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 TOP > Public Security Intelligence AgencyReview and Prospect of Internal and External Situations (issued in January 2008) > 3. Focal Issues of Domestic Public Security Situation in 2007

3. Focal Issues of Domestic Public Security Situation in 2007

1. Aum Shinrikyo

(1) Aum Shinrikyo splits over the conflict of opinions on management.

]Mainstream group saw a feud between mid-ranking leaders and “Seigoshi” leaders.
]Joyu group declared “independence from Asahara” and established a new organization, “Hikarinowa,” but is still under Asahara's influence.
]Both groups were under strict surveillance by the Public Security Intelligence Agency.

<The Joyu group, supporting “hiding the influence of Asahara,” and the mainstream group, supporting “getting back to Asahara,” conflicted on management>

Regarding Aum Shinrikyo (the cult), “Seitaishi” Joyu promoted a policy of “hiding the influence of Asahara” from February 2003 onwards in order to evade surveillance, but this generated protests from other senior members and resulted in a change to group leadership by five “Seigoshi” leaders (Naruhito Noda, Tatsuko Muraoka, Shigeru Sugiura, Minoru Sugiura and Koichi Ninomiya) and to a policy of “getting back to Asahara,” which emphasizes an absolute faith in Asahara. Later, the conflict between the Joyu group-, which supports Joyu, who declared that he would return to the leadership-and the mainstream group (anti-Joyu group), which opposes Joyu, became obvious. The conflict became apparent after the separate holding of intensive seminars (at the end of 2005 and later) and the separation of facilities and finances (July 2006).

Timeline until Aum Shinrikyo's split
Jan. 2003 The Public Security Examination Commission decided to extend the period of surveillance.
Feb. 2003 Joyu took initiative in the cult's reform of “hiding the influence of Asahara.”
Oct. 2003 Joyu left the leadership. Change to group leadership by five “Seigoshi” leaders.
Oct. 2004 Joyu indicated that he will return to the leadership. The mainstream group opposed this.
Nov. 2005 Joyu group excluded the mainstream group and took over “Osaka Facility.”
Dec. 2005 “Intensive seminars from year end to new year” were held separately.
Jan. 2006 The Commission decided to extend the period of surveillance for the second time.
Apr. 2006 Joyu expressed the idea of establishing “a new organization.”
Jul. 2006 Separate residence in “Minami-Karasuyama Facility” started. Finances of both groups also separated.
Aug. 2006 “Intensive summer seminars” were held separately. Joyu group practiced pilgrimage tour.
Sep. 2006 Asahara's death sentence finalized in the criminal trial.
Mar. 2007 Joyu group, including Joyu, left the “Religious Organization Aleph.”
May. 2007 Joyu group established a new organization, “Hikarinowa.”

<In the mainstream group, the mid-ranking leaders gained power and disagreed with “Seigoshi” leaders over leadership>

After the split described above, within the mainstream faction, a group consisting of about ten mid-ranking leaders strongly criticized four “Seigoshi” (excluding Koichi Ninomiya) who had changed their attitude to compromise with Joyu's “hiding the influence of Asahara” line. Under the group's leadership, the “Joint Meeting” (the name was changed to “Attainers' Joint Council” after its 6th meeting) was established in July 2006 as a decision-making organ for live-in members to discuss and examine various issues related to the organization's management. The group organized project teams within the Council, with members of the group being assigned to each and every problem, and developed a strategy of teaching members by pointing out the full enforcement of absolute faith in Asahara as an urgent issue, thus strengthening its movement to seize real power in the organization.
   Afterwards, following the Joyu group's departure from the “Religious Organization Aleph” in March, “Seigoshi” Naruhito Noda declared that he had taken up the position of new leader, by the vote of the “Alpeh” board members. The mid-ranking leaders' group, however, did not accept this, and in April established the “Management Preparation Committee,” selecting the group's core members as the joint secretariat of the Committee and starting preparations to revise the article and to select a new leader, thus enhancing the group's control over the organization. Noda criticized the group via the Internet, but has not gained many supporters.

<The Joyu group established a new organization, “Hikarinowa”>

After leaving “Aleph,” the Joyu group announced to its members the name of the new organization, “Hikarinowa,” in an intensive seminar held during the Golden Week holiday season in May. The group stated that it “has successfully abandoned all the religious atmosphere of the former organization,” declared the “completion of breaking away from Asahara,” and held an establishment ceremony for “a new organization.” Under these circumstances, the Joyu group held a press conference on May 9 at the Minami-Karasuyama facility in Tokyo, to announce the organization's outline and its basic philosophy: the members as of May 6 are 163 in total, comprising 57 live-in members and 106 lay members; the executives include Fumihiro Joyu as its leader, 3 deputies and 9 other executives; the basic philosophy is to serve the public without blindly believing in a certain person as a single and absolute object.
   However, most of the new organization's members were transferred from “Aleph,” and almost all the live-in members and more than 70% of the lay members had joined before the “sarin nerve gas attack on the Tokyo subway system.” In addition, keeping its conventional live-in system, the group continues group residence, and maintains other practices that were preached by Asahara for the purpose of redemption of people, such as learning, meditation and yoga. Therefore, it is judged to be still under the influence of Asahara.

<The Public Security Intelligence Agency conducted strict surveillance of both groups>

The Public Security Intelligence Agency (the Agency) conducted on-site inspections at a total of 40 Aum Shinrikyo facilities in 16 prefectures during the period between January and the end of November. Especially on May 10, the day after the Joyu group's press conference on the establishment of a new organization, “Hikarinowa,” the Agency performed nationwide on-site inspections of the 15 major facilities of the cult in 12 prefectures, including 6 Joyu group facilities. As a result, it was revealed that not only the mainstream group facilities, but also 5 of the Joyu group facilities-which insisted that all the articles related to Asahara had been disposed of by the end of February-were keeping portrait photos of Asahara and video tapes of his teaching.
   During 2007, the Agency also received four reports from the cult on their activities, which the group is required to submit on a quarterly basis.
   In accordance with the article 32 of the Organization Control Law, the Agency provided 13 municipal governments in four prefectures with relevant information 39 times, which included the reports submitted by the cult, the results of the Agency's on-site inspections of the cult's facilities and the Agency's investigations into the cult, during the period between January and the end of November.
   As of the end of November, the cult has 29 facilities in 15 prefectures. The residents living around those facilities still experience unease and are remaining active, which includes keeping watch on the cult's facilities by forming residents' groups, and staging protest rallies to request an early dissolution of the cult and their evacuation from the facilities. The Public Security Intelligence Agency provided information to local municipalities as stated above and explained the cult's status to the residents' groups, and thus made efforts to remove people's anxiety.
   The number of the cult's members in Japan decreased from about 1,650 (about 650 live-in members and about 1,000 lay members) to about 1,500 (about 500 live-in members and about 1,000 lay members) as of the end of November 2007, since a succession of live-in members left the cult, being disappointed or disgusted with the conflict over the organization's management. Most of the remaining members, however, are those who joined the cult before the sarin nerve gas attack on the Tokyo subway system and strongly retain absolute faith in Asahara. In addition, as stated below, both groups are seen to be making efforts to recruit new members.

(2) Mainstream group solidified organization and promoted full enforcement of absolute faith in Asahara

]Mid-ranking members' group eliminated the opposing “Seigoshi” leaders to seize real power in the organization's management.

<The mid-ranking members' group eliminated four “Seigoshi” leaders. Two of them left “Aleph”>

Within the mainstream group, the mid-ranking members' group, promoting full enforcement of absolute faith in Asahara, strongly criticized four “Seigoshi” leaders, excluding Ninomiya, for trying to coexist with the Joyu group, and stepped up moves to eliminate them.
   The group did not acknowledge the authority of Naruhito Noda, who declared assumption of the position of new leader of “Aleph,” and submitted activity reports to the Director-General of the Public Security Intelligence Agency by the name of the joint secretariat of the “Management Preparation Committee” in May and thereafter. The group also closed the Bulletin Board Service used for communication among all the live-in members, on the grounds that Noda had used it to criticize the group. Thus, the group virtually excluded Noda from the organization's management.
   Members of the group in charge of accounting spent funds without getting the approval of “Seigoshi” Tatsuko Muraoka, who was managing accounting, thus virtually excluding Muraoka from accounting matters. As a result, Muraoka resigned her position in charge of accounting at the end of July.
   Furthermore, for “Seigoshi” Shigeru Sugiura, who was in charge of translating scriptures in the cult, the group made the policy that “a translator of scripture was not necessary, since the teachings of guru Asahara alone would be taught from now on.” As a result, Shigeru Sugiura left “Aleph” at the beginning of July. His brother, “Seigoshi” Minoru Sugiura, also left “Aleph” in the middle of July.

<The mid-ranking members' group strengthened the instruction on absolute faith in Asahara>

The mainstream group, under the leadership of the mid-ranking members' group, imposed various training on members to fully enforce their absolute faith in Asahara, considering that “the members wavered in their belief in Asahara, being influenced by the establishment of a new organization by the Joyu group.”
   For live-in members, senior members including mid-ranking members held “Sessions to talk about guru Asahara” to relate their experience of the greatness of Asahara, and “Special video teaching seminars” to have them watch Asahara's teaching for long, continuous hours at full volume in a dark hall. As for lay members, in the intensive seminars during the Golden Week holiday season in May and during the summer, the group gave training that involved watching videos of Asahara's teaching for a long time, just like for live-in members, and also a video which emphasized Asahara's greatness, taken by a leader who visited places connected to Asahara. It was confirmed that, as a result of these training sessions, some of the members intensified their absolute faith in Asahara and some reconfirmed their desire to practice Asahara's will.
   During the intensive seminar in the summer, the mid-ranking members' group had members watch a video of Asahara's teaching that praised Asahara's third daughter. Even at present, they express their hope for Asahara's family, including his first son, and still continue financial support for Asahara's wife, in the form of a usage fee for the pictures displayed at the altars of facilities.
   In addition, the mainstream group regarded 2007 as “the year of Bodhisattva,” and intensified the recruitment of new members to realize the redemption of people that Asahara preached. In practice, they had lay members lure people who had troubles or who were interested in spiritual matters to family restaurants, and made live-in members give advice to them to recruit them, while concealing who they were.
   Since the “Seigoshi” leaders who had restrained the activities of the mainstream group left “Aleph,” the group further promoted the thoroughness of absolute faith in Asahara and, as part of that activity, gave guidance on a routine basis to pray for the prolongation of Asahara's life, his death sentence having been finalized in September 2006. Therefore, the possibility of illegal acts by those members who blindly believe in Asahara cannot be neglected, and the group's movements in the future should be noted.

(3) Joyu group promoted “breaking away from Asahara” and attempted to expand power

]The group activated propagation and publicity using the Internet.

<The group promoted “breaking away from Asahara” by conducting a pilgrimage and making new teaching materials>

After establishing a new organization in May, Joyu toured around each facility throughout Japan and held preaching sessions every weekend. In addition, he practiced a “pilgrimage tour to sacred places,” during which he visited with lay members the shrines and temples he had selected as “sacred places” and, in addition to training, held performances of dances and songs. Joyu also created and distributed training books and DVDs one after another that recorded his preaching as new teaching material. Thus, the Joyu group outwardly proclaimed that the group “had broken away from Asahara.” However, it is judged to be still under the influence of Asahara, not only because the above tour was just an imitation of Asahara's conventional method and teachings, but also because the new teaching materials include Asahara's teachings.

<Joyu himself promoted propagation and publicity using the Internet>

As part of propagation and publicity using the Internet, in February Joyu started his own Blog for the public, entitled “Joyu Fumihiro Official Site,” and in March began to publish his diary on a Social Networking Service (SNS). With the SNS, in particular, the positive publicity on the activities and enthusiasm of the Joyu group's new organization was so effective that a lot of people wished to read the diary. Such people were divided into regions, and lay members of each branch were encouraged to contact them and invite them to participate in Joyu's preaching sessions. As a result, some young people became members.
   In addition, recruitment of members of the mainstream group was planned. As soon as live-in members of the mainstream group who had experience in recruitment left “Aleph,” Joyu himself interviewed them to encourage his/her participation in the new organization. In addition, E-mail messages calling for participation in the “pilgrimage tour to the sacred places” and preaching sessions were sent to lay members of the mainstream group. As a result of these activities, some members transferred from the mainstream group to the Joyu group.
   Since there is the possibility that young people who do not know about the reality of the cult will be drawn into the group in the future by the group's intensified propagation and publicity via the Internet, the group's efforts to strengthen its power should be noted. Facilities where on-the-spot inspections were carried out

2. The Japanese Communist Party (JCP) and radical leftist groups

(1) The JCP and radical leftist groups opposed the realignment of U.S. forces in Japan and the overseas dispatch of the Self-Defense Forces of Japan (SDF)

]The JCP and radical leftist groups intensified protest activities in the wake of the survey of existing conditions of the water areas where the replacement facility for the U.S. Futenma base is to be constructed.
]The JCP and radical leftist groups criticize both the Japanese and U.S. Governments on the SDF's refueling mission in the Indian Ocean and the issue of the abolition of nuclear weapons.

Following 2006, the JCP and radical leftist groups made efforts in their activities to request the withdrawals of the plan to realign U.S. forces in Japan and of Japan's Self Defense Force (SDF) from Iraq. During that time, there was a terror/guerrilla incident, instigated by a radical leftist group, targeting a U.S. military base in Japan (February).

<The JCP and radical leftist groups intensified their protest activities against the assessment for the construction of a replacement facility for the U.S. Futenma base>

While the transfer of the functions and the training relocation of U.S. forces progressed as scheduled based on the plan for realignment of U.S. forces in Japan, the JCP and radical leftist groups promoted, with opposing residents living around the bases, activities such as meetings, demonstrations and requests to the relevant municipalities, to “oppose the reorganization of U.S. forces and the strengthening of the U.S. military function in Japan” over the year.
   Among other things, regarding the construction of a replacement facility for the Futenma U.S. military base in Okinawa, from the beginning of the year, the JCP and radical leftist groups held joint monitoring activities with local opposing residents to keep an eye on Henoko, Nago City, where the base is being moved, to cope promptly with the survey and work for the construction of a replacement facility. As soon as the Naha Regional Defense Facilities Administration Bureau started the survey of existing conditions at the planned construction waters in May, they opposed it by stating “it is an illegal survey for the construction of a new base” and started to obstruct the survey using fishing boats and canoes at sea. Furthermore, they also protested against the Bureau when it sent a document describing the method of assessment to the Governor of Okinawa in August to move forward with the assessment procedure, and called for anti-base groups in the Prefecture to submit to the Bureau letters of opinion asking for the withdrawal of the construction plan, then further intensified opposition activities, including a demonstration at sea in October conducted with “Greenpeace,” an international nature conservation group. Under these circumstances, with “the encirclement of the U.S. Kadena Air Base” (about 10,000 participants) that the JCP organized with anti-base groups in the Prefecture in May, radical leftist groups in addition to labor unions inside and outside the Prefecture and civic groups participated and appealed for “opposition to the transfer of the Futenma base within the Prefecture.”

<Getting opposing residents involved, the JCP and radical leftist groups held activities to “oppose reinforcement of the U.S. forces in Japan”>

Regarding the plan to move U.S. carrier-based warplanes and support personnel to the U.S. Marine Corps Iwakuni Air Station (Yamaguchi), the JCP held protests to criticize the government by putting the civic group the JCP supports to the fore, stating “it is unfair to cut the state subsidy because of the Iwakuni Mayor's opposition to acceptance of the plan.” Through these activities, the JCP enhanced cooperation with the opposing residents' groups. While a movement to recall the Mayor surfaced after October, the JCP repeated its conventional idea that “the Mayor's opposition represents the wishes of Iwakuni citizens.”
   In addition, the JCP and radical leftist groups regarded the plan for home-porting a nuclear-powered carrier at Yokosuka as part of the realignment of U.S. forces in Japan and mounted opposition. In January, a JCP affiliated group, with local anti-base groups, requested that Yokosuka City formulate a regulation on a local referendum to ask about the pros and cons of the plan, but the city assembly voted down the motion. Then in July, the group insisted that “if a nuclear reactor accident happened only once in Yokosuka, the radiation damage would extend to the entire metropolis,” collected about 650 metropolitan residents as plaintiffs and filed a suit in Yokohama District Court to request suspension of the dredging work necessary for home-porting a nuclear-powered carrier.

<A sign of cooperation with overseas anti-globalization groups in the campaign for the removal of U.S. bases>

A JCP affiliated group, together with domestic and foreign groups opposing the process of globalization led by developed countries, participated in the inauguration of the “International Network for the Abolition of Foreign Military Bases,” an international organization for the movement to abolish foreign military bases. In the inauguration of the network (March, Ecuador), 400 people from about 30 countries, including communist bodies, participated and called for “the immediate withdrawal of foreign military forces from Iraq and Afghanistan and the abolition of all foreign military bases used for wars of aggression.”

<The JCP and radical leftist groups opposed the Indian Ocean refueling mission as “support for a war”>

Focusing on the Air SDF's Iraq reconstruction support and the Maritime SDF's refueling mission in the Indian Ocean, the JCP and radical leftist groups promoted movements to request immediate withdrawal of the SDF. In particular, the JCP intensified its activities inside and outside the Diet, to coincide with Diet deliberations on a two-year extension of the Law Concerning the Special Measures on Humanitarian and Reconstruction Assistance in Iraq (June) and on the new MSDF refueling bill (from October). For the Diet deliberation on the new MSDF refueling bill, the JCP criticized the government and the ruling party, saying “the U.S. military's attack on Afghanistan is a war of retaliation for September 11, and the refueling mission to support it is against the Japanese Constitution.” Furthermore, the JCP held protest rallies and demonstrations in various parts of Japan and insisted that “continuous support for the U.S.-led war in the name of international contribution should not be allowed.” Radical leftist groups, on the other hand, mounted propaganda activities around ASDF's Komaki base (Aichi) and MSDF's Kure base (Hiroshima), which dispatched transport aircraft and refueling vessels overseas, to call for SDF personnel's “rejection of the duty to support wars.”

<The communist Japan Council against A & H Bombs had active exchanges with overseas organizations toward the abolition of nuclear weapons>

The JCP and radical leftist groups regarded 2007 as “the year to promote the movement for the abolition of nuclear weapons in collaboration with the people of Asia and the world,” and promoted efforts focusing on cooperation and exchanges with overseas groups, including those in Asia. Among them, the Japan Council against A & H Bombs, a JCP affiliated group, sent a delegation of about 100 people to the “East Asian Peace Conference against War, Nuclear Proliferation,” held in South Korea in May, and confirmed its desire to strengthen cooperation with Korean anti-war peace groups, with an eye to “denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula,” and with “the abolition of U.S. nuclear weapons and opposition to the enforcement of military bases” as its pillar. Furthermore, at the World Conference against Atomic and Hydrogen Bombs in August, attended by 100 overseas representatives from about 20 countries, including the government representatives of countries that do not have nuclear weapons, a resolution was adopted requesting the United Nations to start deliberation on an international treaty to ban nuclear weapons. While expressing through these international exchanges that a “peaceful solution is necessary” for the North Korean nuclear development issue, the Council condemned both the Japanese and U.S. governments by stating that “the U.S. is promoting a preemptive attack strategy, including the use of nuclear weapons, and Japan is following in its footsteps and promoting the construction of a country to engage in warfare.” During the campaign to ban nuclear weapons in Britain, which the Council supported, some Japanese who participated in a sit-in protest in Britain were taken into custody in July.
   In addition, the “Chukaku-ha” extremist group held its customary anti-war and anti-nuclear activities in Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August. For the “Great Hiroshima Rally,” which they held with civic groups, the “Chukaku-ha” extremist group invited representatives of South Korean and Chinese groups offering “support for war victims” and appealed for an “international coalition with anti-war and anti-nuclear movements in the world.”

<The JCP and radical leftist groups prepared to promote anti-war and anti-base activities focusing on the issues of U.S. forces in Japan and SDF deployment>

The JCP and radical leftist groups are expected in 2008 to concentrate their efforts on international exchanges promoting the abolition of nuclear weapons, in addition to anti-war and anti-base activities to call for “opposition to the enforcement of the U.S. force in Japan” and “the withdrawal of the SDF from Iraq and the Indian Ocean.” Concerning the construction of a replacement facility for the Futenma U.S. military base in particular, there is a danger of opposition activities escalating in accordance with the discussion between the government and the local municipality and with the progress of the survey and the work on construction of the replacement facility.

(2) The JCP and radical leftist groups criticized the government about the issues of “pension” and “disparity” in addition to the amendment of the Constitution and education reform.

]The JCP and radical leftist groups rejected the amendment of the Constitution and the materialization of education reform as “building a country to engage in warfare.”
]The JCP and radical leftist groups criticized the government for various issues, including “pension” and “poverty and disparity.”

From the beginning of the year, the JCP and radical leftist groups criticized and questioned the government by taking up the issue of the amendment of the Constitution and education reform. Since the pension record-keeping problems and the issue of “disparity” in employment and wages became matters of public concern, the JCP questioned the government's responsibility in these issues.

<The JCP and radical leftist groups opposed the national referendum bill and continued protests against the amendment of the Constitution after the enactment of the law>

In the 3rd Plenum of the Central Committee (hereinafter “the 3rd Plenum”) in January, the JCP regarded the matter of the amendment of the Constitution as one of its key issues and confirmed its policy to aim at the withdrawal of the national referendum bill. When the bill was passed into law in May, the JCP emphasized that “now is the critical moment for confrontation” and, in the fifth assembly of the Central Committee in September, showed a strong intention to continue the protest in order “to build a majority against the amendment within the public.” Furthermore, the JCP frequently mentioned the activities of the “Article 9 Association,” which the party has supported, in its party organ Akahata, and thus tried to continue and strengthen the movement against the amendment of the Constitution.
   From the beginning of the year, radical leftist groups appealed for “crushing the national referendum bill” and held protests around the Diet Building. Even after the bill's passing the Diet, they made efforts to enhance the movement by appealing to “crush the proposal for the amendment of the Constitution.” Among them, a Chukaku-ha-affiliated group in particular, “Block the Road to War! - One Million Signature Campaign,” held a nationwide meeting (May) and engaged in signature campaigns on the streets and at workplaces.

<The JCP and radical leftist groups criticized three education laws and National Assessment of Academic Ability as “embodiment of state control”>

In “the 3rd assembly,” the JCP expressed that they would make every effort to prevent the materialization of the education reform that the government was promoting. The JCP also criticized, in the ordinary Diet session, three education bills as “the embodiment of a worsened Fundamental Law of Education.” During the Upper House election after the bill's passing the Diet (June), the JCP asserted that three education laws “strengthen the control on teachers” and proclaimed its position of opposing “intervention in education by the state.”
   In addition, on the national assessment of academic ability and the questionnaire on lifestyle habits, conducted in April for the first time in 43 years, the JCP saw the outsourcing of the survey to private enterprises as a problem and criticized the government's handling during a Diet session. When the survey result was announced (October), the JCP commented that the use of the survey caused “competition and ranking” and proposed its suspension from 2008 onwards.
   Radical leftist groups also criticized three education laws and the survey as “a state control system,” as well as proposing in their bulletins to prevent the bills from passing and to suspend the survey. During the deliberation on the bills in the Diet, the groups held sit-in protests and meetings.

<The JCP and radical leftist groups questioned the government's responsibility in the pension record-keeping problem that suddenly surfaced>

Approximately 50 million cases of bungled public pension premium payment records were found in February, and public attention was suddenly heightened when these were pointed out in a Diet session in May. The JCP questioned the government's responsibility in this issue and tried to arouse public opinion against the government. In a Diet Session, the JCP argued that successive Health Ministers after the introduction of the basic pension number system were all responsible, and the JCP had the party's Diet members participate in a sit-in activity held by JCP affiliated groups in front of the Diet Building, and criticized the government's slow response. For the Upper House election, the JCP made an important public commitment to resolve the pension record-keeping problems, and asserted in its speech meetings and by distribution of a special edition of Akahata that the government should solve the problem on its own responsibility. When the Social Insurance Agency reform related bill to transfer pension-related operations to private sectors passed the Diet (June), the JCP criticized it as “abandoning the government's responsibility for stable management of public pensions and going against the solution of the problem.”
   Radical leftist groups criticized the reform of the Social Insurance Agency in their bulletins as “shifting the blame for the pension record-keeping problems onto the staff of the Social Insurance Agency and leading toward their dismissal.”

<The JCP promoted the uniqueness of its measures regarding “poverty and disparity” problems>

In “the 3rd assembly,” the JCP decided that poverty and social disparity had become a big social problem and drafted the policy to promote “a huge national movement to break poverty and protect lives.” Later, by mobilizing the party's local organizations and affiliated groups, the JCP had living and labor counseling activities in various places, in addition to establishing the “Let's tackle poverty and disparity - information facsimile line” in its headquarters to collect information on the reality of the hardships of life. For the Upper House election, by stating “a change from the policy of putting emphasis on the financial community and big companies to one of supporting people's lives is necessary,” the JCP advertised the party policy calling for the expansion of the social security system. Furthermore, the party requested the government to conduct a field survey on “Working poor (people who have jobs but cannot escape from poverty)” and reexamine the social security-related budget, including welfare, and thus promoted measures that attach greater importance to the issues of “poverty and disparity.”

<The JCP and radical leftist groups requested apology and retraction for “wartime comfort women” and textbook screening on “wartime mass civilian suicides in Okinawa”>

On the issue of “wartime comfort women,” the JCP emphasized that Japan is criticized internationally, after the adoption by the U.S. House of Representatives in July of a resolution demanding that Japan officially apologize to comfort women, and pressed the Japanese government for an official apology.
   As for the issue of textbook screening regarding “wartime mass civilian suicides in Okinawa,” after the announcement of the result of textbook screening in March, the JCP criticized it as “screening to glorify the war of aggression.” The party leaders participated in a meeting of prefecture residents held in Okinawa in September to request the retraction of the instruction by the screening council.
   Radical leftist groups criticized the textbook issue in their bulletins as “distortion of historical fact,” and requested the retraction of the instruction by the screening council. At the time of the meeting of prefecture residents, activists from “Chukaku-ha” and “Kakumaru-ha” participated and appealed “not to accept the deletion of the description about ‘the role of the Imperial army played in ordering mass civilian suicides'.”

<The JCP and radical leftist groups are ready to foment anti-government public opinion by taking up issues related to people's lives>

Issues related to people's lives, including pension, medical care and tax, are expected to draw strong public interest in 2008. Under these circumstances, the JCP and radical leftist groups are believed to make efforts to encourage public opinion against the government by criticizing the government's policies, pointing out these issues related to people's lives. Furthermore, they are also expected to continue criticizing the government on the fundamental issues of the state, such as the amendment of the Constitution and education reform.

(3) Radical leftist groups try to stimulate organization building activity.

]To expand their power, three major groups promoted infiltration and intervention among laborers and citizens.
]The MDS approached citizens to call for collaboration with groups in Iraq.

<The “Chukaku-ha” extremist group concentrated on attracting laborers and students, while promoting internal control>

In its statement at the beginning of the year, the “Chukaku-ha” extremist group proposed a “policy line of the labor class movements” again to promote organization building by focusing on the labor movement. At the same time, in its “23rd nationwide committee assembly,” held in the summer, the group announced that it had disaffiliated the senior members who had opposed this line, and confirmed the policy to concentrate more than ever on organization building while tightening its system.
   Under the policy, the “Chukaku-ha” group appealed for opposition to “the national flag and national anthem” by calling for teachers attending graduation and entrance ceremonies not to stand up when the national flag is raised and/or the national anthem is sung. The group held local meetings of municipality and postal service workers and visited their workplaces, to ask for their participation in the struggle against deregulation and privatization. For students, the group promoted organizing activities to welcome freshmen and movements to protest the intensified control of the university authority at the university that the group used as its foothold. Furthermore, the group held rallies and demonstrations throughout Japan from June to October, which it named “Workers Action,” concerning the subjects of the amendment of the Constitution, realignment of U.S. forces in Japan, and “poverty and disparity,” and tried to gather young workers, students and citizens. As a result, the group mobilized the largest ever number of people-about 2,700 (it was about 2,500 in 2006) -for the “Nationwide Laborers' Rally” (Tokyo) held in November, which the group considered as the final settlement of accounts in recruiting laborers.
   Regarding the issue of Narita Airport construction, the “Chukaku-ha” group declared to “crush the northbound extension of the provisional parallel runway and strengthen its solidarity with laborers and farmers” and continued its support for the Kitahara group opposition alliance. Under these circumstances, a statement suggesting that they would curb guerrilla activities was given in a press conference at a meeting held in Narita in October. However, in its bulletin the group maintained its position of enhancing its covert and illegal structure, including the “Revolutionary Army.”
   The group is expected to maintain its line of supporting armed struggle in the future and to make efforts to infiltrate among laborers and citizens by including social issues that attract people's interest in the themes of their struggle.

<The “Kakumaru-ha” extremist group made efforts to solidify the group and to strengthen its power in the labor front>

From the beginning of the year, the “Kakumaru-ha” extremist group set for its slogan to prevent the amendment of the Constitution and the SDF's overseas dispatch, and had “student and laborer joint actions” in major cities all over Japan, including Tokyo and Osaka. The group also protested against the reform of the public service systems and called for the improvement of working conditions for irregularly employed workers, and thus tried to enhance its influence on workers, mainly from the labor unions of basic industries, and citizens.
   In addition, the “Kakumaru-ha” extremist group published an article titled “The First Anniversary of Comrade Hirokazu Kuroda's Death” in its bulletin in July, which repeatedly admired the group's founder and former Chairman Hirokazu Kuroda, who died in June 2006, and appealed again to adhere to the “Kuroda theory" and tried to tighten the bond between members.
   Meanwhile, the group ignored and did not comment at all on the announcement made by former executive union members of the Japan Confederation of Railway Workers' Union and the East Japan Railway Workers' Union (June) that they had “formed a new workers' union, Japan Railway Workers' Union, that broke away from the control of Kakumaru-ha.”
   The group is expected to continue the revolutionary theory advocated by former leader Kuroda and to strengthen its efforts to expand its power by focusing on the upsurge of mass movements and on the labor front.

<The “Kaiho-ha” group made all the efforts to rebuild the organization; terrorist/guerrilla incidents are feared>

The mainstream and anti-mainstream factions of the “Kaiho-ha” group of the Revolutionary Workers' Association worked on rebuilding the organization, which was left impoverished by internal strife resulting from the group split, while maintaining its line of armed struggle and various campaigns including the struggle to “dissolve the U.S. base in Japan.”
   The anti-mainstream factions advocated the promotion of anti-authority struggle mainly by terrorism and guerrilla activities, and in February carried out “the attack on the U.S. Army's Camp Zama base by a metal projectile.” They revealed again their dangerous nature by stating that they would “fight to ignite further revolutionary armed conflict.” There is a strong concern that the group will engage in illegal activities in the future, and thus their movements should be noted, especially for the G8 Hokkaido Toyako Summit 2008.

<The MDS is expected to try to expand the organization by focusing on collaboration with the anti-U.S. non-Islamic force in Iraq>

Through the year, the Movement for Democratic Socialism (MDS), which calls for realization of a socialist society, supported the anti-U.S. non-Islamic force in Iraq. In particular, the MDS gave substantial financial support to a satellite TV station set up by a force, organized fee-paying members who viewed the TV programs via the Internet (June) and made efforts to increase the number of members. In addition, aiming at “preventing the building of a war regime,” the MDS continued to put a lot of work into a movement to formulate regulations on the “declaration for non-defended localities” based on the Geneva Convention supplementary protocol, and organized groups of citizens from two municipalities, Uji City (Kyoto) and Sapporo City (Hokkaido), and worked on a signature campaign for direct petition of formulating city ordinances.
   The MDS is expected to try to enhance its influence over citizens in the future by focusing on the support to the anti-U.S. non-Islamic force and the campaign on the “declaration for non-defended localities.”

(4) The JCP tries to make its presence felt

]The JCP presented itself as “a reliable opposition party” but lost ground in the Upper House election, and started preparation for the general election.
]While independently criticizing the government in the Diet, the party took an attitude of joint struggle with other opposition parties, based on the LDP's failure to win a majority in the Upper House election.

Through its efforts in the nationwide local elections and the Upper House election and its debates in the Diet, the JCP emphasized the difference from other parties, as well as criticizing the government based on its own research, and thus tried to make its presence felt.

<In spite of its effort in the nationwide local elections and the Upper House election, the JCP lost seats>

The JCP regarded the Upper House election in July as a “springboard for full-scale progress in a national election,” and in January held the 3rd Plenum of the Central Committee, with an eye to the nationwide local elections in April, to encourage the members to devote all their energies to advertising the party and increasing its support base.
   The total number of seats decreased in the nationwide local elections, with the party losing seats in the prefectural assembly elections where it had aimed to secure the same number of seats as it had held before. In the 4th Plenum of the Central Committee held in May, however, the party praised the fact that party increased its proportion of seats in the local municipality elections, calling it a “good and brave fight,” and encouraged further effort towards the Upper House election by the entire party.
   In the Upper House election, the JCP took up as important issues the amendment of the Constitution, “pension” and “poverty and disparity,” and criticized the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and the Democratic Party of Japan for failing to take different positions on such issues as amending the Constitution, raising taxes and relaxing the regulations on labor laws. The JCP thus tried to appeal as “a reliable opposition party,” but saw its number of seats fall from five to three in the election.

<Based on the election result, the JCP decided a policy of concentrating on proportional-representation constituencies in the next general election>

The JCP held the 5th Plenum of the Central Committee in September and summarized that its setback in the Upper House election came because the party was not competent enough to push back the “building of a two-party system” by the Liberal Democratic Party and the Democratic Party of Japan. Based on this, the party decided for the next general election to reexamine its conventional policy of aiming to field candidates in all the single-representative constituencies, to reduce the number of candidates, and to concentrate more than ever on proportional-representation constituencies, and later announced the candidates for the next general election one after another.

<While demonstrating its consciously independent stance in the Diet, the JCP also regarded the joint struggle with other opposition parties as important>

During the ordinary Diet session, the JCP criticized the government by pointing out the issues of “money in politics” and the “SDF internal documents.”
   On the issue of “money in politics,” the JCP criticized cabinet members and senior members of the ruling party for “locating their ‘main office' in the rent-free Diet Members' Building while booking a huge amount of office expenses” in its newspaper, Akahata, in January, before other opposition parties did, and picked up the matter repeatedly in subsequent Diet sessions, questioning the government's responsibility. In addition, the JCP publicized in a press conference in June some “SDF internal documents” that were allegedly made by the Ground SDF Intelligence and Security Corps, and pointed out that the Ground SDF conducted surveillance of groups and individuals who opposed the SDF's dispatch to Iraq. The JCP later criticized the government in the Diet for “infringing the freedom of assembly, association and expression.”
   In the extraordinary Diet session in the autumn, based on the LDP's failure to win a majority in the Upper House election, the JCP showed an attitude of positively participating in the joint struggle of opposition parties in the Diet, and mentioned a reexamination of its catch-phrase of “a reliable opposition party.”

<To enhance the party's competency, the JCP encouraged learning activities>

Regarding the expansion of its organizational strength, the JCP considered that the biggest factor in winning in the nationwide local elections and the Upper House election would be an increase in the numbers of party members and of subscribers to the party's newspaper, Akahata, and the entire JCP endeavored to enhance its activities from the beginning of the year. However, the number of party members remained the same as at the beginning of the year-about 0.4 million-and the circulation of Akahata decreased from about 1.6 million at the beginning of the year to about 1.5 million. After the Upper House election, the party put a lot of work into study activities, holding study meetings all over Japan in which the party leaders gave lectures on the party's principles, aiming to improve members' consciousness and ability.
   After the death of former Chairman Kenji Miyamoto in July (at the age of 98), the JCP held a party funeral in August, after the Upper House election, and praised his achievement as “the person who set up the basis of the party by establishing the policy of self-determination and national sovereignty.”

<Organizational strength and ability are called into question for the next general election>

The JCP is expected to make its presence felt by proposing various policies putting the joint struggle of opposition parties in the Diet into perspective and to endeavor to enhance its power and increase its support base. Since the party's new election policy is quite different from its conventional strategy, the success or failure of efforts based on the policy should be noted.

(5) Movements of the Japanese Red Army and “Yodo-go” group

]The Japanese Red Army (JRA) keeps its dangerous nature and undertakes the organization's survival.
]“Yodo-go” group sticks to its policy of “an agreement on their return to Japan.”

<The JRA promoted the “Rydda Struggle” and tried to attract the younger generation>

The JRA has called the Lod Airport Massacre in Tel Aviv perpetrated by three of its members on May 30, 1972 the “Rydda Struggle” to claim its significance, and has made an annual announcement around May 30. Its members and supporters have held anniversary meetings on the occasion every year.
   The supporters of the JRA got together about 150 people, including students, on June 3, and held the “May 30 All Kyoto Memorial Meeting for the 35th Anniversary of the Rydda Struggle,” where statements by the supreme leader Fusako Shigenobu (arrested in 2000 and now in custody) and Kozo Okamoto, one of the criminals involved in the above massacre (in exile in Lebanon), were given.
   During the meeting, the JRA explained the historical background, the significance and outline of the “Rydda Struggle,” as well as glorifying and justifying the “Rydda Struggle” in the movie “The Red Army/PFLP: Declaration of World War” and in the aforementioned statements, to attract the younger generation. The JRA did not bring to the fore the supporters who were arrested on the charge of allegedly harboring Fusako Shigenobu at the time of her arrest, thus showing its attitude of trying to maintain the organization by blurring its extremist color.
   Seven members of the JRA, including Kozo Okamoto, are on the international wanted list, and the JRA is trying to maintain the organization while preserving its dangerous nature. Therefore, attention should be paid to its movements in the future.

<“Yodo-go” group sticks to the policy of “an agreement on their return to Japan” but may be sent out of North Korea>

The “Yodo-go” Japan Airlines hijackers are sticking to the policy of “an agreement on their ‘returning to Japan' as political refugees instead of ‘being extradited' as criminals, as a result of talks with the Japanese government.”
   During the second session of the working group on normalization of diplomatic relations between Japan and North Korea (September), held in Mongolia, the North Korean side restated its stance that “the return to Japan of the persons concerned with ‘Yodo-go' is a matter to be solved by discussion between the Japanese government and the persons concerned, and the North Korean government is ready to assist both sides, such as providing a place for the meeting.” The “Yodo-go” group includes those who are on the international wanted list for alleged involvement in the abduction of Japanese citizens in Europe. The possibility of North Korea sending the “Yodo-go” hijackers into exile is not to be discounted, depending on future developments regarding the matter of whether or not the United States takes North Korea off its list of state sponsors of terrorism. Thus, future movements should be noted.

(6) With an eye to the G8 Hokkaido Toyako Summit 2008, anti-globalization groups positively interact with groups from various countries

]Japanese groups participated in the “7th World Social Forum” and in protests against the Heiligendamm Summit.
]The groups campaigned to enhance cooperation with a wide variety of domestic and foreign organizations in protests against the Hokkaido Toyako Summit.

<Japanese groups positively interacted with groups from various countries in the “World Social Forum”>

Anti-globalization groups from around the world held the “7th World Social Forum” in January in Nairobi, the capital city of Kenya, with about 65,000 participants (according to organizers) from various countries. Over the course of a variety of meetings and seminars with themes such as “poverty” and “anti-war,” and with the aim of “opposing the neo-liberal policies promoted by developed countries,” the groups confirmed the direction of their protest activity against the Heiligendamm Summit (Germany), held in June. About 50 activists from Japanese civic groups and labor unions, including ATTAC Japan, a group led by the JRCL (formerly, the Fourth International Faction), attended the Forum and exchanged opinions with groups from various countries by holding discussion meetings.
   In Japan, anti-globalization groups including “ATTAC Japan” invited activists from overseas countries such as the Philippines when the Asian Development Bank held its annual assembly in May (Kyoto) and had a symposium (with about 300 participants, according to organizers) and demonstration rally to criticize the bank's financing methods. Through these activities, the groups called for participation in the protests against the Heiligendamm Summit and the Hokkaido Toyako Summit.

<Japanese groups participated in the protests against the Heiligendamm Summit, where groups from various countries came together>

Various Japanese groups, including “ATTAC Japan,” dispatched activists to the Heiligendamm Summit protests held in June by anti-globalization groups from various countries, mainly European, to attend daily meetings and demonstrations and have exchanges with other groups. Among the activists who participated from Japan, some were seen to be in agreement with the activity of the “Black Bloc” that caused riots.

<Japanese groups started the campaign for protests against the Hokkaido Toyako Summit>

“ATTAC Japan,” which participated in the protests against the Heiligendamm Summit, engaged in preparations for the protests against the Hokkaido Toyako Summit along with other anarchist anti-globalization groups under the banners of “opposing neo-liberalism” and “opposing the summit,” while intending to cooperate with NGOs and civic groups.
   In particular, “ATTAC Japan” held a “Meeting to report on the 2007 anti-G8 in Germany” in Tokyo in July and confirmed its policy of mounting protests against the Hokkaido Toyako Summit by collecting a wide range of people. In October, an anarchist anti-globalization group invited activists from “DISSENT!,” an international network that advocates “opposing the summit,” and held lecture meetings in various regions, including Tokyo, swapping stories about protest activities with a focus on the Heiligendamm Summit. During their stay, “DISSENT!” activists visited Toyako in Hokkaido to inspect the meeting venue for the summit, as well as clarifying their determination to mount protests against the Hokkaido Toyako Summit alongside groups from inside and outside Japan.

<Fear of riots by some extreme activists>

Some anti-globalizations groups, gearing up for the Hokkaido Toyako Summit, have moved to try to play the role of receiving overseas extremist groups at the summit. Some extreme activists may start riots when these domestic and overseas activists cooperate in the protest activities, and attention is therefore required.

3. Right-wing Groups

Right-wing groups focused on various issues relating to North Korea and China

]Right-wing groups protested against the government's measures on the abduction issue and Chongryon's criticism of the Japanese government.
]Groups strengthened anti-China activity and other efforts toward various issues with neighboring countries.

Although the organizational power of right-wing groups as a whole has remained at the same level, organized criminal groups tend to be on the rise. Under these circumstances, many groups positively promoted their activities by focusing on various issues with North Korea, China and South Korea, such as the abduction issue, historical perception, and territorial land and sea disputes.

<Right-wing groups promoted protests on various issues relating to North Korea>

Right-wing groups held protests against Chongryon and others in response to developments regarding North Korea, stating “the issue of abduction is at a standstill since North Korea has not changed its attitude that “the issue has been resolved.”
   In January, some right-wing groups grappled with protest activities opposed to the visit to North Korea by Taku Yamazaki, the former Liberal Democratic Party Vice President, who had a meeting with Song Il Ho, Ambassador in charge of DPRK-Japan Talks of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, criticizing “the action taken by Yamazaki, disregarding economic sanctions against North Korea by the Japanese government, cannot be accepted.” Moreover, in response to the “Central Meeting of North Korean residents in Japan” held by Chongryon in protest against the extension of countermeasures taken by Japan on North Korea (March 3, October 10, Tokyo), some right-wing groups had a protesting activity and requested the Tokyo metropolitan government, in charge of managing the venue, to cancel its lease. On the day of the Meeting, they vocally demanded “return abducted victims” and mounted protests around the venue that they called the “nation's rally to support the Japanese government's economic sanctions against North Korea.” During the assembly in March, an incident occurred where a senior member of a right-wing group rushed into Chongryon's demonstration march, tried to grab a banner, and was arrested. Furthermore, when North Korea launched short-range missiles toward the Sea of Japan (May 25), some groups held protests around Chongryon-related facilities in various regions to “emphatically condemn the provocative behavior of the terrorist state, North Korea.”
   Under these circumstances, the news released on the sale of Chongryon's headquarters building (June), led some groups to hold protests against the former Director-General of the Public Security Intelligence Agency and some others who were involved in the case.

<Right-wing groups intensified anti-China activity on the occasion of Chinese leader's visit to Japan, the first in six and a half years>

When Premier Wen Jiabao visited Japan (April 11 to 13), the first top-level visit in six and a half years, right-wing groups strongly opposed what they claimed was “a visit to check and restrain the Prime Minister's visit to Yasukuni Shrine before its spring festival,” and many groups held protests around Chinese diplomatic offices. In the vicinity of the places that Premier Wen was visiting and staying, in particular, they tried to approach the Premier and appealed for opposition to his visit by putting up a poster on a campaign truck that made the Chinese leader's photo look like one of a deceased person. Also, during the visits to Japan by Defense Minister Cao Gangchuan (August 29 to September 2) and by Jia Qinglin, the Chairman of the People's Political Consultative Conference (September 12 to 17), the groups mounted opposition activities in the vicinity of the visits, requesting that Japan “break off diplomatic relations with the enemy country, China, which is aiming its nuclear weapons at us.”
   At the beginning of August, when the Beijing Olympics were one year off, in collaboration with the activities of local assembly members and conservative organizations insisting that “China, which oppresses Tibet and others, is not qualified to hold the festival of peace, the Olympic Games,” some right-wing groups held meetings and demonstrations to boycott the Beijing Olympics, criticizing human rights problems, the safety of Chinese food, air pollution, and so on. After this, right-wing groups in the metropolitan area held meetings and demonstrations such as the “Kanagawa Conference to Protest Against Red China” (September 9, Kanagawa) and “Boycott the Beijing Olympics! National Conference” (October 8, Tokyo), as well as appealing to boycott the Beijing Olympics in an event entitled “9.29 Anti-China Day” (September 29, four cities including Tokyo and Osaka).

<Right-wing groups held protests on diplomatic and territorial issues, such as the resolution to demand an official apology for “wartime comfort women” and the dispute over the Takeshima islands>

In response to the adoption of a resolution by the U.S. House of Representatives in July to demand that Japan make an official apology on the issue of “wartime comfort women,” right-wing groups countered that “there is no evidence that the Imperial Japanese Army was involved” and held protests at the U.S. diplomatic offices in Tokyo and Osaka. The groups also criticized that “the resolution by the U.S. House of Representatives is based on the ‘Kono Statement' that admitted the Imperial Japanese Army's involvement” and had a signature campaign to request the government to withdraw the “Statement by the Chief Cabinet Secretary Yohei Kono on the result of the study on the issue of ‘comfort women'” (1993) that Yohei Kono, Speaker of the House of Representatives, announced when he was Chief Cabinet Secretary.
   On the territory issues, right-wing groups insisted on Japan's territorial rights over Takeshima Island, and held activities in various regions including Tokyo and Osaka to appeal for the “recapture of Takeshima” on “Takeshima Day” (February 22), established by Shimane Prefecture. In addition, protests aimed at Korean diplomatic offices in Japan were observed, opposing South Korea's assertion that “the name of the Sea of Japan is a remnant of the colonial period” and its request to change the name to “East Sea” in the International Hydrographic Conference (May) and the United Nations Conference on the Standardization of Geographical Names (August). Furthermore, after it was reported in the news that Kotouracho in Tottori had deleted the letters of “East Sea” from the explanation on a monument set in the “Japan and Korea Friendship Exchange Park” (May), when a movement for restoration arose, right-wing groups submitted a document to the town office that stated “the East Sea proposed by Korea is not acceptable and it is not necessary to restore the letters,” and had propaganda campaigns around the town office.
   Besides, whenever a public trial was held at Yamagata District Court (six times in total from January to May) on the case of the arson attack (August 15, 2006, Yamagata) on the house of the parents of Koichi Kato, the former Secretary General of the LDP, right-wing group members thronged from Tokyo and Miyagi, and continued to offer support for the accused, such as attending hearings and campaigning on the street. After the judicial decision was announced (8 years imprisonment, May 31), right-wing groups held a report meeting (June 2, Tokyo), praising the case as a “righteous deed,” and speaking of the necessity of direct action, as “to right society's wrongs, it is necessary to give a hard blow.”

<Right-wing groups continue to intensify efforts on various issues regarding neighboring countries>

While focusing on various matters regarding neighboring countries, such as the abduction issue and territorial land and sea disputes, Japanese right-wing groups are expected to continue their activities to request the Prime Minister's visit to Yasukuni Shrine and the amendment of the Constitution. Depending on future trends in the diplomatic issues to which right-wing groups pay attention, including the movement for diplomatic normalization with North Korea, right-wing groups may take more extreme actions than before, and their movements should be watched with greater caution.

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