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​Japanese man self-immolates in pro-pacifist constitution protest (GRAPHIC CONTENT)

Published time: June 29, 2014 13:03
Edited time: June 29, 2014 15:17
Photo from Twitter/@JuhaniHeiskanen

Photo from Twitter/@JuhaniHeiskanen

A middle-aged man has set himself on fire in the center of the Japanese capital in an apparent protest to government plans to change Japan’s pacifist constitution. Authorities hosed the man down and immediately rushed him to hospital.

In a dramatic act of protest, the protester scaled a pedestrian bridge outside a main train station in the Shinjuku neighborhood. He then proceeded to make a speech through a megaphone condemning Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s plans to expand the use of the Japanese military by reforming the constitution.

Since the end of World War II, the Japanese constitution has forbidden the use of military force against other nations. It may only use its armed forces in self-defense.

After finishing his speech, the activist doused himself in what appeared to be gasoline and set himself ablaze in front of hundreds of onlookers.

"He was sitting cross legged and was just talking, so I thought it would end without incident. But when I came back to the same place 30 minutes later, he was still there. Then all of a sudden his body was enveloped in fire," Ryuichiro Nakatsu, an 18-year-old student who witnessed the incident, told Reuters.


A video appeared on YouTube showing the authorities hosing down the man, before paramedics took him away. The man’s current state is unknown.

Conservative, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe believes that the pacifist constitution unfairly restricts Japan from exercising its right to collective self-defense. He announced plans in May to modify the constitution to allow Japanese troops to intervene in combat missions abroad.

Abe’s cabinet could finalize a resolution as early as Tuesday, but the measure must be approved by the party’s junior coalition partner, which has a strong pacifist tradition. The controversial proposal has polarized Japanese society, with many opposing Japan’s possible involvement in overseas conflicts.

However, advocates of the bill argue that a nuclear North Korea and an emboldened China mean that Japan must take measures to sure up security for the future. Japan is currently embroiled in a fierce territorial dispute with China over a set of islands in the South China Sea known to the Japanese as the Senkakus and the Chinese as the Diaoyus.

The islands are uninhabited, but the surrounding area is believed to be rich is oil and gas resources.

Comments (29)


Jay Mondejar 07.07.2014 03:10

this man is a hero and a true man of conscience and "honor"

God bless you brother- Respects


DoAskDoTell 30.06.2014 11:10

Mind over matter!

It takes courage and conviction to sacrifice yourself for others in order to wake/shake the world from deadend self-destructive path = extraordinary/super Man!

Person ally I am most grateful for my washer and basic plumbing. In every small/large ways, I am trying hard to be more ethical consumer: use clothing lines, stop watching TV; buy less food, plastic, chemicals, clothes, shoes; walk/bike; recycle; reuse; grow up...

Truth s: Less is more; Doing the right things are the hardest work ... that they seem like miracles


Mats Lindblad 30.06.2014 11:02

Jeremiah Donaldson 29.06.2014 22:54

Thi s is the type of thinking that perpetuates the cycle. By extension, you're saying the German citizens got what they deserved at Dreston, but you wouldn't say that, would you?


No because it's not the same. In the Japanese army you fought for the PRIDE of your village and you killed and raped with pride. The german soldiers where, for the most part, not like that. Not everyone was a nazi in Germany but everyone in Japan was Japanese.

View all comments (29)
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