What Exactly is going on in Tokyo Right Now?

aechlys:

Ok kids, listen up. I’m about to explain to you, to the best of my ability, why there are 40,000 people protesting in Tokyo’s Nagata-cho as I type this, why it matters, and why you should be talking about it, too.

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What Started This Protest?

The short answer —> Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has proposed a round-about way of changing Article 9 of Japan’s constitution, which basically states that Japan will never go to war ever again. This constitution was written by US officials in Japan after WW2 and is actually more balanced than America’s own constitution in certain ways (there is equal pay for women, for example). There have been various Nationalist (think Japanese Tea Party-esque displays) public demonstrations supporting Japan having the ability to go to war again- usually subtly, or not so subtly, naming out potential foes such as China and Korea. But none of that compares to what’s going on right now in Nagatacho AGAINST any changes to Article 9. Last Sunday, a man sat himself on top of a bridge in Shinjuku, protested the changes, and then set himself on fire over all this.
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(The man survived. He’s now being sued by the government for damage to public property)

The long, complicated answer —> Japan has had problems with its top government officials for nearly 10 years now. After a long string of PMs resigning, Abe (who was originally one of those resigning PMs) was reelected and has stayed in power this time the longest in the past several years. Until this issue with Article 9 came about, the biggest issue was the Fukushima nuclear plant, which is still hemorrhaging radioactive water to the point where workers have temporarily given up trying to stop it and recently told everyone that they were now ‘purposefully’ dumping contaminated water into the pacific ocean (although now the current plan is to create an “ice wall” - yes “ice wall”- around the affected ground water in an attempt to stop it. Somehow). TEPCO (Tokyo Electric Power Company), who owns the plant and has been responsible for the cleanup, has failed repeatedly to do their job and has consistently rejected outside international help for reasons, at this point, that can only be attributed to hurt national pride.

At the beginning of this year, Abe’s administration passed a ‘State Secrets’ law which forbade any publishing of Japanese ‘state secrets’ which conveniently included anything to do with nuclear sciences (this would included Fukushima). Not only is this bill extremely vague, leaving it open for the government to essentially call anything they want a state secret, but as I recall, about three days after this was passed, the news was suddenly reporting that all was well at the nuclear plant.

At the end of LAST year, Abe announced that he purchased some battleships- specifically aircraft carriers- that had actually been seen floating off the coast of different parts of Japan up to a month before they were publicly announced. On a personal note, I have seen those ships, and last month I saw one other as well floating off my local waters. Below is a picture I was able to grab while on the train:
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While the state secrets law riled up academic circles who claimed that the government had just eliminated the right to free speech, it didn’t gain a lot of news coverage and eventually faded away. It might be worth noting here, too, that NHK (Japan’s BBC, essentially) is chaired by government officials- some of whom Abe seems to have personally appointed.

With the state secrets law now in place, which has limited what one has to assume are more ‘negative’ stories and updates about the Fukushima nuclear plant issue (which its admitted failure by the government would oblige Abe to step down as prime minister), we’re brought to the main course- significantly altering/reinterpreting/removing Article 9 of the Japanese constitution:

"The Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution Chapter ii. Renunciation of War Article 9. Aspiring sincerely to an international peace based on justice and order, the Japanese people forever renounce war as a sovereign right of the nation and the threat or use of force as means of settling international disputes. In order to accomplish the aim of the preceding paragraph, land, sea, and air forces, as well as other war potential, will never be maintained. the right of belligerency of the state will not be recognized."



Now, Japan DOES have what is essentially a National Guard, which participates in non-combat efforts in both their own country and abroad, so Japan is not totally helpless here- they’re just confined to their own borders when it comes to personally rolling out ammunition (which happens whenever North Korea makes a missile threat where the path of the missile is supposed to go over Japan- the US military assists in this temporary defense bubble whenever it has to go up).

What Abe wants to do, however, is “reinterpret” this article in a way that allows Japan to expand and use their military like any other respectable country does. That seems fairly reasonable, right? Except that Abe’s chosen route to accomplish this goal is to go around the Democratic process, ignoring the public’s opinions, and holding what are basically closed-door votes amongst a group of people who are already on his side, instead of, say, passing an actual constitutional amendment instead. This has made people angry- people that might agree with having the military restored are angry because of how shadily it’s being done, and people who *don’t* agree are angry because they don’t want Japan to go back to war and they *don’t* like Abe’s tactics.

Then there’s the potential US angle to all this. Paranoia over China seems to have gotten so high that there’s the rather strong theory going around that it was actually the US behind the state secrets bill getting passed and that it’s the US again behind trying to restore military rights to Japan. While that seems like a giant big ball of irony and contradictions, this handy image popped up on Twitter:

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(I’m so sorry- there’s such a rush of info going on right now that I’m not sure where this diagram came from but it makes a point.)

China, as many of you may know, has been relentlessly heckling neighboring countries such as Japan, Korea, and The Philipenes over who has rights over tiny islands (some of them literally just rocks jutting out of the sea) that nobody lives on. Even the largest of these islands (Japan was particularly riled up over an island it has dubbed “Takeshima”) are uninhabited except for wild goats. Japan has unfortunately taken the bait over what has been a magnificently farcical dispute and decided to engage China over these useless islands. At the height of the Takeshima dispute, NHK took to telling you the weather for the island with the regular forecasts (remember- nobody there but wild goats), and airing documentaries about the occasional Tokugawa-era fishermen who used to camp out for the day to fish there before going home again. One of these, which I caught, consisted of nothing but old guys sitting around talking while background footage perpetually looped showing nothing but these goats frolicking around on the rocky terrain of the island. That one went on for at least an hour. It was, in a word, ridiculous. So while China has even started going so far as trying to “reinforce” its claims and even “create” new islands by dumping sand in the ocean, Japan hasn’t exactly been mature about the situation either.
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(“Stop war!” “Protect Peace!”)

Basically, guys……I could go on, but it would probably just end up going in one big circle. Maybe I’ve not presented this the best way possible, and I truly do apologize for that, but hopefully this has helped to explain a few things. What I will say, though, is that after everything I’ve mentioned above, things have piled up so badly and so messily that for at least the second night in a row, 10,000, and now reports say around 40,000 people have taken to protesting outside government offices in Tokyo, and other smaller demonstrations have taken place in at least Osaka and Nagasaki as well. They’re fed up, they’re chanting for Shinzo Abe to leave Article 9 alone and to resign. They’re calling him a facist. They’re mocking him with Nazi symbols. Japan- today’s Japanese- which is a people of almost bottomless patience and calm and who will go out of their way so that you never have to feel awkward or uncomfortable about anything- these people are out there and they’re fed up. They’re doing these things which are radical for them because they don’t want this to happen. And the media here is in such an iron grip that the guy who set himself on fire on Sunday in Shibuya and these protestors are lucky to get even a brief mention on the nightly news. 40,000+ people out there. And they need more people to spread the word.
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ALL PROTEST IMAGES (**EXCEPT for the individual being carted off by police- that one came from a friend who does not wish to be named) USED WITH PERMISSION AND BELONG TO @KjeldDuits AND @asianskys ON TWITTER. These two people are on the ground posting live updates so go follow them for more info and even more pictures.


****UPDATE POST 9/27/14 :: >CLICK HERE<

Reblogged from skankplissken
1
Oct

cwnerd12:

Aretha Franklin - Rolling In The Deep (The Aretha Version)

OMFG

THIS IS THE BEST THING EVER

(Source: youtube.com)

Reblogged from obscuruslupa
1
Oct
toriknew:

The golden standard

toriknew:

The golden standard

Reblogged from valvala
1
Oct

twerkingdead:

this literally has changed my life

(Source: lawn-of-del-rey)

Reblogged from cyclopette
1
Oct
 - Spooky Scary Skeletons
473,557 plays

mamamidnight:

hobo-golden:

I’m so sorry but its just that time of year

so totally not soorrryyyy YHEAAAA!!!!!!!!!

Gotta love TheLivingTombstone.

Reblogged from cyclopette
1
Oct
My lawyer gives the same speech to everyone who wants to do business with me now. ‘Nicki is not one of those artists who allow her representatives to make decisions for her.’ I’m on conference calls all day with lawyers, accountants, and executives—people of power—and they treat me with respect. Because I command respect. I’m not cocky, but I deserve to know what’s going on. It’s my brand and my life. That’s my advice to women in general: Even if you’re doing a nine-to-five job, treat yourself like a boss. Not arrogant, but be sure of what you want—and don’t allow people to run anything for you without your knowledge. You want everyone to know, Okay, I can’t play games with her. I have to do right by this woman. That’s what it’s all about.

Nicki Minaj, Elle, April 2013

Adding partial source(via andyhutchins)

(Source: hrafnagaldr)

Reblogged from aquaticarbiter
1
Oct

heroque:

kingcheddarxvii:

Had a dream just now that Macklemore was named TIME magazine’s Most Muggable Musician and he showed up at an interview to accept the award and they mugged him

What’s the point of mugging someone who only has $20 in their pocket

(Source: kingmunsterxvii)

Reblogged from cyclopette
1
Oct

shewbs:

Its that time again….

Reblogged from bolto
1
Oct

caffebear:

zzazu:

raaawrbin:

I feel like very few, or at least not many of the people of tumblr are aware of what is going on in my home country Hong Kong right now.

You guys gave alot of coverage and support when Scotland was voting for its independance, so I’m hoping you’ll all support the people of Hong Kong as well.

Right now, many of us are in a mass demonstration of pro-democracy against China. But wait a sec, isn’t Hong Kong China? This is a big misconception amongst foreigners, but please, we are far from being similar to China at all.

A little history class: Hong Kong used to be colonized by the British, and before you white-knights begin going all “them damn white racist ppl taking over another asian country” please don’t. We are thankful Britain took us under its wing and instilled in us values that I feel made us what we are today; that is, a democratic people with respect for free speech, amongst many things.

On the other hand, China is communist, with government controlled media and news. Google, instagram, facebook and many tv shows are blocked in China. It really is just a few steps from North Korea imo.

So what’s the problem here? Britain unfortunately had to hand back Hong Kong to China, but one of the requirements is that Hong Kong be allowed to operate as ‘one country two systems’, meaning Hong Kong should be able to have its own democratic government. But China has broken its promise. A while back, China tried to put a mandatory ‘national education’ curriculum in all our primary schools. We all know what that is; a communist brainwashing regime. And now, they have announced that in 2017 Hong Kong will be able to vote for its president; BUT only from 3 candidates hand picked by its PRO-BEIJING legislation.

As you can see, China is trying to takeover completely and turn us into another communist state.

Of course, we have taken to the streets. In a mirror if the Tiananmen protests, students have also stepped up to fight for our rights and our future, albeit in a peaceful protest of course. But the police force who have always been a friend of the people, are now responding with force, something that had never been done before in Hong Kong.

First it was pepperspray, then teargas. Then, armed forces came in qith rubber bullets. They warn they will come out with live ammunition soon if we do not get off the streets but the people continue to sit tight, disrupting businesses China so strive to takeover and make use of. It’s been 2 days now, but the people plan to continue at least till 1st October or even beyond. The significance is that October 1st is China’s National day, not ours, Hong Kong has not been granted it’s own National day.

Please spread the news. This is a country we’re talking about. These are my people.

You can join this event to wear yellow in support of my people on October 1st.

You can also read a more detailed explanation of what’s going down here and watch a live feed here.

"They cant kill us all"
holy shit

Reblogging. HK is a beautiful place and very close to my heart.

Reblogged from aquaticarbiter
1
Oct

socialjusticekoolaid:

HAPPENING NOW (9.26.14): And in an instance, mayhem. The police attacked protesters without warning or clear provocation, mind you, WHILE the police chief was out chatting/marching with them. More to come tonight. Stay woke. #farfromover (PT I) (PT II)

So while the Chief was PR stuntin, one of his officers decided to charge through the crowd and INCITE A MELEE. I repeat, the officers got physical with protesters, and in the ensuing mayhem, used it as an excuse to whoop on some of the protesters. THERE IS VIDEO! CNN is already misreporting it as an attack on the chief. Do not let them spread that lie. These pigs have no regard, respect, or consideration for the protesters, peaceful or otherwise. #staywoke #farfromover

LIVESTREAM

Reblogged from cyclopette
30
Sep

everythingsbetterwithbisexuals:

be-blackstar:

communerd:

Can’t stop, won’t stop (9.22): Updates from tonight’s town hall are slow coming due to the virtual media black out, but it seems like the name of tonight’s game was “Pass the Buck.” Hard to heal when no one’s willing to take responsibility for their wrongs. #staywoke #farfromover 

okay but how can they even begin to deny having military gear when there are literally hundreds of pictures of cannisters and riot gear???

I MEAN…

is this some semantic-based loophole?! 

"Our police department doesn’t use or possess tear gas, rubber bullets, stingers, or any of the items used during protest." 

So are they admitting those items were used during the protests? Or are they saying “we don’t use them during protests [but we didn’t consider those times protests]” 

Like what in the holy fuck is happening? 

Wait, I think they’re seriously trying to argue that they don’t actually OWN those canisters and guns and riot gear, they were just … you know, borrowing them from a friend, so it TOTALLY doesn’t count. 

(Source: socialjusticekoolaid)

Reblogged from chibiwonder
30
Sep

sillyscrunchy:

trickstercheebs:

scoutgender:

look……this sfm is done we can watch it in its full glory

shit demo we cant take you anywhere

I think it’s time for this to start making the rounds again.

(Source: scoutgender)

Reblogged from dustyoldroses
30
Sep
Reblogged from cyclopette
30
Sep
wildparsnip:

OCTOBER HAS ARRIVED!!!!! I HOPE UR READY

wildparsnip:

OCTOBER HAS ARRIVED!!!!! I HOPE UR READY

Reblogged from cyclopette
30
Sep
butterflyshark:

dizmama:

ryuuhoho:

this is going to kill my hand jfc why did i decide this was how I wanted to do the hair wh y 

here is a MUCH HAIR tip that will probably make your life %10 easier!pick any brush u want and freely sketch yo hair

ctrl + click the hair layer to select it

increment by 1 or 2 depending how thick you like your lines

make a new layer under your hair layer

fill with desired color


I’m already almost done lining this hair monster but thank you so much for the tip I’ll use it the next time I draw shiroba!

butterflyshark:

dizmama:

ryuuhoho:

this is going to kill my hand jfc why did i decide this was how I wanted to do the hair wh y 

here is a MUCH HAIR tip that will probably make your life %10 easier!

pick any brush u want and freely sketch yo hair

image

ctrl + click the hair layer to select it

image

increment by 1 or 2 depending how thick you like your lines

image

make a new layer under your hair layer

image

fill with desired color

image

I’m already almost done lining this hair monster but thank you so much for the tip I’ll use it the next time I draw shiroba!

Reblogged from cyclopette
30
Sep