A middle-aged man has set himself on fire in the center of the Japanese capital in an apparent protest to government plans to change Japan’s pacifist constitution. Authorities hosed the man down and immediately rushed him to hospital.
In a dramatic act of protest, the protester scaled a pedestrian bridge outside a main train station in the Shinjuku neighborhood. He then proceeded to make a speech through a megaphone condemning Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s plans to expand the use of the Japanese military by reforming the constitution.
Since the end of World War II, the Japanese constitution has forbidden the use of military force against other nations. It may only use its armed forces in self-defense.
After finishing his speech, the activist doused himself in what appeared to be gasoline and set himself ablaze in front of hundreds of onlookers.
“He was sitting cross legged and was just talking, so I thought it would end without incident. But when I came back to the same place 30 minutes later, he was still there. Then all of a sudden his body was enveloped in fire,” Ryuichiro Nakatsu, an 18-year-old student who witnessed the incident, told Reuters… see more