On May 2nd, 2016, the third section of the Public Security Division in the Osaka Prefectural Police Headquarters searched 16 houses and arrested 3 people under allegations of “fraud”.
The police claimed that it was a “crime” that any liaison conference or executive committee, participated by labor unions and citizens’ groups, rents a conference room of a public facility under the name of a labor union joining the conference or committee.
This allegation is completely unacceptable.
The Osaka Prefectural Police Headquarters stated: “A conference room in Osaka Prefectural Labor Center (L-Osaka) was rented under the name of a labor union via discounted fee, and used instead for the meeting of “Kinki Liaison Conference Against The U.S. X-band Radar Base” or “Summit Executive Committee.” This was fraud.”
However, the fact is that it was clearly stated in the application process that the room was to be used for the meeting of union by discounted fee, and actually used for the meeting of “Kinki Liaison Conference Against The U.S. X-band Radar Base” or “Summit Executive Committee.” There was no attempt to mislead L-Osaka at all.
Article 1 of Osaka Prefectural Labor Center states that its purpose is “[t]o provide a venue for gatherings, events, and so on, in order to contribute to the sound development of labor unions, enhancement of workers’ culture, and enforcement of welfare.”
When a labor union holds a conference or a meeting, such as a democratic committee in cooperation with broad citizens over various social movements including peace movement, it meets this purpose.
In addition, it has been regarded as ordinary practice that a labor union takes the role of secretariat in such a movement because it has a fixed office and contact address, as well as a daily office work function.
Against such ordinary activities of a labor union, the “allegation of fraud” was clearly fabricated in an attempt to justify the police action, leading to 16 houses being searched, and 3 people being arrested. It was an extreme human rights violation.
It was an unacceptable attempt to intimidate labor union activities, restrict the cooperation among labor unions and citizens, divide labor unions and citizens, and intervene in our activities. It is also oppression against the fight against US bases in Okinawa filled with the anger of the people, “Ise-Shima Summit”, a meeting of the bosses of the imperialist powers in the world and linking up of these fights and labor movement.
The arrest of 3 people – including a sick person – as a warning through fabrication and distortions of truth was unjust restraint and a clear human rights violation with echoes of pre-war days. It completely violated the human rights protections as enshrined in the Japanese Constitution.
These unjust searches and arrests by the government, and the court using Osaka Prefectural Police Headquarters as a base from which to launch its assaults, was nothing but a violation of Article 99 of the Japanese Constitution, and thus completely unacceptable in every sense of the word.
Osaka Zenrokyo strongly protests against these unjust interventions and oppressions, and expresses its full determination to work for the development of the anti-war peace movement, the anti-base movement, and all related labor movements.