17 Août 2015
August 13, 2015
Musicians slam Abe's security moves, sing for peace in Shibuya
By YOHEI GOTO/ Staff Writer
The bustling square outside Tokyo's Shibuya Station was transformed Aug. 12 into a live music venue where performers belted out anti-war and anti-nuke protest songs.
World Peace Festival near the famed Hachiko statue was a free music event aimed at raising awareness of peace and democracy in the face of the Abe administration's efforts to push through unpopular security legislation this summer.
Organized by DJ Syuya Okino, the nighttime event featured funk band Osaka Monaurail and other artists.
The performers sang their opposition to the security legislation, which would greatly expand the role of the Self-Defense Forces overseas, and moves to resume operations at nuclear power plants nationwide.
A yearning for world peace defined the mood.
“I fear that if we accept changes in interpretation of the Japanese Constitution at the administration’s discretion, the time may come when the administration can change anything they want, even more than just the national security system,” hip-hop musician DELI told the crowd.
“If that happens, the day may come when we won’t be free to perform live here.”
World-renowned musician, composer and peace activist Ryuichi Sakamoto sent along a statement of solidarity.
“I feel strongly that democracy is not functioning in Japan,” his statement said.
“The ruling party is trying to emasculate the Constitution by interpreting it arbitrarily on the premise that ‘they won a mandate from the Japanese people.’”