Dear fighting friends all over the world,
We ask you to read the following declaration, spread this and send us short messages for the release of brother TAKEDA to the following address.
Zengakuren International Department
We protest the May 13th crackdown on
Hosei University student activists and demand
the immediate release of imprisoned student Yuhimaru Takeda
Federation of Cultural Clubs of Hosei University (Tokyo, Japan)
Hitoshi YAMAMOTO (Secretary-general of Federation of Cultural Clubs,
the fourth grade of HoseiUniv.)
Kei IDA (the first grade of Sophia Univ.)
Motoya TSUCHIDA (the first grade of Keio Univ.)
Syota HOSODA (the first grade of Wako Univ.)
Kou YOSHIDA (the first grade of Kanagawa Univ.)
Students of Wako Univ.
Student of Waseda Univ.
We condemn the prosecution of Yuhimaru Takeda (President of Federation of Cultural Clubs) on false charges of “physical violence”. We demand his immediate release.
This prosecution has no legitimacy
Takeda was unjustly arrested on May 13th in the vicinity of Hosei University in central Tokyo on charges of “property damage”. The security police brutally assaulted and abducted him, claiming they were making an arrest at the scene of a crime. But police officers failed to elaborate on the charge of “property damage” at that time. (This video shows how the arrest actually happened: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NHxnv62mmiI.)
When the police came to indict Takeda on June 3rd, however, the charge against him was abruptly changed from “property damage” to “physical violence” (assault). This shows how the initial charge of “property damage” was totally unsustainable for prosecution.
The prosecution of someone for “physical violence” requires a claim report. Therefore, Yuko Tanaka, the President of Hosei University, ordered university staff to file a fresh claim of “physical violence” as soon as she was informed that the false charge of “property damage” would not stand up. The sole and apparent intention of the university officials was to hand over Takeda to security police through indicting him by any means possible. It shows that Yuko Tanaka, a reputed “liberal scholar”, has shamelessly cooperated with the security police in a cozy relationship with state power in suppressing a courageous student activist. We can never forgive this oppression and continue to fight for the immediate release of our fellow activist Takeda.
Background of the unjust arrest and prosecution
In the eight years since 2006, students have been arrested 126 times and 13 students expelled or suspended because of their protest against the increased restriction and control of the independent activities of students, and against the commercialization of Hosei University. Yuhimaru Takeda is one of the students engaged in protest activities against the alarming state of the university. A student since 2010, he has been unfairly suspended indefinitely by the university administration for his activism.
On April 25th we previously called for a demonstration under the slogan of “withdrawal of all punishments”, in which many students from various universities and colleges from across the country and the Tokyo metropolitan area rallied together in front of Hosei University. Many Hosei students also spontaneously joined in our demonstration and we successfully manifested the power of united student action in a very clear and strong way. Moreover, the unyielding continuation of the Hosei struggle is encouraging the efforts to reconstruct autonomous student bodies (student councils) in Kyoto, Hiroshima and Okinawa Universities, among others. University authorities and state power intend to intimidate students by a series of crackdowns, with this assault on our comrade Takeda being the latest gross example. We must never allow them to get away with this.
All these developments, beginning with the unjust arrest of Takeda on the charge of alleged property damage and followed by his prosecution under the new charge of physical violence have clearly exposed the weakness of the university administration and security police. In spite of the total collapse of their scheme, they still attempt to hold Takeda in unjustified detention with the single aim of preventing the student movement from progressing. Their viciousness is inextricably associated with their lack of justice and confidence to convince students of their position.
In April, Yuko Tanaka assumed the position of President of Hosei University. A famous scholar, she is a member of the Committee of 1,000 to Prevent War and has openly protested against the Act on the Protection of Specially Designated Secrets, and also against nuclear power. However, the new presidency of “liberal” Yuko Tanaka has brought about no change at all to the reactionary and miserable situation at Hosei University. Even worse, she has refused to hold any dialogue with us. For example, she has so far declined to accept an open letter from the Federation of Cultural Clubs on six occasions.
On February 27th, five students, including members of the Federation of Cultural Clubs, were acquitted by Tokyo High Court for their activities on the university campus after a severe five-year legal battle. They had been charged under the Law concerning Punishment of Physical Violence and Others for allegedly “tearing down university notices”. Even after this final acquittal of the students, Hosei University administration has refused to apologize to the innocent students who had been detained for eight months under the false charges filed against them. The university has shamelessly and entirely shrugged off blame.
In the present situation at Hosei University we can see a concentrated case of what is happening in Japanese society as a whole. How can we stop war when we are not allowed to raise our voices at our workplaces or on campuses? Now we are faced with this same situation in all aspects of society. For example, workers at nuclear power plants have seen their grievances repressed and are forced to work while totally exposed to radiation in poor working conditions.
The technical, intellectual and managerial base of society is not supported by universities where students cannot protest against unreasonable educational policies. Under the guise of the “liberal” intellectual, Yuko Tanaka in fact plays a role in implementing the policies of the Abe government to promote war and amend the Constitution. She is no different to the trade union leaders who have degenerated into being the partners of corporate labor management. We pledge to overcome this rotten and repressive structure by the struggle at our own campuses.
Please support our relief activities and let’s fight together
We continue to fight with all our efforts for the release of Yuhimaru Takeda as soon as possible. To fight back most effectively against this political crackdown and unjustified and provocative prosecution, we must strengthen and expand our movement on university campuses. We call on you all to support us by donations, handing out flyers, and further spreading and sharing this declaration. We heartily hope all of our friends who read this appeal will join us in our struggle to change the current conditions of universities in Japan and the whole of society.
On October 6th, 2012, Yuhimaru TAKEDA, student of Hosei University at his third grade, stood up to protest against the seminar for atomic power promotion. The anger of people of Fukushima against nuclear power plant drove him to the action.
The main lecturer of the seminar, organized by the Faculty of Human Environment of Hosei University, is planned to be Toshiteru OKUBO, the head director of the Institute for the Research of Radioactivity Impact (note). The purpose of the seminar was obviously to suppress mounting anger and struggle against nuclear plant.
Note: The former body of the Institute for the Research of Radioactivity Impact is the Atomic Bomb Casualty Commission, notorious for its principle of “Investigation only and no remedy” of atomic disease.
OKUBO is insisting that “maximal limit of radioactivity is 100mSv” and is working closely with Shun-ichi YAMASHITA, vice president of Nagasaki University, known to have claimed that radioactivity had no effect on those people who always smile. By the influential position as “scientists”, they are both trying to underestimate the dangerous effects of radioactive contamination and urging Fukushima people in refugee to go home (i.e. affected area) quickly.
Brother Takeda wanted to raise a voice of protest at the seminar, full of indignation. He was, however, refused the entrance in the hall and violently pushed out of the university campus by the university staffs.
The story never ended. Most outrageously, the university authority suspended him for an indefinite term because of his “interference of lecture” and also “protest action against the rule of University Festival” on October 23rd, 2012. Angry voices soon spread over the Hosei University campus against the University authority.
The recent arrest and prosecution of brother Takeda, which is described in detail in the attached appeal issued by Federation of Cultural Clubs of Hosei University, took place against the background of this preceding development.
Yuhimaru TAKEDA has issued an appeal: “We, students, are forced to accept the reality before us unconditionally as if we saw nothing disagreeable. Has it anything to do with < academic study >?”
A large number of students, workers and people share his indignation and aspiration. They have begun to raise their voices.
Now in Japan, Doro-Chiba, the railway workers’ union has started a fresh struggle to pull down the wall separating regularly-employed and irregularly-employed workers. Doro-Mito has opened a gate for a resolute struggle to refuse work exposed to radioactive contamination. Both of objective and subjective conditions are ripe for a “total overthrow” of the system.