Tokyo: Over 5,000 people took part in a rally here to protest against the Japanese government`s proposal to lift the ban on collective self-defence right, media reported Wednesday.
People held up placards with slogans saying "Antiwar" and "Don`t destroy Article 9" at Tokyo`s Hibiya Park near Japan`s parliament Tuesday, Xinhua reported citing Japan`s Kyodo News Agency.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe wants to lift the ban on exercising the right to collective-self defence by reinterpreting the Pacifist Constitution, which bans Japanese self-defence forces from fighting overseas.
It has aroused strong criticism both at home and abroad. In Japan, a total of 1,756,368 people have signed a petition against the government`s move, condemning it disregarded and offended its people.
Miyoko Kimura, a 59-year-old Tokyo resident who took part in the rally, said Abe`s move did not sufficiently reflect public sentiment and his plan to use a cabinet decision for constitutional reinterpretation rather than amendment is an "expedient".
The ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) now aims to seek cabinet approval before the current Diet season ends June 22, but New Komeito Party, the junior coalition partner, remains divided with LDP over this major policy change.