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HOME  > Past issues  > 2007 June 13 - 19  > Rally participants criticize SDF surveillance of their activities
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2007 June 13 - 19 [SDF]

Rally participants criticize SDF surveillance of their activities

June 15, 2007
In the June 14 JCP rally, participants whose activities were reported in the Self Defense Forces documents expressed their protest against the SDF surveillance.

Horie Mari, a high school student who had organized a “peace walk” in Tachikawa City in Tokyo, said, “We just called on SDF personnel ‘not to kill anybody and not to be killed.’ We will not allow the SDF to monitor our activities because it infringes on our human rights.”

Drawing attention to the fact that even a regional trade union council’s indoor meeting had been under surveillance, Matsuda Hiroshi, chair of the teachers union of schools for disabled high school students in Okinawa Prefecture, stressed the importance for the public to monitor the state and the SDF.

Citing Defense Minister Kyuma Fumio’s remark that the SDF taking pictures of rally participants is just what the media is doing, Shiba Rei, a freelance journalist who had reported on the Iraq war, strongly criticized Kyuma for taking a defiant attitude and stressed the importance of making clear who had ordered the SDF unit to conduct the surveillance and to what extent they did it.

Onodera Yoshikata, Miyagi Prefectural Constitution Conference secretary general, reported that when they visited the SDF Northeastern Army headquarters to protest against the surveillance, the SDF unit was in confusion and the officers were at a loss as to how to respond.

Pointing out that the SDF documents reported about citizens’ activities monitoring the SDF Camp Asaka (Tokyo and Saitama Pref.), Hirata Chikai from the Tokyo Peace Committee said that protesters and passers-by in front of the gate have been monitored through TV-cameras and infrared night vision cameras.

Recalling his experience in Nago City in Okinawa where the Maritime SDF minesweeper tender was sent to threaten the movement in opposition to U.S. base construction, Kizu Hiromitsu from the Japan Buddha Sangha said that the SDF is acting as if they are pointing a gun at the public.

Kawaguchi Hajime, a lawyer who is supporting a lawsuit in Aichi Prefecture calling for an injunction against the continuous dispatching of the SDF to Iraq, criticized the government for infringing on the right to live in peace and called for blocking the extension of the law to send the SDF to Iraq.
- Akahata, June 15, 2007
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