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HOME  > Past issues  > 2007 June 13 - 19  > SDF must immediately stop illegal surveillance of citizens’ activities: JCP rally
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2007 June 13 - 19 TOP3 [SDF]

SDF must immediately stop illegal surveillance of citizens’ activities: JCP rally

June 15, 2007
Stressing that the resurgence of the wartime political system in which the military police monitored and suppressed public criticism must not be condoned, JCP Chair Shii said, “Let us promote cooperation among citizens and make every effort to put an end to the illegal surveillance.”

The Japanese Communist Party on June 14 held an assembly in Tokyo protesting the unconstitutional and illegal activities of the Self-Defense Forces monitoring citizens’ activities that the JCP had revealed recently.

About 570 participants representing 194 organizations nationwide took part in the meeting and demanded that the SDF immediately discontinue the surveillance.

Referring to the widespread anger and criticism of the SDF activities expressed nationwide as well as in media reports, JCP Chair Shii Kazuo in his speech pointed out three issues to be addressed.

Firstly, the surveillance in itself puts pressure on, threatens, and stifles the speech and activities of citizens, a freedom that is guaranteed in the Constitution.

Shii pointed out that the SDF has been secretly infiltrating rallies and demonstrations, has monitored extensively citizens’ activities, and has compiled enormous amounts of information on individuals.

These activities infringe on the constitutionally guaranteed fundamental rights of the public such as freedom of thought and conscience as well as assembly, association, speech, and press, he stressed.

Secondly, the SDF has been monitoring citizens’ activities which they deem as troublesome for the SDF or the government, even including movements concerning pension and medical services that have nothing to do with the SDF. The SDF labels those activities as “anti-SDF,” thus regarding the participants as “enemies.”

“The SDF activities renege on the principle of civilian control and will replace this principle with ‘military control over civilians’,” Shii emphasized.

Thirdly, Shii criticized the government and the Defense Ministry, which cannot deny the existence of the internal documents proving the SDF activities, for taking a defiant attitude and for attempting to hush up the problem using deception and concealment.

Pointing out that the SDF is continuing the surveillance of citizens’ activities, possibly including movements in opposition to constitutional revision and pension mismanagement, Shii said, “This question cannot be left unresolved.”

Shii further pointed out that the real purpose of the SDF surveillance is to prepare for a state of emergency in which the government and the SDF will suppress public opposition by invoking the contingency laws.

Stressing that the resurgence of the wartime political system in which the military police monitored and suppressed public criticism must not be condoned, Shii concluded his speech by saying, “Let us promote cooperation among citizens by overcoming political differences and make every effort to put an end to the illegal surveillance.”

In the meeting, short speeches were made by 15 persons, including individuals and representatives of organizations whose activities were reported in the SDF documents. (see separate item)

In his closing remarks, Shii stressed, “The Diet must use its power to thoroughly investigate and inquire into the responsibility for this matter.” He expressed his determination to fully expose this problem by summoning officials involved in the matter to the Diet and by working with other concerned parties.

House of Representatives member Hiraoka Hideo (Democratic Party of Japan) made a speech, and House of Representatives members Yokomichi Takahiro (DPJ) and Hosaka Nobuto (Social Democratic Party) sent messages to the rally. - Akahata, June 15, 2007
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