More than 30 Japanese nongovernmental organizations will stage a demonstration in Tokyo this weekend to protest a possible U.S.-led attack on Iraq, they said Tuesday.

The rally Saturday in Tokyo will coincide with international antiwar protests in Washington and San Francisco that are expected to draw between 500,000 and 1 million people, as well as rallies in more than 25 countries and in more than 15 cities in Japan.

The NGOs involved in the rally in Tokyo, which has been dubbed No More War! No Attack on Iraq, include Amnesty International Japan, the Citizens’ Nuclear Information Center, Greenpeace Japan and Peace Boat.

Organizers expect about 10,000 people to participate, which will include a “peace parade” through the Ginza district and a concert at Hibiya Park featuring Shokichi Kina, a singer from Okinawa Prefecture.

“The Japanese government says it will contribute to reconstruction of Iraq following a war, and is trying to get NGOs in on the plan,” Maki Sato, a member of the No-War Network and the Japan International Volunteer Center, told a news conference. “But it’s nonsense. The most important thing is not to go to war.”

Sonoko Kawakami of Amnesty, said: “It is likely that many civilians in Iraq will die because of bombing errors in any U.S.-led war.”

We strongly urge the international community to avert a war in order to protect the Iraqi people’s rights.”

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.