Some 25,000 Japanese people rallied on Wednesday in Tokyo, calling for peace and protection of Japan's Constitution, including the war-renouncing Article 9, as the country marked the 76th anniversary of its pacifist post-war Constitution.
The Constitution's Article 9 renounces war and prohibits Japan from possessing "war potential" such as military forces. The nation's exclusively defense-oriented policy is built on the idea of upholding pacifism embodied in the supreme law.
However, as the Japanese government has lifted the ban on the right to collective self-defense, approved revisions to three national security documents for large-scale military expansion and ramped up weapon deployment in its remote southwestern islands, more and more Japanese people feel increasingly uneasy about the situation and the risks.
Mizuho Fukushima, head of the Social Democratic Party of Japan, criticized Japan's new security documents during her speech at the rally, pointing out that the documents emphasize that Japan will possess the "ability to counter-strike enemy bases" and will exercise the "right of collective self-defense," which may drag the country back into war.
She called on the public to stop the war together.
People marched with banners like "No going back to pre-war," "No amendments to the Constitution" and "Now more emphasis on Article 9."
A 68-year-old man who came to the rally early in the morning expressed unease about his hometown of Amami Oshima in Kagoshima prefecture.
Produced by Xinhua Global Service