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JCP Ichida issues statement of protest against judgment of guilt over distributing fliers

Japanese Communist Party Secretariat Head Ichida Tadayoshi on June 29 issued the following statement of protest against the conviction that the Tokyo District Court handed down against Horikoshi Akio, a Social Insurance Agency employee, of violating the National Public Service Law.

Applying the logic of the Supreme Court's Sarufutsu judgment, which academic circles and mass media have severely criticized, to even a case that a national government employee in the capacity as a citizen delivered an organ paper extra which has nothing to do with his job duties, the Tokyo District Court ruled the National Public Service Law and the National Personnel Authority Regulations as constitutional, and fined Horikoshi 100,000 yen with a suspension of payment for two years.

The Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights guarantees everyone freedom of expression. In Europe and the United States, it is regarded as a matter of course that a government employee may engage in political activities as a citizen.

In Japan, however, the National Public Service Law that regards such activities of government employees as a crime was imposed by the U.S. occupation forces in the postwar period of the imposition of reactionary measures, and the law has been maintained ever since.

Today, the Liberal Democratic Party and the Koizumi Cabinet are strengthening the move aimed at imposing criminal penalties into political activities of local government employees and teachers, equivalent to the National Public Service Law.

The Tokyo District Court's judgment to convict Horikoshi's political activity, which was carried out in his capacity as a citizen, is extremely anachronistic and should be criticized for its collusion with the governing party.

The trial revealed that the Public Safety Bureau of the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department shadowed Horikoshi for a long period of time and secretly videotaped him in illegal investigative actions that violated his privacy. Such activities must be fully brought to justice.

In order to protect the civil and political freedom of public employees, the JCP will do its utmost to win acquittal by supporting the public movement to achieve this aim in cooperation with Horikoshi, his lawyers, trade unions, and various organizations and individuals.
- Akahata, June 30, 2006

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