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Posts Tagged ‘tokyo’

“Shut Down the G8 Summit” Alternative sound demonstration – Shinjuku

Following Saturday’s meeting and speech by Susan George, the “working groups” from “Shut Down the G8 Summit” met other demonstrators in the heavy rain at Kashigawa Park on Sunday afternoon.

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Here there was a brief rally, with Susan George among others giving short speeches:

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Saturday’s events in Tokyo

On the first full day of anti-G8 action in Tokyo yesterday, there were workshops held throughout the city from 1pm, consisting of various “working groups”. These were then followed by a General Meeting at 6pm, which I attended. The meeting was held in Bunkyo Kumin Center near Kasuga station and the main speaker was Susan George of ATTAC France and Transnational Institute. She is a long-time activist and the author of a number of books on poverty including How the Other Half Dies (1976).

The first hour of the meeting was given to introductions and the reports by the “working groups”. These groups covered issues such as trade, sexual discrimination and American bases on Okinawa and Guam among others.

Shut Down the G8 Summit - Working Groups report

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Rising concerns

The World Food Program have declared that the food crisis is a “silent tsunami” sweeping the world which, like a large natural disaster, requires a global response. Tsunami is a Japanese word meaning harbour wave. Could this disaster-prone country be seriously affected by the crisis?

In a recent survey, over 40% of people in Japan viewed rising food prices as a concern. As Kyodo News reports:

(This) represented three-fold increases from a survey in January 2007 and marked record highs since this question was first asked in 1998…

It would appear that they are right to be worried. The price rises are hitting the poor in Japan hard. For widow-headed households, average expenditure is now higher than income. Is the recent rationing of rice in the United States and the United Kingdom just the tip of the iceberg for developed countries?

In Part 4 I looked at global agriculture, but in this post I will cover the likely consequences of peak food for Japan.

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Yesterday I went on the World Peace Now anti-war march in Tokyo, marking 5 years since the beginning of the Iraq War. Most of the people attending the march seemed to be affiliated to various groups, the most common of which were the trade unions.

Altogether there were about 1000-1500 people taking part, not including the large police escort who seemed most concerned with making sure none of us were run over. The point at which the march came closest to the US Embassy was guarded by a line of their shield-carrying colleagues and here there was a lone American man who was demonstrating against the marchers…

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