In Japan, protests intensify as vote nears on ‘war bills’

Los Angeles Times
September 15, 2015

On and off for weeks now, Kumiko Yokoi has been singing in front of Japan’s house of parliament and elsewhere.

The tune is “Love Me Tender,” but Yokoi has rewritten the lyrics to harangue Prime Minister Shinzo Abe for his military policy and efforts to reinterpret Japan’s pacifist Constitution, among other things.

“When Abe was running for election, there wasn’t a word about security legislation. All we heard was ‘Abenomics, Abenomics,'” Yokoi, 71, a retiree from Tokyo’s suburbs, said as she stood in front of the legislature Monday evening. “Then, as soon as he’s elected … he’s … putting the ‘war bills’ out there. That’s just sneaky and underhanded. That’s not democracy.”

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