Thousands of Japanese antiwar protesters took to the streets outside of parliament today in Tokyo, slamming the new “war legislation,” which effectively abandons Japan’s post WW2 status of pacifism, and allows the Japanese military to be deployed abroad “even in situations when Japan is not under direct attack.”
The legislation, passed in September amid similar protests, went into effect today, the culmination of the long-standing ambitions of Prime Minister Abe Shinzo to allow Japan to participate in overseas US military operations.
Though presented by politicians as merely allowing the military to engage in collective self-defense, military officials conceded that the law allows their military to do virtually anything under the guise of defensive operations.
Abe insisted in comments today that the new legislation will “prevent wars,” claiming rising threats from North Korea and China justify the move. US officials, who envision this as giving them another sidekick for their assorted future wars, have loudly backed the effort.