The Meaning of Demonstrations in Japan

by Naoya Suizu

Recently, I was invited by my friend on Facebook to a mass demonstration about rising consumption. Although I was a little interested in it, I didn’t join it because I must work at the day.  Such an invitation is not my first experience when I entered Ritsumeikan University.  For a year, I made some friends who often join a demonstration and I’m studying social problems with some of them.  But I’ve never joined the demonstrations because I don’t like a demonstration as the form of a complaint.  At the same time, I think it is very important to complain of the policy as a nation.  So, I have some doubts about the recent demonstration, but I believe people must complain the failure of the government if they feel it is a mistake.

In Japan, the positive demonstrations are not so many events now.  In fact, I have not heard the demonstration a little until I entered Ritsumeikan University and I have no good images for the demonstration, such as violent and radical action. I think not only I but also many Japanese people have not good impression. But, such Japanese people held many demonstrations radically in 1960s and 1970s.  They complained the existing power and sometimes acted violently.  In particular, many university students held the demonstrations for the achievement of their insistence at this age.  The big movement started against the Vietnam War, and after that, spread the demonstrations to change the existing situation. They are very aggressive and protect the national policy and fought against army by throwing a pebble and a Molotov cocktail. At first, many people evaluated the demonstrations as the young power to change the bad situations.  But the demonstration was gradually received as a dangerous action and continued to weaken the power.

Since the demonstration is dangerous for many people and weakened, it is arising in Japan now.  The cause is the accident of the Fukushima nuclear plant and many people gradually distrust politics when they knew the government’s bad action after the accident.  The movement spread largely and the demonstration against nuclear plants was held in various parts of Japan. Some university students are also joined and the demonstrations became a kind of trend. But I think some people just join the demonstration without a thought about the bad problem because of a trend. Exactly, the demonstrations are not so dangerous before and we can feel close, but the meaning that it changes the bad situations doesn’t change.  I think if they joined the demonstration, they should complain the government from they understand the principle of the problem.

The complaint against the bad politics is indispensable and demonstration is one of the most important movements. Particularly, it is very significant that the social responsibilities such as university students in the future join the demonstration. If people obey the existing rule without a complaint, the country is maybe declining and they don’t hope the good future.  Like this, demonstration is very necessary, but the thought of the activists is very important for it at the same time. Demonstration is not a play and unfinished thoughts result in no change.  I think the activists having the strong thought we can change the bad situation must join the demonstration.


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