The Unexpected Side of Peaceful Japan: Taking it to the Streets!

  • You don’t have to be here very long to know that the land of the rising sun is peaceful. It’s rare to see people arguing, or causing a scene in public. Japanese people will usually comply even if they don’t wholeheartedly want to, in order to keep the peace.


    Author’s photo

    Lately, there has been a bit of commotion and people have been taking to the streets to protest. Yes, protest, and they are quite vocal about the issue at hand. This is something very uncommon for this relatively peaceful nation. Protests are occurring weekly with sometimes thousands of people in attendance, marching, and vocalizing their opinions.

    What is it that has them so riled up you ask?

    Article 9

    It’s Article 9, which basically states that Japan should renounce war and the use of threats or force as a means of settling any kind of international disputes. However, the current prime minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe, has reinterpreted this in July 2014 this to allow Japan the right to defend other allied countries in case war is being declared upon them.

    Many of the A-bomb survivors are opposed to the change, with about 70 percent against this change and with good reason- having survived the A-bomb, they don’t want future generations to have to live through that experience. This leaves 15 percent of people who support the idea and feel that there are some changes that need to be made, while roughly 15 percent of people chose “undecided/don’t know” as their opinion concerning Article 9.

    What I think

    Personally, I don’t see anything wrong with having some form of self-defense and being prepared to protect the people and defend the country in the event something should happen. It doesn’t hurt to be prepared and ready just in case. I’ve been lucky enough to know a group of women who survived the war, and by listening to their stories of childhood and growing up, I can understand why they want peace. Where do you stand on the issue?