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Hi Blog. As you know, following the George Floyd et al. killings by police in America, there is an international wave of condemnation towards institutionalized racism and brutality in law enforcement. Japan is not exempt from this (in fact, institutionalized embedded racism is one of the reasons Debito.org exists, and the Japanese police are notorious for their normalized racial profiling), and a recent case (see Reuters article below) of a Kurdish man being assaulted by police during a traffic stop has made news. Given this flashpoint, a Black Lives Matter movement of protecting minorities against state-sponsored unchecked violence has taken wing around Japan. Please join in if you’re interested. Information website here:
More on what BLM Kansai has been doing is also at SNA here:
Looks like there is a good turnout for today's Black Lives Matter march in Osaka. As far as we know (and we will welcome corrections), there has never before been a BLM event in the Kansai region. (MP) #BLMKansai #BLMKansaiMarch #BlackLivesMatterKansai #BlackLivesMatter #BLM https://t.co/88C1B9CyXe
— SNA Japan (@ShingetsuNews) June 7, 2020
Bravo. Meanwhile, as SNA has pointed out, certain elements within Japan have a problem with any Non-Japanese trying claiming their rights in Japan even through peaceful public protest: “Veteran anti-foreign rightwinger Nobuyuki Suzuki, currently a Katsushika Ward assemblyman, demands that any foreigner who engages in a street protest should be tracked down by the police and expelled from the country. (MP)”
Veteran anti-foreign rightwinger Nobuyuki Suzuki, currently a Katsushika Ward assemblyman, demands that any foreigner who engages in a street protest should be tracked down by the police and expelled from the country. (MP) #Japan #Discrimination #Rightwinger #Rightwing #Japan https://t.co/kyRYiTQFZV
— SNA Japan (@ShingetsuNews) June 7, 2020
After all, according to the Suzukis of Japan, foreigners don’t belong here. They aren’t kokumin, and because they are only here by permission of the government, by definition they should not protest; they should be just good little Guests or get out. Japan for the Japanese. You know the mantra. Even though public demonstrations (for example, by NJ workers in labor unions) are perfectly legal, and have been going on for decades.
That’s why social movements should crest and clean these exclusionary bigots out of government. And Debito.org will at least add its voice in support. Debito Arudou, Ph.D.
REUTERS WORLD NEWS, JUNE 6, 2020
Kurdish case becomes rallying cry for Japan protest against police
By Mari Saito
PHOTO CAPTION: A demonstrator wearing a mask holds an ”Antifaschistische Aktion” flag during a protest march over the alleged police abuse of a Turkish man, in echoes of a Black Lives Matter protest, following the death of George Floyd who died in police custody in Minneapolis, in Tokyo, Japan June 6, 2020.
TOKYO (Reuters) – The case of a Kurdish man who says he was stopped and shoved to the ground by Tokyo police became a rallying cry for protesters marching in solidarity with Black Lives Matter on Saturday.
Several hundred people chanting “I can’t breathe” to invoke the death of George Floyd in the United States marched through the trendy Shibuya district on a sultry afternoon, saying that police abuse – particularly against foreigners – was a problem at home as well.
“I feel very sad,” said Tomohiko Tsurumi, 43, who joined the march with his wife. “I always thought of this country as very safe and I realized that there is so much (police action) we cannot see.”
The 33-year-old Turkish man of Kurdish origin, who asked not to be named, told Reuters this week that he was stopped by police driving in downtown Tokyo on May 22 – three days before George Floyd died in Minneapolis when a police office knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes.
When the man would not allow police to search his car, two officers shouted at him and shoved him to the ground, the man said. A friend in his car filmed part of the incident.
Police declined to comment, saying they have not made anything public about the incident.
The video, seen by Reuters, includes the officers yelling at him to sit and not make trouble. One of the officers can be seen kicking the man in the leg before making him crouch on the ground.
That officer can be seen with his arms around the man’s neck, telling him to be quiet.
“I couldn’t breathe. If my friend hadn’t been filming I don’t know what would have happened,” the man said, adding the encounter left him with bruises on his neck and back.
“This was in the middle of the day and I was on the way to my dentist,” said the man, who said he has lived in Japan for 15 years and was not at Saturday’s protest due to what organizers said was fear of being arrested. “That’s what’s so upsetting.”
The man filed an assault suit against the two officers with Tokyo prosecutors on May 27, said his lawyer, Yasuaki Nara.
An African man at the demonstration with a friend said their appearance got them more scrutiny from Japanese police.
“I feel what George Floyd was feeling,” he said, declining to give his name or his country of origin. “We feel what his family is feeling.”
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