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Japan Emergency Appeal From Lawyers Against Repression Of Hosei Student Movement And Jail
Japanese activist lawyers have issued an international appeal to protest the repression of Hosei student activists and
Japan Emergency Appeal From Lawyers Against Repression Of Hosei Student Movement And For Release Of Students
Emergency Statement of Lawyers: Please join us!
We denounce the repression on the student movement of Hosei University!
We demand immediate release of the arrested students!
The Statement is signed by (as of May 28, 2009): IBUSUKI Shoichi (Daini Tokyo Bar Association), IHORI Tetsu (Daini Tokyo Bar Association), KAWAMURA Satoshi (Tokyo Bar Association), SUZUKI Tatsuo (Daini Tokyo Bar Association), TAKAYAMA Shunkichi (Tokyo Bar Association), TAKEUCHI Kouichi (Tokyo Bar Association), NISHIMURA Masaharu (Daini Tokyo Bar Association), HANAZAWA Toshiyuki (Daini Tokyo Bar Association), HAYAMA Takeo (Daini Tokyo Bar Association), FUJITA Jyoji (Daini Tokyo Bar Association), FUJITA Masato (Tokyo Bar Association), MORIKAWA Fumito (Daini Tokyo Bar Association), YAMAMOTO Shizu (Tokyo Bar Association)
 Massive crackdown on the student movement is raging in Hosei University. And the “Law Concerning Punishment of Physical Violence and Others” is applied to suppress students. What is actually happening in this University in the heart of Tokyo is recent arrests of 11 students including active members of the student cultural clubs and successive “hearing” of a large number of Hosei students forcibly summoned by police. The alleged offense for the arrested students is that the notice boards of the Hosei University were torn off at midnight by them who have been punished or expelled from the university because they had distributed flyers and/or made speech on campus. The notice of the university forbids the entrance of those punished students in the campus indicating them by name.
 Hosei University has become now a “prison university”: in the past three years 107 students were arrested by police, with 24 of them being indicted, and 12 students were punished by the university administration. In March this year, the university administration applied for a “provisional injunction” for “protection of university’s business interests” to forbid students from “loitering, putting up banners etc. and making speeches within 200 meters in radius from the campus”. This flagrant violation of freedom of expression and university autonomy was immediately met with a mass protest action of 1,500 students on campus on April 24 backed by some 70 lawyers across the country as their legal representatives. The myth of “decline of the student movement” is definitely over.
 The rise of the student movement shocked the Tokyo Public Prosecutor Office (TPPO) and the Public Security Bureau of the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department (TMPD). As the most serious crisis of capitalism in hundred years is deepening, young workers and students are joining in explosive struggle with an angry cry, “We must live” in France, Greece, and Britain and everywhere in the whole world. The ruling elites, including Prime Minister Aso, may be haunted by the nightmare of revolt.
 The “Law Concerning Punishment of Physical Violence and Others”, legislated in 1926, is a repressive law and played a terrible role, together with the Maintenance of the Public Order Act, in establishing a national mobilization system into war. About 5,000 people were arrested by this law till 1932, a year after the “Manchurian Incident” (Japanese military invasion in north east China). This notorious unjust law survived the post-war juridical reorganization through the intrigue of the Ministry of Justice and the Home Ministry. It has since been functioning as “the most convenient repressive law” (Professor OGINO Fujio) to destroy unity of labor unions because it needs only very ambiguous allegation for indictment, for example, threats by “demonstrating a force of an organization or of a numbers of persons” or “joint action of several persons”. Now this law is applied to suppress growing student movement.
 University today has degenerated into prison. This situation symbolizes the present time of war and constitutional revision. We call on the whole society to pay a serious attention to this critical development in university. We demand that TPPO and TMPD drop all charges and immediately release the students in detention. We also demand that police stop forcible hearing of members of the cultural clubs of Hosei University.
Contact: SUZUKI Tatsuo Law Office
Address: Syuwa-Kita-Aoyama-Residence603, Kita-Aoyama3-15-13, Minato-ku, Tokyo
Tel: 03-5467-8480 Fax: 03-5467-8490 E-mail-address: su-tatuo [at] mx3.alpha-web.ne.jp
A Nation-wide Urgent Protest Declaration Demanding Immediate Release of the Hosei University Students Unjustly Arrested by the Law Concerning Punishment of Physical Violence and Others
May 28, 2009
In Hosei University in Tokyo, an outrageous crackdown on student movement is now taking place. On May 15 and 16, Public Security Bureau of Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department (TMPD) arrested 11 students, including 10 Hosei University students, on forged charge of violating the “Law Concerning Punishment of Physical Violence and Others”. Two of them had already been indicted for another charge before their arrest for the second time. This was followed by another arrest of a student for a different charge on May 18. Furthermore, the Security Police is taking an unpardonable measure of forcibly summoning, or rather kidnapping, a large number of Hosei University students for “hearing” for long hours sometimes overnight; the police aims to obtain testimony from them to prove the false allegation on arrested students who are all keeping courageously complete silence during police interrogation.
107 are the total number of the students who are arrested in Hosei University in three years since March 2006. 24 students out of them are indicted. The whole development started by a mass arrest of students who gathered to protest one-sided decision of the university administration to prohibit distribution of flyers, putting up notice boards or making free speech on campus. The charge was “trespassing on the university”. 200 policemen of the Public Security Bureau of TMPD rushed into the university campus to assault and arrest students. This outrageous operation was deliberately prepared through cooperation with the university administration. It was followed by a series of repressive measures by the police and the university administration: suspension and expulsion from the university, arrest and indictment. Thereafter the campus was dominated by violent staffs and guards specially hired by the university administration who repeated assaults on dissident students who kept on protesting university’s repression.
We are terribly shocked and indignant at the repression on students of Hosei University. The students of the Federation of Cultural Clubs of Hosei University, which is an association of independent student clubs, and those students who are fighting against war rallying around Zengakuren (All Japan Federation of Student Autonomous Bodies), are targeted by the recent repression. All executive committee members of the Federation of Cultural Clubs and three essential leading members of Zengakuran including President ODA Yosuke are among the arrested students.
The alleged charge of the arrests is that the students had destroyed the notice boards of the university on the main entrance gate that published the names of those students who had been expelled from the university and who could not afford to pay expensive university fee and prohibited them from entering in the university campus. That was the official notice boards of the university administration! Today, Hosei University, an educational institution, is in an extraordinary situation, in which such a shameless notice is put up even at the entrance of classrooms and numerous surveillance cameras are located in every corner on the campus to watch students’ independent activities. Is a university that deprives students of their rights of thought and expression and controls the campus by violence of guards just like a “prison”, worth its name? Hosei University has ceased to be a university now. In March, the university administration applied for “provisional injunction” to ban distribution of flyers etc. “in order to protect Hosei’s business interests”. The present situation of Hosei University should immediately be overthrown. Such a university must undergo a radical change.
While our anger is boiling up against the outrageous repression on the students, we are enormously moved by the courageous struggle of the students against repeated crackdown and we extend them whole-hearted greetings of respect and solidarity. The forcible pursuit of the neo-liberal policy in education and university has brought about the reality of Hosei University as its typical example. To confront and defeat this situation exhibited in Hosei University is a life-and-death task of not only students but also all workers and people who cope with an age of global economic crisis and war.
We regard it very important that the Law Concerning Punishment of Physical Violence and Others was applied to suppress students’ struggle. This law was legislated in the pre-war time as repressive law together with the Maintenance of the Public Order Act to disband labor unions and destroy labor movement. Its aim is to punish collective activities as crime and played a decisive role in political repression in many occasions. The application of this law to the Federation of Cultural Clubs of Hosei University and Zengakuren reminds us of the Affair of Kyoto Student Federation (1925-27) that paved the way for the national mobilization system for World War II through suppressing education and academic activities. There is no future for labor unions and the whole people if we do not crush this fierce repression.
Let’s raise our angry voices of protest against the repression on Hosei University students! Let’s encourage and support the fighting students in their brave struggle confronting the violence of the state power. On June 14 and 15 a successive struggle is planned in Tokyo to crash the crackdown on students. Workers and students all over Japan are called upon to participate in theses actions. Let’s surround Hosei University administration and the state power by the indignation of workers, students and people!
We demand the police immediate release of 12 students from the unjust detention!
We demand that MASUDA Toshio, the president of Hosei University, and the university administration withdraw all measures taken to punish dissident students and apologize for them all. We also demand cancellation of all the rules and restrictions that regulate independent activities of students in Hosei University!
The Declaration is signed by (as of May 28):
IRIE Shiro (President of Independent Union of Standard Vacuum Oil)
NISHIKAWA Shigenori (representative for the Liaison Committee of the War Bereaved for Peace)
TANAKA Yasuhiro (President of Doro-Chiba)
ADACHI Masakatsu (professor of Kanto-Gakuin University)
OGINO Fujio (professor of Otaru college of commerce)
TAKAYAMA Shunkichi (the Great Movement: “No Saiban’in(Lay Judge) System!
HAYAMA Takeo (representative lawyer for the National Rescue Center of political persecuted)
SUZUKI Tatsuo (chief lawyer for the defense of national railway workers of May 27 struggle)
ODA Mikiko (mother of the arrested ODA Yosuke)
ONDA Eiichi (father of the arrested ONDA Ryo)
If you agree with us, please join us or support us by means of your signature.
Contact: National Coordinating Center of Labor Unions
Address: Gohoudou-Ito-Building 5F, Moto-Asakusa2-4-10, Taito-Ku, Tokyo
Tel: 03-3845-7461 Fax: 03-3845-7463