New Delhi: In what may prove that Indian lawmakers are not the only ones who engage in ugly fights inside parliament or state assemblies, a footage recovered from Japan's parliament shows Japanese legislators throwing themselves on each other and punching their opponents' face.
The scuffle broke out in Japan's parliament when the ruling coalition moved a bill that could see the country abandon 70 years of pacifism and allow its army to fight abroad.
In the video, Japanese legislators are seen pushing, shoving and punching each other over the contentious bill while Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is seen sitting silently with his eyes closed.
Japanese Parliament looks like mosh pit as governing party rams through PM Abe's contentious security bills. https://t.co/zbIri3brqf
— Martin Fackler (@facklernyt) September 17, 2015
This is what goes down in Japanese parliament. No bouncers were called to assault them. pic.twitter.com/XfKfGi2CTU
— Sentletse (@Sentletse) September 18, 2015
Tensions were brewing after the committee vote was repeatedly delayed through Wednesday night, as opposition lawmakers blocked doorways and packed the corridors of parliament in protest.
A total of 13 people were also reportedly arrested during the evening for "interfering with officers" during a rally that saw an estimated 13,000 people gather outside parliament in Tokyo.
Tens of thousands of people have taken to the streets to vent their anger during almost daily rallies over the past weeks, a show of public feeling on a scale rarely seen in Japan.
Under the planned changes, the military -- known as the Self-Defense Forces -- would have the option of going into battle to protect allies such as the United States even if there was no direct threat to Japan itself or its people.
Although the constitution, which bars troops from taking part in combat except in pure self-defence, was imposed by US occupiers, many Japanese feel strongly any change in the law would alter the country's pacifist character.
(With AFP inputs)