Anti-US Protests in Japan Show Opposition to Abe's Policies
Recent anti-American protests in Japan are a sign of growing disapproval of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's military policies.
Last weekend, more than 65,000 people demonstrated on the island of Okinawa. Many Japanese are angry about U.S. military bases there. The anger intensified after a former U.S. Marine was arrested in connection with the death of a local woman in May.
On Sunday, about 7,000 Japanese demonstrated near the parliament building in Tokyo.
The demonstrators called for the removal or reduction of the U.S. military presence in Japan. They also voiced opposition to Shinzo Abe's efforts to expand the security alliance between the two countries. And they oppose his plans to amend Japan's pacifist constitution to increase the power of the military.
Jeff Kingston directs the Asian Studies program at Temple University's Japan campus in Tokyo. He said the mood of the public in Okinawa has gone from "angry to extremely angry."
Kingston told VOA that many Japanese are afraid the country will get involved somehow because of American orders.
Last year, Abe's supporters in parliament passed security legislation that changed 10 existing laws. The legislation gave the military more power to defend Japan's people and interests. As a result, the military can defend allies like the United States.
Opponents argue that Abe's military policies will not make the country safer. They argue that the measures violated Article 9 of the country's constitution. Article 9 rejects the use of offensive force to launch a war or settle international disputes.
On Tuesday, Katsuya Okada, leader of the opposition "Democratic Party" promised to fight attempts to change the constitution. "This is something we just cannot accept," he said.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his supporters argue that Japan needs a stronger and less restricted military. He says the country must be ready to deal with aggression from China and North Korea's nuclear activities.
Amending the constitution in Japan requires agreement of two-thirds of both houses of the parliament. Abe said that the future of the military should be put to a national referendum.
Public opinion studies show that more than half of Japan's population is opposed to both the recent security legislation and to amending the country's constitution.
I'm Jonathan Evans.
1.get involved in 介入；卷入
Mary didn't want to get involved in any perplexed relationship with a married man.
2.As a result 结果；最终
Our water supply has diminished as a result of the drought.
3.international disputes 国际争端
We should find peaceful ways of settling international disputes rather than appeal to arms.
4.deal with 处理
We have to be prepared to deal with a range of possible cases.
1.The anger intensified after a former U.S. Marine was arrested in connection with the death of a local woman in May.
in connection with 与...有关
He was in detention in connection with the bribery affair.
The police arrested the men in connection with a bank robbery.
2.The demonstrators called for the removal or reduction of the U.S. military presence in Japan.
called for 呼吁；要求
Our policy called for free trade.
The general assessed the situation and called for reinforcement.
上周参与冲绳岛示威活动的民众超过6.5万人 。许多日本民众对驻冲绳美军基地充满愤怒情绪 。5月份，一名前美国海军陆战队士兵牵涉到当地一名妇女死亡案件而被捕后，民众的反美情绪不断升温 。
示威民众呼吁撤离或减少美国在日本的军事力量 。他们反对安倍晋三加强美日之间食物安全联盟 。此外，他们还反对安倍晋三修改日本和平宪法、增强日本的军事力量 。
杰夫·金士顿（Jeff Kingston）负责坦普尔大学日本东京校区的亚洲研究计划 。他说，冲绳民众的情绪已经从愤怒上升到极端愤怒 。
去年，安倍的支持者们通过了对现行10项法律进行修改的安保法案 。该法案赋予自卫队更多权利以保卫日本国民及日本利益 。最终可以保卫美国等盟友 。
反对者认为，安倍的军事政策并不会让国家更加安全 。他们认为这项条例草案违反了日本的战后宪法第九条 。日本宪法第九条反对使用武力发动战争或解决国际争端 。
周二，反对党民主党领袖冈田克誓言要与任何修改宪法的企图作斗争 。他说，“修改宪法，我们绝对不能接受 。”
安倍晋三及其支持者们认为，日本需要一支更强大、少受限的军队 。他说，日本必须准备好应对朝鲜的核活动 。
修改日本宪法需要获得议会两院三分之二的赞成票 。安倍表示，军队的未来应该由全民公投决定 。