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HOME  > Past issues  > 2014 January 8 - 14  > Man in wheelchair wages solo protest against secrecy law
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2014 January 8 - 14 [CIVIL RIGHTS]

Man in wheelchair wages solo protest against secrecy law

January 7, 2014
Akahata “Current” column

Kitanohakubaicho Station in Kyoto City was crowded with people making a New Year visit to Kitano Shrine, which enshrines the god of learning. In front of the station on January 6, a man in a wheelchair staged a silent protest action.

The man hung a handmade placard around his neck which read, “State secrets law” with a large red “X” on it, expressing his opposition to the legislation. The scene of the man conducting this protest action on his own in such cold weather was impressive and eye-catching.

He is Inoue Kichiro, who ran in Kyoto mayoral elections three times backed by the Japanese Communist Party and a wide range of citizens. Since Inoue suffered brain infarction seven years ago, he has been confined to a wheelchair and has difficulty speaking.

In a mounting protest against the secrets law, Kyoto citizens held rallies and demonstrations to express opposition. Though he wanted to take part in these actions, he found it difficult to do so in a wheelchair. Trying to do what he could in a wheelchair, he decided to hold a sit-in on his own in front of his nearest station of Kitanohakubaicho. He did this every day until December 6, the day when the bill was enacted. After that, he conducts sit-ins every Monday.

The protest movement against the unprecedentedly adverse law is spreading like wildfire through the country. As the law was enacted in December 6, the 6th-day protest action began in various places. In Tokyo’s Suginami Ward, members of the ward assembly and citizens’ groups took to the streets to call on passers-by for their support in abolishing the law.

JCP Chair Shii Kazuo on January 4 in his new year address stated that the party will submit to the upcoming ordinary session of the Diet a bill to nullify the secrecy law. Citing this move, Inoue wrote on his Facebook page, “The second round will begin shortly.”
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