Lisa Torio '15, on Japan's pacifist position in the Nation
Lisa Torio ‘15, a magna cum laude graduate with degrees in both philosophy and political science, currently works as an intern for The Nation.
In a recent editorial there, Torio makes the case that Japan’s traditionally pacifist position is in peril, as the U.S. pushed that country to arm for war in the face of current global terrorism.
“For the first time since World War II, the Japanese parliament abandoned its longstanding pacifism in favor of a new security bill that authorizes offensive military operations overseas under the premise of “collective self-defense,” says Torio.
In her article, Torio goes on to say, “Yet many Japanese want to steer the country in a different direction. On the eve of the vote, brawls broke out in the parliament as a mob of opposition leaders surrounded the committee chairman, grabbing at the microphone in his hand. With several lawmakers escorted off, the scuffle delayed the bill’s passage until well after midnight.
“But the spectacle on the Diet floor was no match for the one outside. Beyond the parliament gates, tens of thousands of protesters carrying antiwar placards flooded the streets in one of the largest demonstrations in recent memory; the streetlights illuminated the faces of young students and activists shouting into megaphones, their voices undampened amid the pouring rain. Hemmed in by police vans on all sides, men and women, young and old, chanted in unwavering unison: “Protect the Constitution!” “Abe Must Go!” “No War!”