The 50 th anniversary of the Japan Peace for Vietnam Citizens’ Alliance , also known as the Beheiren movement, was held in Shiba Park in Tokyo, Japan on April 26.

The ceremony allowed those involved to look back at a glorious chapter of a left-wing movement which saw Japanese students and young people protest the United States’ invasion of Vietnam.

The Beheiren movement began its activities on April 24, 1965, two months after the US’s bombing of the north of Vietnam.

Despite having just coming into existence, the movement quickly attracted a lot of attention from the public thanks to the participation of some influential figures, such as writers Makoto Oda and Takeshi Kaiko and the philosopher Shunsuke Tsurumi.

Beheiren continually staged a wide range of activities to protest the war in Vietnam. On June 15, 1969, it organised the biggest anti-war rally in Tokyo, drawing over 70,000 to the streets.

The movement expanded and eventually had 350 groups across Japan. It’s operation had a huge influence on later civil movements and became a model for anti-war movements.

What the Beheiren movement achieved was adding its voice to the media war against the US invasion of Vietnam and support for Vietnamese people’s struggle for liberation.

The memories of the Beheiren movement are the embodiment of noble internationalism and humanitarianism and show the spirit of friendship between Vietnamese and Japanese people.-VNA