FreeHoshino! #200

Quantum Leap to Releasing Hoshino in 2014

Rise up to the Shibuya Demonstrations
Happy New Year! We had a victory after the inspiring demonstration in downtown Shibuya and Free Hoshino rally.
In the three-way meeting held on December 25 with our attorneys, the judges and the prosecutors, the retrial defense team persistently requested disclosure of negative photos, and they won at the Tokyo High Court. The photo of a Hoshino holding a steel pipe that has not been used, is the evidence that Hoshino is innocent. The judges and prosecutors seemed shocked by this photo. We will push this fact that Hoshino did not beat the police man.

Our fight in 2013 pressured the court and prosecutors, and led to a decisive breakthrough of all evidence disclosure and retrial.
Although an attendance of guards was forced for our attorney Osamu Wakuta to meet with Hoshino in Tokushima Prison, he evaded a guard's attendance when Wakuta met Hoshino on December 17, claiming that such rule is unjustified. The attorney said "Hoshino and I had good conversation about the retrial for as long as an hour and 20 minutes."

Expand the Movement for All Discoveries
The core of the movement to expand the Hoshino struggle is to expose all testimonies. The prosecutors are concealing all the evidences, which kept Hoshino to imprisonment for 39 years. 284 lawyers and 880 people already agreed to help. We are expanding the signature campaign to your work, schools and all over the place!

The labors against the Secrecy Law erupted at the parliament demo on December 6. Abe administration is misleading the country to a war, with reopening banned nuclear facilities, exporting nuclear, establishing the U.S. base in Henoko, Okinawa, and reforming wrong constitution.

The labors suffer from overwork, non-regular employment, low wages, and layoffs. Young labors are facing the reality that they are struggling to survive, and they cannot bear this too long. We need to find ways to help them as we work together to liberating Hoshino.

Protect Hoshino's Right and Health
Tokushima Prison let Fumiaki write letters with only limited phrases. Otherwise, they black out most part of his letters. These are already outrageous acts, but also they do limit him to meet a friend nor do they permit prisoners to use heaters or even pocket warmers. We need to protect Fumiaki's right and health.

Lynn Stewart Has Been Released!

On January 1, Lynn Stuart, an attorney of the United States, has been set free from jail. Lynn had served a term in prison in Texas due to a sentence of 10 years in prison for the "Patriot Act" that her activities allegedly supported terrorism. She was suffering from lung cancer, and it has spread to other organs. Her doctor declared her only one year life expectancy. However, arelief movement has been called throughout world by a number of parties concerned. This movement has been reported that "all United States and 80 other countries collected 40,000 petitions."

Hoshino Retrial Committee also collected signatures, and asked U.S. Embassy in Japan for advocacy for Lynn.

The Movement for All Discoveries Meeting
Power Crimes Uncovered by Matsukawa Case
Evidence of Innocence has been Hidden
Masayuki Ibe, Professor emeritus of Fukushima University

On December 20, the 6th meeting of the movement for all discoveries was held at Chiyoda City's Hibiya Library & Museum. Mr. Masayuki Ibe gave a lecture about Power Crimes Uncovered referring Matsukawa case.

On the Day of Strike at Toshiba Matsukawa Factory
Incident Occurred in the Early Time
In the early hours of August 17, 1949, a train derailed and was overthrow near Matsukawa station, and three crew members died. It occurred in the midst of 100,000 Japan National Railways employees being discharged.

While Toshiba Matsukawa Factory is notifying to lay off the 32 of 330 employees on August 12, the union was planning a 24-hour strike on August 17. The incident happened in the dawn of the day.

Three people from National Railway Worker's union of Matsukawa branch and two of Toshiba Matsukawa factory employees were falsely charged as perpetrators. But the cause of the rollover of the train was removal of rails, and it is technically impossible by only five people without proper tools.

The aim of the crackdown is union-busting
The prosecution claimed that those suspects had involved 11 incidents from August 12 through the 16th.
Mr. Katsumi Akama, a young industrial worker, was framed as he took part in the conspiracy of the union of JNR.
The prosecutor threatened Akama, who is still under age, in the cruel interrogation for a long period of time every day, and concocted false confessions.

Prosecutors wanted to make up Toshiba version of the conspiracy. They had planned an arrest of Futao Hamasaki of Toshiba, based on the confession of Akama. Eventually, Ota Shouji, vice chairman of the union of Toshiba, was arrested. The prosecutor concocted the plot that most conspiracy was by Toshiba union members.
Ultimately, the authority intended to destroy two biggest labor unions, JNR and Toshiba.

Unity of Defendant Group is Fundamental Forces to Victory
In 1950, after Korean War was triggered, Sohyo, a labor union against communist, was established by General Headquarters in Japan However, Sohyo is converted to a pro-war union called "Duck from Chicken" because of the resistance of the workers in the field. Matsukawa case had a significant effect on this conversion.

There was a note called "Suwa note" in which a memo indicated the alibi of Hajime Sato, a Toshiba employee, where he could not be involved with the conspiracy at that time. This became crucial evidence that set him free.
The Matsukawa case developed to the nation-large movement based on the supports from the accused, their families and lawyers.
Finally the wrongful conviction was overturned, where the 20 defendants including the five with death penalty became innocent on September 12, 1963.

The Attorney Osamu Wakuta
Achieved Meeting without Guard
On December 17, Mr. Osamu Wakuta. the attorney of the Hoshino Defense, attained a meeting with Fumiaki Hoshino for about an hour and a half without a guard beside them.
When he was going to meet Hoshino on the day after the 9.8 Tokushima Prison demonstrations, the prison spited the attorney that he could not meet Hoshino without an attendance of a guard. He did not meet Hoshino, and came back to protest at that time.

Wakuta and the other attorneys of Hoshino committee called on lawyers nationwide, and 136 lawyers gathered. Ultimately, they sent a protest statement to Tokushima Prison.
At the meeting this time, Tokushima Prison officers seemed unusual as their behaviors were fair and soft.

Tokushima Visitation Diary
"To Share Suffering with People is My Standpoint"

Akiko Hoshino
On December 11, it was a cold day. I headed to the jail while I was thinking that Fumiaki might have felt cold in the prison.
Fumiaki seemed to be fine.
I said, "Our fight began to live in everyone's mind who read the book <Love and Revolution>. Fumiaki said, "I did not think we could fight this far. But it is thanks to everyone who works very hard for me."
I said, "The Art Exhibition and Assemblies in Kyushu , Iwate and Sagamihara were all successful. At the exhibition in Sagamihara, there was a person who was moved to tears." Fumiaki wanted to know about it more, and I told him the stories in detail.
"I have been isolated since I chose to live with Fumiaki, and I strongly wanted people to understand us. But now we reached the point that our 27 years of life together inspires people to work together."
Fumiaki responded, "I am happy about it, too. We delivered by our hard working efforts."

On December 12, I showed Fumiaki a nandina that Mr. Yamakawa, a member of Free Hoshino, brought to me. I was going to show him yuzu (Chinese lemon) as well, but it was not allowed.
We talked as we look at his painting called "Handle Her Grief and Set a Ship of Hope Afloat in Her Heart." He drew the painting based on a photo of a West Asian girl he saw in a magazine, DAYS JAPAN. In that painting, houses behind a girl were burning, but there were the ships of hopes floating in the sky. It is a reflection of what Fumiaki feels.
I mentioned him about Mr. Shin-ichi Tsujikawa , vice chairman of Doro-Chiba, who spoke at 12.1 gathering, "JNR members support Hoshino because we are sharing basically the same thoughts." Fumiaki appreciated his words so much and said, "We could not prevent the former Prime Minister Nakasone's projects, but there was a little hope that we can still stop the Secrecy Law or the amendment to the constitution. We have been taking over the fight from the 1970 struggling, and thanks to that we have created the road of the possibility for millions labors to fight. People knew the Abe's policy will not make people happy, and approval rating for Abe will eventually diminish within a year, until the effectuation of Secrecy Law."

On December 13, the third day of my visitation, Fumiaki did not have to work because it was the education treatment day. It was the last meeting in this year. We said each other that we took large steps this year, as we have had the second time of Tokushima Prison siege. We held a nationwide meeting twice and published a book "Love and Revolution." Also, Japan Times reported about Fumiaki and myself.
When I asked him about his health, he answered "I am very fine. I have immune to a cold since I have had it once, and I was given a flu shot."
He has got a letter from a friend who was working together as student councils at junior high school in Sapporo. Fumiaki looked very happy about the letter. "Other school friends also bought our calendar," said Fumiaki, "we have been making steady efforts to create a big road."

I told Fumiaki about Mr. Nobuyuki Yoshimoto, a member of labor union, who believes that the task of labor union is to share people's burdens. Fumiaki remembered Yoshimoto because he led "Come Back to Pusan" at the demo around the prison.
When I said "The starting point of my struggle is also to share the suffering of Fumiaki with the life term." Then Fumiaki said, "Mine is too." I realized that having a standpoint of struggling people, as Fumiaki always says, is exactly this. We had a quality time at this meeting.