalition saying Wednesday that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is preparing to dissolve the Lower House and go to the polls.
Before his departure last Sunday for a regional economic summit in Beijing, Abe mentioned to senior members of his Liberal Democratic Party and coalition partner Komeito that he may dissolve the Lower House on Nov. 19 and hold an election by the end of the year, with Dec. 14 being the most likely election date, the official said. Another option would be Dec. 21.
JAPAN’S economy officially slid into recession yesterday as business investment declined following a VAT rise: here.
The shock announcement that Japan’s economy shrank for the second quarter in a row dealt a major blow to “Abenomics”: here.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe yesterday announced a snap national election after disastrous figures released Monday showed that the economy was officially back in recession, marked by two successive quarters of negative growth. One quarter’s contraction of an annualised 7.2 percent had been expected, as it followed the lifting of the sales tax from 5 to 8 percent in April and a slowdown in consumer spending. However, the latest fall of 1.6 percent for the third quarter of 2014 came as a shock, throwing Abe’s economic policies into complete disarray: here.
EUROPE HOPES TO AVOID JAPAN’S RECESSION PULL “Fiscal belt-tightening and tax increases, while leaning on the central bank to pump money into the economy, was expected to help overcome a malaise.” Sound familiar? Japan’s strategy was supposed to be Europe’s plan. But this strategy failed to stop Japan’s dip into a recession, and now the EU is reconsidering its own route to recovery. [NYT]
Japan’s ruling right-wing coalition approved a huge handout to big business yesterday, passing a tax reform plan that will cut corporate taxes from April and pledging further reductions in coming years: here.