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Policing Protest: “Restrictions on Street Demonstrations in Japan”
- Norikazu Kawagishi
- Lawrence Repeta
2011 was the year of the “Arab Spring,” “Occupy Wall Street” and other mass demonstrations and new protest movements that arose in various corners of the globe. What about Japan? Victims of a weak economy, the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl and other woes, the Japanese people have good reason to protest against the political status quo. And they have. A mass anti-nuclear protest on September 11 (led by Nobel Prize winner Oe Kenzaburo and other well-known figures) was reported to draw 60,000 people and there have been numerous smaller street protests against nuclear power and other issues. But compared to demonstrations in the United States and Europe, Japanese protests have been tiny, quiet and short-lived. Why is this so? Are the Japanese people satisfied with conditions as they are? Are they apathetic? Are street demonstrations limited by strict permitting systems and aggressive police tactics? Our speakers will discuss how law is applied to regulate street demonstrations in Japan and in the United States.