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Tokyo man sets himself on fire in protest against Abe

Published on Jun 29, 2014 5:24 PM
Police officers and firefighters investigating the site where a man set himself on fire at a pedestrian walkway near Shinjuku station in Tokyo, in this photo taken by Kyodo on June 29, 2014. The man set himself on fire at a busy intersection in Tokyo on Sunday in an apparent protest against Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's plans to ease limits of the country's pacifist constitution, police and witnesses said. Japan is poised for a historic shift in its defence policy by ending a ban that has kept the military from fighting abroad since World War Two. It was not immediately clear whether the man survived. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

TOKYO (AFP) - A Japanese man set himself on fire in central Tokyo on Sunday after giving a speech opposing Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's plan to reform the country's pacifist constitution, police and reports said.

The middle-aged man doused himself in what appeared to be petrol before setting himself alight outside the main train station in Shinjuku, one of Tokyo's busiest shopping and entertainment districts, the Metropolitan Police Department said.

The man was taken to hospital with burns and his condition was not immediately known, police added, without giving further details.

Such incidents are extremely rare in Japan. The Jiji Press news agency reported that the man, presumed to be in his 50s or 60s, climbed the frame of a pedestrian bridge and spoke through a megaphone for about an hour against Mr Abe's drive to expand the use of Japan's military.

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