Aug. 7 (UPI) -- More people in Japan are joining demonstrations outside Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's residence in Tokyo, calling on Abe to resign while urging the mending of ties with South Korea.
Protests that began on Sunday restarted Thursday despite record-high temperatures, and a heat wave that has killed dozens of people, South Korean television network MBC reported.
Rally participants said they do not support Abe's South Korea policies -- restrictive trade measures that have brought a chill to bilateral ties.
The group chanted "Retire, Abe!" as well as "No Abe, Stop Abe," while calling on their government to apologize for the colonial occupation of the Korean Peninsula.
The protesters organized the rally and are enlisting new participants through social media platforms, according to MBC. They say Abe's policies are regressive and anti-peace.
"Whether it's economic retaliation [targeting South Korea] or acknowledging history, Abe needs to keep his mouth closed and think before he acts or makes a declaration," said Tadashi Kojima, a rally participant.
The rally on Thursday lasted for more than an hour. Protesters also addressed other issues, including the cancelation in Japan of an exhibit of a comfort woman statue and compensation for Korean victims of forced wartime labor.
Protesters also held a press conference, calling for solidarity between the citizens of both countries to join forces to stem the tide of right-wing nationalist sentiment in Japan.
"We strongly protest the anti-peace policy of the Japanese government toward South Korea. We hope for peace between the citizens of Japan and South Korea, and for Northeast Asia," said Takashi Shiraishi, the head of Japanese civic group Solidarity for Hope, according to MBC.
On the Internet, activists, including Japanese public intellectuals, are circulating a petition with the headline "South Korea is not the enemy." The letter has gathered 7,600 signatures.
The Asahi Shimbun reported Thursday local artists are circulating a letter protesting the removal of a comfort woman statue from the Aichi Triennale.