Young Japanese opposed to the passage of the government's controversial security bills looming in the current Diet session have discovered some political backbone and are making their voices heard on a mass scale. Encouraged by a group called Students Emergency Action for Liberal Democracy-s (SEALDs), young people who generally shun political activism have been emboldened to stage rallies across the nation demanding that the ruling coalition, led by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's Liberal Democratic Party, nix the bills. And as Abe takes aim to enact the bills that would bolster the role of Japanese forces overseas, others are calling into question the support from the Buddhist-backed Komeito party, the junior coalition partner of the LDP. SEALDs has captured public attention with a new, hip style of protest, featuring rap slogans and flashy pamphlets to get their message across. According to organisers of an event on August 30, 120,000 people gathered around the Diet building in Tokyo. Police sources suggested that number was inflated, saying there were 30,000 participants, but it was still nothing to sneeze at. The bills would greatly expand the Self-Defence Forces' operations overseas and allow Japan to exercise the right to collective self-defence, or coming to the aid of its allies, including the United States, under armed attack even if Japan itself is not attacked. A university student who joined in the activities of SEALDs launched a signature drive via the internet. Nobuhiro Hishida, 22, aims to collect signatures from overseas by making online forms in seven foreign languages - English, Chinese, Korean, Thai, French, Spanish and Russian. "If the Japanese Self-Defence Forces are allowed to be actively involved in military activities with our allies around the world, Japan may become involved in a war with your country," the English version of his website said. "There are a lot of people abroad who feel that these bills will become a problem directly linked to their livelihood and lives. Our voices need to be heard," said the university student, who lives in Kanagawa Prefecture, southwest of Tokyo. His web page has garnered more than 2,000 signatures since its launch in late August. In a similar move, NGO "NO WAR" network, promoting international cooperation and launched in July, issued a statement against the security bills, which gained support from a total of 331 NGOs at home and abroad over about 10 days. "We are strongly opposed to a situation in which the people of the Asia-Pacific region could once again be in the relationship of killing or being killed as a result of Japanese war actions, or that the region could once again experience the tragic disaster of war," the statement said. Critics including constitutional scholars have slammed the bills as violating the nation's war-renouncing Constitution and many in the public are concerned that the legislation would increase the likelihood of Japanese involvement in war. Aki Okuda, a 23-year-old university student and a central member of SEALDs, said the nationwide anti-security bills movement is the real deal and not limited to the younger generation. Atomic bomb survivors groups and groups of mothers concerned about Japan's future are also up in arms. "We are getting sick and tired that nothing has changed politically even after the Great East Japan Earthquake and the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant accident [in 2011]," said Okuda at an event held in Tokyo on September 8. "SEALDs is treated as a symbol [of the nationwide movement], but it isn't true that those who are rallying are centred on younger people. A national movement is happening."