Tangent: Japan Times on crackdowns on students at Hosei University

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Hi Blog. I’m in Tokyo now and not really all that accessible online until Sunday night, so let me direct your attention to a pretty nasty thing brewing over at Hosei University. Not a NJ issue per se, but definitely one involving human rights, freedom of speech, and the ability of administrations to arbitrary police, detain, punish, and expel people within its charge. Worth a read. Sorry to be brief for now. Arudou Debito in Tokyo

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PHOTO: “Outrageous”: Activists claim the photo above shows a student lying unconscious after being roughed up by security guards hired by Hosei University during a rally at its Ichigaya campus. COURTESY OF ZENGAKUREN
THE ZEIT GIST
Rumpus on campus
Prestigious university in Tokyo has become a battleground in a war over freedom of political expression
By DAVID McNEILL
Japan Times Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Illegal arrests, forced expulsions, “kidnappings” by security police and beatings by hired thugs. No, it’s not another dispatch from a violent banana republic. Those accusations come from the leafy back-streets of Ichigaya, Tokyo, home to a branch campus of the prestigious Hosei University.

Hosei authorities and a group of students are locked in a poisonous struggle that has turned the campus into something resembling a low-security prison.

Entrances are guarded by newly installed CCTV cameras and jittery guards equipped with Bluetooth headsets. Notices have been published at many sites naming and shaming “troublemakers” who have been expelled, and the police are on call in case things get out of hand.

A provisional injunction forbids students from “loitering, putting up banners and making speeches within 200 meters” of the campus.

Since the dispute began three years ago, 107 students have been arrested and 24 indicted, some of whom awaited trial in detention centers for up to six months. Last Friday, five more students were formally charged with offenses including trespassing and obstructing the police. Another is being kept in detention for at least two more weeks.

Supporters say some have been framed using a prewar law designed to crush labor protests…

Rest of the article at
http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/fl20090609zg.html
ENDS

9 comments on “Tangent: Japan Times on crackdowns on students at Hosei University

  • treblekickeresq says:

    Pretty shocking stuff, not only the uni’s heavy handed tactics but also the fact that no other media outlet has been covering the story.

    Anybody know if the people in the Japanese media read The Japan Times? I mean is there any chance Japanese newspapers would cover the story now that an English paper has broken it?

  • This is CRAZY!!!! I havn’t seen or heard anything on the news regarding this. What have the students been protesting?

  • The lack of press coverage on this from the mainstream media is alarming, though not surprising given what counts for news on NHK and the like.

    Sad.

  • the link above (1st one) talks about protests last year and mentions ‘These large-scale arrests were carried out by over 100 public security agents’ Anyone know what ‘public security agents’ are?
    Were they just private security guards making citizen arrests or am I likely to be asked for my Gaijin Card by public security agents sometime soon.

  • Thankyou D.B.Cooper for answering what ‘public security agent’. It’s odd they can mobilize hundreds of public security agents to arrest students and homeless people but cant seem to stop the Yakuza in my town from leaving bombs and hand grenades around town.

    — Need a source that the Yakuza are doing this. By noon tomorrow, please.

  • Sorry for not supplying a source, here’s one from last year about the general situation,

    http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/nn20081011f1.html

    but they recently left hand grenades on buses, not sure why, prompting the local schools to give letters to all the kids reminding them not to play with hand grenades if they found any. For that I don’t have a source, never saw it in the paper in English, but was told there was something in Nihongo only on some newspaper website. It was the talk of the town for a few days and I saw the childrens letters myself.
    In fact there’ve been at least a couple of small bombs a year since I’ve lived here that have never made the news.

    — Thanks. Outrageous.

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