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HOME  > Past issues  > 2007 April 18 - 24  > JCP Shii calls for a society rejecting violence
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2007 April 18 - 24 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

JCP Shii calls for a society rejecting violence

April 22, 2007
Concerning the incident in which Nagasaki Mayor Itoh Iccho was shot by an organized crime member on April 17 and died next day, Japanese Communist Party Chair Shii Kazuo at a press conference in the Diet building later in the day stated as follows:

While hoping for Mayor Itoh’s recovery, I was informed that he had passed away and was deeply shocked. I recall Mayor Itoh reading his message last year calling for a world free from nuclear weapons at the memorial service in Nagasaki City. I would like to express my sincere condolences to his family.

This crime is a violent attack on freedom and democracy in Japan, and must not be condoned. The killing of a candidate during an election campaign, in particular, is seriously threatens the fundamentals of democracy. I condemn this crime with great indignation.

This crime was reportedly committed by a gangster. I strongly call on the authorities concerned to thoroughly investigate and uproot the cause of such lawless violence so that such a crime will never be committed again. We must not allow the emergence of a society in which violence suppressing freedom of speech exists. - Akahata, April 19, 2007

* * *

In the atom-bombed city of Nagasaki, a brutal crime occurred that is absolutely unacceptable to freedom and democracy.

Nagasaki City Mayor Itoh Iccho, 61, was shot in front of his campaign office across from JR Nagasaki Station at 7:50 p.m. on April 17 and was pronounced dead at Nagasaki University Hospital at 2:28 a.m. on April 18.

The Nagasaki prefectural police arrested Shiroo Tetsuya on the spot, a 59-year-old member of Japan’s largest crime syndicate, Yamaguchi-gumi, for attempted murder, which was later switched to murder.

Itoh was running in a mayoral election for a fourth term. When he got out of a car to enter his office, he was shot several times from behind. Shiroo told the police that he intended to kill the mayor.

The suspect demanded compensation from the Nagasaki City government claiming that his car had been damaged at a municipal road work site, but the city government had rejected it as an undue claim.

Mayor Itoh at the peace memorial service on August 9 last year stated, “The time has come for those nations that rely on the force of nuclear armaments to respectfully heed the voices of peace-loving people, not least the atomic bomb survivors, to strive in good faith for nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation and to advance towards the complete abolishment of all such weapons.”

In Nagasaki City, a similar shooting occurred in 1990 in which then Mayor Motoshima Hitoshi, who had mentioned Emperor Hirohito’s responsibility for the war, was seriously wounded by gunfire by a rightist group member.
- Akahata Sunday Edition, April 22, 2007
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