Saturday, June 28, 2014

(OT: Graphic Images) A Man Sets Himself on Fire in Protest Against Abe Administration's Collective Self-Defense Stance in Central Tokyo

It happened within the last hour on June 29, 2014 (Japan time). So far it is only on Twitter and Instagram.

A man set himself on fire after making a speech to the passers-by as he sat atop a pedestrian bridge over a busy street in Shinjuku, Tokyo. According to the eyewitness accounts on Twitter, he looked like a regular office worker in suits, and he was expressing his disapproval of the Abe administration and the administration's plan to allow collective self-defense without formally modifying the Constitution by national referendum.

I was very surprised that self-immolation like this happened in Japan (of all places) now (of all times) as a political protest (of all things).

But I was more surprised to see some tweets (like this, and this, and this) accusing this man of carrying out an act of "terrorism" - setting himself on fire and thus endangering others on a busy street, when freedom of speech and universal suffrage are guaranteed [by the Constitution].

Never mind that the Abe administration's ultimate goal is to gut that Constitution with such niceties. My tweet wondering about those people and their perception of "terrorism" is getting retweeted by people who then spit out "Of course this man is such a nuisance!"

People on the street apparently wasted no time in capturing the images with their smartphones.


Darth3.11 said...

Holy sh*t! Shinjuku is a place I often go to. It's a real shock that this happened, and happened there! It seems that Abe's politics is deeply influencing people, although I can't be pleased with this result. In shock...

Apolline said...

Anonymous said...

Busy street is an understatement... The nearby Shinjuku station is used by 2 million people every day.

Anonymous said...

I am struggling at findind this news on the major news outlets in Japan. Abe militaristic policies just got the Komeito green light (a buddhist party approving use of violence to protect US military anywhere in the world).

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