Subject: [cwj 116] Tokyo police brutalize peaceful protestors
From: Richard Wilcox <>
Date: Sat, 23 Sep 2000 18:00:50 +0900
Seq: 116



According to Hitomi Hikichi, Chairperson of the Tsuda College Student
Committee, Tokyo police brutally attacked and beat three men who had taken
part in protests on September 3rd, 2000 in Tokyo. People gathered at
various locations throughout Tokyo to protest Tokyo Governor Shintaro
Ishihara's military training exercises which were carried out that day.
After five protestors left the day's first protest in Nerima and then
departed a subway at Nakano-sakaue station on the Ouedo subway line, ten
police rushed the three men in the group. While some officers held them up,
others beat them in the body and face, then threw them on the ground and
continued to kick them. The three protestors, a Waseda University student
and two labor union members, suffered lacerations and bleeding from the
facial area.

Some nearby passengers were said to have seen the occurence and made an
effort to restrain the police from committing further violence. Video
camera recordings which recorded the event were confiscated by police and
not returned. The arrested were not charged for any crimes at the initial
scene and only later charged with "invasion of a building" and "disrupting
official business". The two women who were arrested are students of Tsuda
women's college and were not physically beaten but were only recently
released from police custody.

Governor Ishihara's military training exercises were supposed to have been
carried out to ready Japan in case of natural disaster. However, the very
same day on the Tokyo island of Miyake, residents were forced to evacuate
due to the extreme situation of volcanic eruption. According to the Asahi
Shimbun and the Tokyo Shimbun (newspapers), Ishihara dismissed the real
disaster on Miyake island because "it is only one part of Tokyo, but all of
Japan rests on a volcanic mountain and is imminent danger. Therefore we
need these training exercises..."

Elsewhere, Ishihara is well known for his racist statements and denial of
Japanese war crimes during World War II. His grand plan to turn Japan's
legitimate day of preparation for natural disaster into a glorification of
Japanese military might revolts many Japanese citizens who turned out on
the day of the exercises to oppose his plans. A noisy assembly of 1,500
protestors began their march at Shiba park and wound up near Tokyo station.
However, in the Koto ward of Tokyo, an anti-war group was denied its
constitutional rights of assembly by the local government there which
blocked their meeting in a local park.

As a teacher of Tsuda College and a person who took part in the protest
marches on September 3rd, I would personally like to urge people out there
to contact the Tsuda College Student Committee (Tsuda College, 2-1-1 Tsuda,
Kodaira city, Tokyo 187-8577, Japan, TEL/FAX 81-042-346-0359) and lend
their support to the two students who were arrested. The police continued
their harrassment of the students by visiting the campus in search of
further details on the student's activities.

-- Richard Wilcox, Tokyo, <>


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