Tokyo: Japanese Man Sets Self on Fire In Protest Over Military Rule ChangePosted: June 29, 2014
BBC News reports: A man set himself on fire in central Tokyo in protest at a proposed law which could allow Japan to deploy its military overseas.
“He was sitting cross-legged and was just talking, so I thought it would end without incident. Then all of a sudden his body was enveloped in fire.”
The man was taken to hospital after being hosed down but his condition was not immediately known, officials said.
Japan’s government could make the change to its pacifist constitution as early as next Tuesday.
The US-drafted constitution bans war and “the threat or use of force” to settle international disputes.
Witnesses said the middle-aged man, wearing a suit and tie, climbed onto a pedestrian bridge at Tokyo’s Shinjuku station.
“He was sitting cross-legged and was just talking, so I thought it would end without incident,” one eyewitness told Reuters. “Then all of a sudden his body was enveloped in fire.”
Reports said the man used a megaphone to shout for over an hour about the change to Japan’s constitution.
Video shown on national television in Japan showed the flames being extinguished by officers.
Japan has well-equipped and well-trained armed forces but there are severe restrictions on them being deployed abroad.
Under Article 9 of its post-war pacifist constitution, Japan is blocked from the use of force to resolve conflicts except in the case of self-defence.
- Japan Split Over Revision to Pacifist Constitution (ivoter.com)
- P-Noy backs larger Japan military role (businessmirror.com.ph)
- Japan split over revision to pacifist constitution (usnews.com)
- Abe pushes for more active Japanese military (spacewar.com)
- Abe says Japan’s pacifist constitution may be revised by 2020 (spacewar.com)
- 3,000 protest in Tokyo against revision of Japan’s pacifist constitution (japandailypress.com)
- Pacifists rally as poll shows Japan is uneasy over Abe’s military aims (japantimes.co.jp)