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Pacifists to rally as poll shows Japan uneasy over military

Published on Apr 8, 2014 2:26 PM

TOKYO (AFP) - Thousands of people are set to rally on Tuesday against government plans to soften Japan's commitment to pacifism and give its military a more active role, as a poll showed opposition to the moves.

Nobel Literature laureate Kenzaburo Oe will be among the speakers at the demonstration at a park in central Tokyo, organisers said. They estimated the event would attract several thousand attendees.

The protest is taking place after a national opinion poll showed there was growing public opposition to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's push to bolster his nation's military.

He has argued that Japan needs to reinterpret its pacifist constitution to permit "collective defence" - coming to the aid of an ally under attack.

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