World

Tens of thousands rally outside Japanese parliament to protest divisive security legislation

  • Protesters hold anti-war placards in front of the National Diet building during a rally in Tokyo, Sunday, Aug. 30, 2015. Thousands of Japanese protested outside the parliament a set of security bills designed to expand the role the country's military. The bills - a cornerstone of Prime Minister's Shinzo Abe's move to shore up Japan's defenses in the face of growing threats in the region - are expected to pass next month despite criticism they undermine Japan’s post-war pacifism. A placard at bottom center reads "No War, No Nuke." (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)

    Protesters hold anti-war placards in front of the National Diet building during a rally in Tokyo, Sunday, Aug. 30, 2015. Thousands of Japanese protested outside the parliament a set of security bills designed to expand the role the country's military. The bills - a cornerstone of Prime Minister's Shinzo Abe's move to shore up Japan's defenses in the face of growing threats in the region - are expected to pass next month despite criticism they undermine Japan’s post-war pacifism. A placard at bottom center reads "No War, No Nuke." (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)  (The Associated Press)

  • Protesters shout slogans during a rally in front of the National Diet building in Tokyo, Sunday, Aug. 30, 2015. Thousands of Japanese protested outside the parliament a set of security bills designed to expand the role the country's military. The bills - a cornerstone of Prime Minister's Shinzo Abe's move to shore up Japan's defenses in the face of growing threats in the region - are expected to pass next month despite criticism they undermine Japan’s post-war pacifism. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)

    Protesters shout slogans during a rally in front of the National Diet building in Tokyo, Sunday, Aug. 30, 2015. Thousands of Japanese protested outside the parliament a set of security bills designed to expand the role the country's military. The bills - a cornerstone of Prime Minister's Shinzo Abe's move to shore up Japan's defenses in the face of growing threats in the region - are expected to pass next month despite criticism they undermine Japan’s post-war pacifism. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)  (The Associated Press)

  • Protesters shout slogans during a rally in front of the National Diet building in Tokyo, Sunday, Aug. 30, 2015. Thousands of Japanese protested outside the parliament a set of security bills designed to expand the role the country's military. The bills - a cornerstone of Prime Minister's Shinzo Abe's move to shore up Japan's defenses in the face of growing threats in the region - are expected to pass next month despite criticism they undermine Japan’s post-war pacifism. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)

    Protesters shout slogans during a rally in front of the National Diet building in Tokyo, Sunday, Aug. 30, 2015. Thousands of Japanese protested outside the parliament a set of security bills designed to expand the role the country's military. The bills - a cornerstone of Prime Minister's Shinzo Abe's move to shore up Japan's defenses in the face of growing threats in the region - are expected to pass next month despite criticism they undermine Japan’s post-war pacifism. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)  (The Associated Press)

Tens of thousands of protesters have gathered outside Japan's parliament to oppose security legislation in one of this summer's biggest rallies ahead of its anticipated passage next month.

They chanted, "No to war legislation!" ''Scrap the bills now!" and "Abe, quit!" during Sunday's rally.

The demonstrators oppose the legislation that would expand Japan's military role.

Based on a Cabinet decision last year reinterpreting Japan's war-renouncing constitution, the legislation would allow the Self Defense Force to engage in combat for the first time since World War II when allies come under attack even when Japan itself is not.

The parliament is expected to make a decision on the matter by late September.