Asahi: Zaitokukai arrests: Rightist adult bullies of Zainichi schoolchildren being investigated


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Hi Blog.  We’ve seen plenty of cases where Far-Right protesters who harass and even use violence towards people and counter-demonstrators doing so with impunity from the Japanese police (examples herehere, here, and within the movie Yasukuni).  However, it looks as though they went too far when this case below was brought up before a United Nations representative visiting Japan last March, and now arrests and investigations of the bullies are taking place (youtube video of that event here, from part two).  Good.  Arudou Debito on holiday


Rightists arrested over harassment of schoolchildren
2010/08/11 Courtesy of JK

KYOTO–Senior members of a group of “Net rightists” who hurled abuse at elementary schoolchildren attending a pro-Pyongyang Korean school were arrested by police on Tuesday.

The group, part of a new wave of extreme nationalist groups that use video-sharing websites to promote their activities, targeted children at Kyoto Chosen Daiichi Elementary School in the city’s Minami Ward with taunts including “Leave Japan, children of spies” and “This school is nurturing North Korean spies.”

A janitor, a snack bar operator, an electrician and a company employee, all men in their 30s and 40s, are suspected of playing leading roles in the demonstration near the school on Dec. 4 last year.

On Tuesday, police began questioning four people, including Dairyo Kawahigashi, 39, an executive of Zainichi Tokken o Yurusanai Shimin no Kai, which literally means, “a citizens group that does not approve of privileges for Korean residents in Japan,” and is known as Zaitokukai for short.

Police also searched the Tokyo home of the group’s chairman, Makoto Sakurai, 38.

The investigation centered on bringing charges of disrupting the classes and damaging the reputation of the elementary school, which is supported by the General Association of Korean Residents in Japan (Chongryon). The organization serves as North Korea’s de facto embassy in Japan.

Two of the men arrested have executive roles in Zaitokukai itself: an electrician who serves as its vice chairman, and a janitor in a condominium building who manages its Kyoto branch. The other two belong to a group called Shuken-Kaifuku o Mezasu Kai (or Shukenkai, for short), which translates literally as “a group aiming at recovering sovereignty,” and has close ties with Zaitokukai. One is a company employee who was head of Shukenkai’s Kansai section. The other is a snack bar operator who used to help organize the same branch.

All four men are thought to have been present at the demonstration at the school on Dec. 4. About 10 people shouted slogans, some using loudspeakers.

They are also being investigated for damaging property by cutting a cord to a speaker in a nearby park.

Zaitokukai claims that the Korean school installed the speaker and a soccer goal in the park, which is managed by the city government, without permission. The school’s students use the park as a playground.

A vice chairman of Zaitokukai told The Asahi Shimbun: “We tried to talk with the school after removing the illegally installed equipment. The school refused to talk, so we protested against them.”

Police say the demonstration stopped classes and caused anxiety among some of the schoolchildren.

Zaitokukai was set up in December 2006, with Sakurai as its chairman. The Tokyo-based group says it has 9,000 members and 26 branches nationwide and claims about 200 members in Kyoto.

It is one of a new breed of rightist groups that use the Internet to promote themselves.

Zaitokukai films many of its protests and posts them on video-sharing websites.

The Zaitokukai vice chairman who talked to The Asahi Shimbun said he joined the group last July after seeing Sakurai in one of the videos.

He said his family was opposed to his involvement. “These activities are a big financial burden. But I’m doing them out of patriotism,” he said.



在特会幹部ら、京都府警が聴取へ 朝鮮学校授業妨害容疑
2010年8月10日 朝日新聞









「在特会」幹部ら逮捕 京都朝鮮学校の授業妨害容疑
2010年8月10日 朝日新聞







17 comments on “Asahi: Zaitokukai arrests: Rightist adult bullies of Zainichi schoolchildren being investigated

  • What IS IT with people named Sakurai and right-wing wackadoodlery?

    — People like to complain, get attention, and especially get away with it. But hopefully not this time.

  • John (Yokohama) says:

    Speaking of rightists and lovely views on foreigners…

    From The Independent, August 14.

    “Far right pays tribute to Japan’s ‘war heroes’
    By David McNeil in Tokyo
    Saturday, 14 August 2010

    British and Japanese ultranationalists will shrug off protests from war veterans in an unlikely show of solidarity at a controversial Tokyo memorial today, on the 65th anniversary of Japan’s surrender in the Second World War.

    The British National Party member Adam Walker and France’s most famous Holocaust-denier, Jean-Marie Le Pen, will be among a group of European delegates to visit the Yasukuni Shrine, which venerates the militarists who led Japan’s brief but disastrous rampage across Asia.

    “I realise that there are war veterans in the UK who will see this as an insult, especially on V-J day, but Yasukuni is dedicated to the souls of men who died fighting for their country,” said Mr Walker. “It’s easy to point fingers now but these people were doing what they thought was right at the time.”

    Mr Walker was cleared earlier this year by the British General Teaching Council of “racial intolerance” after posting comments online calling immigrants “savage animals” and “filth” while working as a teacher in Houghton-le-Spring.

    One of the most contentious pieces of real estate in Asia, Yasukuni is considered sacred by nationalists – and a monument to war, empire, and Japan’s unrepentant militarism by millions of others. A museum attached to the shrine claims that Japan was lured into the war by the US and waged a campaign to free Asia from white European colonialism.

    Japan’s Prime Minister, Naoto Kan, who earlier this week apologised to South Korea for the colonisation of the Korean peninsula, has ruled out visiting the shrine out of respect for Asian victims of his country’s past militarism. The leader of the LDP opposition, Sadakazu Tanigaki, meanwhile, plans to visit the shrine tomorrow.

    But the European visit looks set to stir greater controversy. The foreign delegation, which also includes ultra-right politicians from Portugal, Spain, Hungary, Austria and Belgium, has been invited to Japan by Issuikai, a right-wing association that denies Japanese war crimes and wants to build a global alliance of nationalist groups to fight American “hegemony”. Its leader, Mitsuhiro Kimura, counted among his friends the exiled Iraq leader Saddam Hussein, whom he urged to resist the US invasion of his country in 2003.

    Yesterday he and other delegates attended a conference of “patriotic organisations” in Tokyo, where they discussed the perils of immigration, climate change and Islam.

    One speech warned that “environmental Marxists” are exaggerating the quantity of CO2 in the earth’s atmosphere in a plot to bring more immigrants into the advanced countries and destroy the nation state. “More and more climate immigrants are coming to Europe,” said Thibaut De La Tocnaye, a leading member of France’s National Front.

    The Europeans were applauded when they advised Japan to reject mass immigration and demands that foreigners be allowed to vote in local elections. Mr Le Pen gave a speech on Islam, which he said had a “long tradition of invading other countries”. “In my country they come and demand that they be allowed to build giant mosques. That’s political, not religious.”

    Mr Le Pen waved away criticism of the Yasukuni visit. “These men are war heroes. We used to be enemies but I think we must pay respect to people who had to die for their country.”

    The BNP’s Mr Walker, meanwhile, denied reports this week in The Daily Telegraph claiming that his trip was partly funded by British taxpayers. “The money came from Issuikai. I expect nothing less from The Telegraph. It’s just a left-wing rag.”

    *North Korea has urged Japan to apologise and provide compensation for its harsh colonial rule, days after Tokyo offered an apology to South Korea for annexing the Korean peninsula, without mentioning the North.

    North Koreans harbour deep resentment of Japan for using Koreans for forced labour and sex slaves during its 1910-45 occupation of the peninsula. North Korea does not have diplomatic relations with Japan.”

  • John (Yokohama) says:

    And from The Guardian, August 11.

    “BNP attends international far-right conference in Japan
    BNP staff manager Adam Walker will join MEPs and members of far-right parties from across Europe at Tokyo-based congress
    Leigh Phillips and Justin McCurry in Tokyo, Wednesday 11 August 2010 17.39 BST

    BNP staff manager Adam Walker joins conference aimed at sharing knowledge in ‘the battle against globalisation’.

    The British National Party is taking part in a week-long conference in Japan organised by Nippon Issuikai, an extreme-right group that denies Japanese wartime atrocities.

    Adam Walker, the BNP’s staff manager, is in Tokyo along with 20 MEPs and members of the Alliance of European National Movements, the “europarty” that brings together far-right parties from across Europe.

    Walker arrived in Tokyo today where he will spend the next week attending a congress on “The Future of Nationalist Movements” .

    According to the BNP, Walker has worked in Japan as a teacher and runs a martial arts academy.

    During recent election campaigns, the BNP has used images of Winston Churchill and Spitfires in an attempt to broaden its patriotic appeal.

    However, Issuikai, or the “Wednesday Society”, denies the atrocities perpetrated by Emperor Hirohito and his government, including the Rape of Nanking in 1937, in which hundreds of thousands of civilians were murdered and between 20,000 and 80,000 women raped by soldiers of the Imperial Japanese Army.

    John Walker, a spokesman for the BNP, said: “It is not for us to make comment on other parties’ views.”

    Issuikai was founded in 1972 by acolytes of the militarist novelist Yukio Mishima, who committed Seppuku, or ritual suicide, after a failed attempt at provoking a coup d’état by the Japanese Self-Defence Forces to restore the powers of the emperor.

    Mitsuhiro Kimura, Issuikai’s president since 2000, has long wanted to build an international alliance of far-right parties.

    A graduate of the prestigious Keio University, Kimura speaks English and counts French rightwing leader Jean-Marie Le Pen among his associates. He was a friend of Uday Hussein, son of Saddam Hussein, and made regular visits to Iraq before the war.

    “We are holding this meeting in Japan to get to know each other, to talk about how we can protect the national identity in our respective countries and cooperate to win the battle against globalisation,” Kimura told the Guardian.

    On Friday, Le Pen will make a keynote speech at a hotel in Tokyo.

    A day later – on the eve of the 65th anniversary of the end of the second world war – conference participants will pay their respects at Yasukuni, a Shinto shrine in the capital that honours Japan’s war dead, including 14 class-A war criminals.

    The conference’s main subject will be the future of the far-right internationally, in particular, “lessons that Japan could learn from the experience and achievements of European movements, some of which have made inroads in recent polls, and ways to maintain ties worldwide”.

    Philip Claeys, of Belgium’s Flemish separatist group Vlaams Belang, told the Guardian he was not bothered about meeting with sympathisers of Imperial Japan.

    “The conference is focused on current politics in the 21st Century. We are confronted with Islamic terrorist threats, free trade, and globalism now. I’m not interested in going to a conference focusing on who did what to who in World War Two or which side was guilty of war crimes.””

  • Its nice and all to see the police take action against the rightwingers, bur am I being too cynical by assuming they’re only investigating because it was brought before a UN representaive and they want to avoid international attentiont?

  • I’m sure I’m not alone when I say, it was about time someone did something about these men (who Debito rightfully calls ‘bullies’). But didn’t that protest take place months ago? And what about those other bullies with loudspeakers who trespassed on private property while protesting against “The Cove”?

    Oh well… little is better than nothing, I’d say.

  • Of course they would bully these children. Right-wing groups like this don’t care about anyone’s feelings, so bullying a bunch of children isn’t too far out for their type of behavior. Yes, it is wrong that the adults of these children support NK, BUT you do not see us cutting cords of those megaphones in the infamous vans we know all too well. They have a right to support whatever the crap they support. Should we bully all the groups that don’t support foreigner rights? Seriously. Double standards.

  • Honestly, I’m becoming beyond sick of the far-right. I’m no leftist, mind you, but it just astonishes me to no end how parties that are so patently wrong on just about every issue still manage to have a say. And worse, most of the time they seem to enjoy popular support.

    Now you have the European nationalist (read: fascist) parties visiting Yasukuni. Which is not a crime in itself (I wouldn’t mind visiting it myself if I could. If nothing else, it’s an interesting historical place), but apparently they also “held two days of talks at a Tokyo hotel on how to co-operate to further their nationalist aims” (quoth the BBC) with Issuikai. It saddens me to see international support for the wrong groups of people, and so comparatively little support (at least, to my eyes) to the proper causes.

    But I’m just rambling on, probably making no sense. In the end I’m glad to see these bullies get carted off, though I take it with some scepticism. That’s my ill-educated tuppence, for what it’s worth.

  • A couple of years ago the BNP were praising the GOJ for paying Brazilians to repatriate; they said Japan knew how to treat foreigners.

    I posted on the BNP website a couple of times about how they should bl**dy well stand up for British interests and rights in Japan, and how dare they hijack Churchill’s memory and conveniently forget Imperial Japan’s wartime atrocities against British and Commonwealth servicemen, but my comments were immediately deleted.

    Now they’re toadying to J-Fascists. Hardly a real national party at all then. Just a bunch of losers and racists, who of course no nothing about the real Japan.

    They ll be saying The Black Dragon Society were humanitarians next. Except they probably dont know or conveniently dont remember what that is.

  • What a bunch of RW idiots. Sure N. Korea is an enigma to me – I have a hard time with the politics there, and the support of NK by some of Korean descent in Japan is baffling. But targeting a school – LOSERS – typical bullying behaviour with no regard or sense of common decency and appropriateness.

  • Re: Jon’s post about Adam Walker’s statement, that’s just laughable coming from Walker.

    Debito hit the nail on the head, that justifies quite a bit. By Walker’s logic, that fascist should also support all Communist regimes/factions, Al-Qaeda, the Taliban, North Korea, and lots of other folks who would appear to be his enemies, for after all, aren’t they just “doing what they think is right”?

    The “it’s only OK when we do it” argument is always good for a laugh.

  • Basically the BNP rank and file arent too bright and dont think things through; they re just knee-jerk reacting. Their new leader is a bit smarter than the average being an oxbridge grad and probably is trying to take a page out of Hitler’s book; ie. find a small fringe party, change it a bit and take it over. In Hitler’s case, he added “National” to the German Worker’s Socialist Party thus creating the Nazis. In Nick Griffin’s case, he got some votes from ordinary working people alarmed by Islamic extremism, and attempted to ditch the anti-Asian, anti Semetic aspects of an eccentric party of non-thinking bigots.

    This whole visit to Japan might also just be an image thing-to “show” that the BNP is a modern, logical party, that isn’t really racist, just that it has legitimate concerns.

    However, the majority of us are too cool to fool. This isnt the 1930s.

  • @kytto, Adam Walker used to have a Japanese wife, or still does??

    Is this why he “graciously” includes the Japanese in a far right alliance and takes Issuikai’s money?

    Smacks of Hitler’s “honorary Aryans” to me.

    But we neednt worry; the international far right have too many conflicting interests to unite, and there are plenty of rank and file racists in the BNP who won’t stomach the Japanese.

  • Mob violence by racist group which called “Zaitokukai”

    Zaitokukai – The group of Neo Nazi in Japan

    “Go home now! ” “You are cockroaches. ” Stupid Racist “Zairtokukai” shout to the Koreans living in Japan.

    Zaitokukai – They’re The group of Neo Nazi in Japan. They hate Chinese, Koreans and so foreigners. They always shout racist slogans. They are a group of ethnocentrism, and a group of the worst racial discrimination. Conscientious people in Japan fear that they injure foreigners. We hope many people of the world to know about the hidden crisis in Japan.

  • Jim Di Griz says:

    While we are on the subject of nationalists, the UK’s BNP poster boy Adam Walker spent 6 years as an English teacher in Japan, where he was so impressed (presumably) by the racism that he was subjected to, that after marrying his Japanese GF, he went back to the UK and became a politician in a neo-nazi style party.
    It’s almost as if Japans new export is racial discrimination.


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