Saturday, December 22, 2012

Arrest Over Disaster Debris Disposal Protest in Osaka Was Made by Security Police


It is as if the act of protesting against burning the disaster debris from Iwate in Osaka City were an act of terrorism.

Security Police is the direct descendant of the Special Political Police - a secret police - that had existed until it was finally disbanded by the General Headquarters (GHQ, US occupation force) in 1945.

Something does not add up. Masaki Shimoji, associate professor (public finance) at Hannan University in Osaka who was arrested by this police on December 9 for his October "offense" of disturbing the operation of JR Osaka station, has been detained in jail since his arrest. The first judge denied the prosecutor's request for detention, then the judge was swiftly replaced and the second judge granted the request.

His supposed offense of disturbing the JR Osaka station's operation was to cross the hallway from one exit to another.

Some said the offense was this protest that took place outside one of JR Osaka's exits. (Threatening, isn't it?) But then others quickly pointed out that the place where he and his small group were standing is a public sidewalk, not the JR Osaka station's property.

(Photo from Kingo999 blog, 12/9/2012)


On December 22, Professor Shimoji's colleagues and other university researchers including Constitutional scholars held a press conference, and protested the unfair detention of Shimoji and other activists and demanded the immediate release. In that press conference, it was revealed by one of the professors at Hannai University where Shimoji teaches that the police who arrested him was from the Security Police, and the university officials were complicit and fully cooperative, even without asking to see the search warrant. From this togetter, by someone (a nuclear physicist) watching the press conference video:

流通学部の島教授: 逮捕の事は9日夜知った。下地君とは頻繁に会う間柄ではなかったが10日朝、奥さんと朴さんが説明に行きたいという事だったので取り次いだ。経済学部長、学長、副学長に案内した。

Professor Shima, Faculty of Business [at Hannan University]: I learned about the arrest at night on December 9. I wasn't that close with Shimoji, but his wife and Mr. Park [fellow professor at Hannan] wanted to explain the situation to the school administrators in the morning of December 10, so I introduced them to the head of the Faculty of Economics, University President and Vice President.

その時に全くのカンだが、事前に知っていたのでは?と感じた。驚くでもなく、落ち着いて受け止めていた。

It was then just a hunch, but I felt they had known [about the arrest]. They weren't surprised, and received the information quite calmly.

19日水曜日に私他支援する会の者2名で学長、副学長に面会を申し込んだ。対策本部の事を訪ねたところ『6日に公安3課2名の刑事、松原警察署の刑事がやってきて8日に逮捕、10日には研究室を捜索すると通告された』と。対応したのは松原署と関連のある機関だった、と。

On Wednesday December 19, I asked to meet with the president and vice president, with two others from the support group [for Shimoji]. We asked them about the response group [that I heard the university had set up, regarding the arrest]. They said, "On December 6, two detectives from the Security Police Section 3, and a detective from Matsubara Police Station came, and notified us that the arrest would be made on December 8, and his office would be searched on December 10." The one in charge was an organization related to Matsubara Police.

で、5時にその報告が学長に上がり危機対策管理本部を立ち上げた、と普通に言いました。私どもは大変なショックを受けた。何故事前に伝えたかは判らないが、逮捕が9日に延びた事は電話連絡で、ああ、そうですか、と

Then, that information was relayed to the university president at 5PM, and the crisis response management group was set up, they said as a matter of fact. We were tremendously shocked. We don't know why the police had forewarned the university, but the university received a call from them that the arrest would be made on 9th instead. They said "OK".

令状は読み上げもしないし、大学側で対応した者も提示を求めもしなかったし、令状を見てもない。年末に入るので年明けには大学側に働きかけたい。大学のWebでは第三者的な文言だが実際は違う。下地さんの問題とは離れるが大学の自治がここまで劣化している事に深く失望している

[When the police came to the university to search Shimoji's office,] they didn't even read the search warrant. The university officials didn't ask for one, didn't even see one. Since it is the year-end, we will press the university in the beginning of January. On the university's website, the message is that of a neutral third party but in reality they are not. Aside from the issue of Shimoji, I am deeply disappointed that the self-governance of the university has deteriorated this much.


Nonetheless, some influential persons on Twitter say it's all Professor Shimoji's fault for "breaking the law". When asked "what law?", they say "Everyone breaks law here and there, to a varying degree, everyday."

This tweet is from Professor Yukio Hayakawa, who has no problem spreading and burning the disaster debris from Tohoku, as long as fear of radioactivity is the reason for opposition:

街頭演説は、言論の自由あるいは表現の自由として守られるべき性質のものだろうか。意見表明の仕方を国民が自由に選ぶことができるのだろうか。意見表明しようといくらでも思えばできるのに、許されているのに、特定のやり方にこだわる自由は保護されるべきか。

I wonder if making speeches on the street corners should be protected as freedom of speech and expression. I wonder if the citizens should be allowed to freely choose how to express their opinions. I wonder if the freedom to insist on a particular way of expressing an opinion when there are a variety of other ways should be allowed for the citizens.


I asked the professor, "Then who should decide what type of expression is allowed for the citizens? Government? Police?"

His answer was, "Obey the law."

So, as long as one obeys the law, there's nothing to fear. A recent US court case where the judge threw out the prosecution's case because the law was unjust would totally befuddle the professor.

George Orwell must have based his novels on 2012 post-Fukushima Japan.

(Information gathered from these togetters with links to videos, news articles: http://togetter.com/li/421069, http://togetter.com/li/427008#c892876, http://togetter.com/li/426913)

6 comments:

Hélios said...

Hi, Ultraman

The photo does'nt appear on your post.
It does when I copied and pasted to translate.

arevamirpal::laprimavera said...

Sorry helios, I uploaded from my copy instead of the link. Can you see it now?

Hélios said...

Yes, it's OK, thanks.

Anonymous said...

According to the English wiki the SP is like the US Secret Service they mostly protect VIP's. Maybe they arrested the Professor to protect Abe's train seat?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Security_Police_%28Japan%29

I wonder how they would have reacted if 20,000 people showed up to protest? I guess protesting will be outlawed under Abe's rule regardless of how innocuous the protest is.

Gotta nail down all those loose nails.

arevamirpal::laprimavera said...

Anon 5:33AM, no, it's not that security police. The one who arrested the professor does not have the wiki entry in English.

Japanese wiki http://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E5%85%AC%E5%AE%89%E8%AD%A6%E5%AF%9F

This police is for terrorism, ultra-left, ultra-right activists, Japan communist party, and other "political" suspects.

Anonymous said...

Japan is one very fucked up twisted country, very fascist right wing automatons ...sad really... Orwell would indeed be flabbergasted ... the anti nuke movement had their backs broken and knew who their owners were... overall the only thing that could save Japan is an all out civil war...

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