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Rally held to protect freedom of right to distribute flyers


On July 9, nearly 1,000 people participated in a rally in Tokyo in protest against arrests of citizens for distributing Japanese Communist Party flyers, calling for the protection of the freedom of speech.


Three people asked for wider support for their court cases.


Horikoshi Akio, a 52-year-old employee of the Social Insurance Agency, was among them. He was arrested and indicted in 2004 for distributing JCP flyers in his day off on charges of violating the National Public Service Law that bans public employees from participating in political activities.


JCP Secretariat Head Ichida Tadayoshi said, gThe struggle to protect and spread the freedom of speech is a part of the nationwide movement to block the revision of the Constitution.h


Hitotsubashi University Professor Watanabe Osamu gave a lecture titled, gFreedom of distributing flyers and the Japanese Constitution.h He said, gFacing strong public criticism, conservative forces are having a hard time promoting constitutional revision and estructural reformf policies. In order to realize their 20-year effort, they are now suppressing peoplefs freedom of speech.h He stressed the need to speak out in order to overcome the suppression.


The case of Kono Osamu, a 27-year-old JCP Assembly member of Tokyofs Kokubunji City, was also introduced. Police sent his case to the Public Prosecutorfs Office last month on suspicion of trespassing by posting flyers at an apartment complex.


An organizing committee of the rally included the National Confederation of Trade Unions and the Japan Lawyers Association for Freedom.

- Akahata, July 10, 2008



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