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Repression in Osaka, Japan, as city bids for G8 2008

Some UK Squatters | 03.10.2006 12:03 | G8 Japan 2008 | Free Spaces | Repression | Social Struggles | World

There has been a series of arrests in Osaka against the homeless liberation movement. Several activists, including anarchists, have been detained on serious charges. These arrests follow a number of attacks by Osaka city against homeless people and their supporters.

Osaka is a candidate location for hosting the G8 summit of 2008, and will host the World Athletic Championships next year. As with these kinds of international projects of finance, we can expect excluded people to be displaced, criminalized and attacked in the course of these events. The recent preparations for the World Rose Convention held in Osaka saw a number of attacks against homeless people and their self-organized activity. The recent arrests of these good-hearted people is a repressive act against the social movements, and our first impulse is to increase and internationalise the fight of all homeless, all squatters and all marginalized/ exploited people!

Fighting for a beautiful life!

Burn your rent contracts!


From: Mr. Nakagiri of the Nagai comrades organization/Kamagasaki patrol

Yesterday (28 September '06), five of our comrades were arrested. It is clear that the motives of the authorities are to crush our movement. We have held two rushed solidarity meetings and have drawn up a letter of protest. Some of the media has been reporting the case based on nothing but slander, so please read the information here. If there are any unclear points, please contact the Kamagasaki Iryou-ren, listed below, or directly to myself, Nakagiri.

With the lure of the world games and political summits, this may be a step towards simultaneous evictions across the city. The possibility that eviction will be thrust upon the squatting and homeless population of Osaka is high.

We respectfully ask for your cooperation in getting this letter of protest to Osaka City and to the prefectural police, as well as in contributions for lawyer and legal fees for our arrested comrades.

Nakagiri Kousuke of the Nagai Comrades organization/Kamagasaki patrol 090-1953-0886 (Some English spoken)

(Please forward the below far and wide)

Letter of Protest

On September 27th at 6 a.m, 4 of our comrades were arrested on warrant by the Osaka prefectural police, and at 9 p.m. the same day another individual was arrested.

Mr. Inagaki of the Kamagasaki regional labor union, two people who live at Nishi-nari park (in southwest Osaka), a comrade who volunteer with the Nishinari park Yorozu consultation tent and a comrade from the Kamagasaki patrol have been arrested. The first four are held on two counts of "violent interference in city affairs" and "violations related to violent activity". Details regarding the arrest of the Kamagasaki patrol comrade are not yet known.

On this same day we organized a "September 27th repression emergency aid meeting", in which we gathered and discussed the situation among squatter/homeless organizations, aid organizations, workers' unions that have fought alongside us, and others. In the emergency aid meeting, we clarified that this latest repression is "part and parcel of the eviction of Nishi-nari park and other parks, and is a pre-meditated attempt to crush the squatters and homeless movement."

We hereby strengthen our conviction to continue to fight together with our squatting and homeless comrades who have combated poverty and eviction in a struggle for survival and the protection of their human dignity. Therefore, we will by no means stand by and permit the actions of Osaka city and the prefectural police, who have laid bear their inhumanity in the pursuit of an obvious attack on this social movement. We will win the return of our five comrades and push our movement forward.

Mr. Inagaki had involved himself in regular police monitoring activities around the Shiomibashi area (Osaka Naniwa-ward) in order to prevent police harassment during Osaka city's regular 'cleaning', which requires squatters to disassemble their huts temporarily to allow city workers to clean the area. During the cleaning on April 27th, Mr. Inagaki protested against a city worker (from the Osaka city construction office) filming people without a permit. This is the city's "violent interference in city affairs" and "violations related to violent activity" and the city's claims that the city worker's wrist was grabbed and that he was punched in the chest have no basis in reality.

Mr. Inagaki has been denouncing the continual violence against workers in Kamagasaki by the Nishi-nari police force for several years. He has recently been actively involved in exposing the Airin hiring hall and had petitioned against Osaka city's placement of eviction placards of tents at Shiomibashi to the Osaka city lawyers guild. This resulted in mediation between the lawyers' guild and the city; in this way the present repression can be seen as retaliatory against the series of struggles that he is involved in.

The other alleged incident happened on June 12th amidst the defense (and offense) against an eviction at Nishi-nari park. A homeless person who had been recently evicted from a neighborhood park was received at Nishi-nari park and a new hut was being built. When he was evicted, Osaka city did not propose an alternative living location and only recommended that the occupant enter the truly hopeless "independence aid center". Workers in Nishi-nari had told this comrade, who had lost his home, "just come to the park, we'll help you". In order to help him survive against these eviction threats and to protect the housing of everyone living at Nishi-nari, the occupants of the park welcomed a new tenant. However, Osaka city came to stop this claiming that "We will not permit the building of a new tent". There was a protest action against the park office workers who had come to deliver "the notices of eviction" (at Osaka city's Yutori to Midori promotions department).

The three people arrested at Nishi-nari park, Mr. Inagaki and the member of the Kamagasaki patrol have been involved in anti-eviction activities for many years. Last summer, as an eviction crisis approached at Nishi-nari park, these comrades fought together against the evictions of Utsubo and Osaka-jo castle park.

At the emergency aid meeting, we saw that Osaka city was once again threatening evictions. For that purpose, these 5 people were arrested in pre-meditated repression.

This is not just about Nishi-nari park; next year, the World Championships in Athletics will be held and in 2008 a 'designated administrator policy' will be introduced at Nagai park (privatization). Osaka-jo Castle Park is now a candidate location for the 2008 G8 summit in Japan and the city is trying to advance a synthetic tourist-ization of the whole city at Nakanoshima park; thus the threat of eviction looms.

Osaka city is now progressing its "economic revival" under the name of "administrative reforms". We now feel the powerful will of Osaka city to thoroughly evict squatters and their blue tents, the homeless etc. and to view movements that would support these comrades as "obstructions". We strongly object to the social conditions in which for the "reforms" and "economy" of the rich, homeless people, squatting workers, and the poor generally face eviction.

We will continue to support our arrested comrades and fight poverty and eviction. We hope for your continued attention and assistance.

September 28th, 2006

September 27th repression emergency aid organization

Contact information: NPO Kamagasaki Iryou-ren

(TEL/FAX 06-6647-8278 E-Mail:iryouren( at )


A request for material support

5 of our arrested comrades are charged with three offences, and at our emergency aid meeting, lawyer and legal fees were insufficient. We have no choice but to humbly request aid from those concerned with the situation.

Donation information

Post office bank account number 00940-5-79726 (Account holder: Kamagaski Iryou Renranku Kaigi)

Please write in the correspondence column 'September 27th repression emergency aid organization'

We request phone calls and faxes of protest to the following number:
Osaka City management office 06-6208-9720
Osaka City promotions office management section, general affairs TEL06-6615-0614 FAX06-6615-0659
Osaka city construction department management section, road policy division 06-6615-6675
Osaka city citizen department: Consultation division TEL:06-6208-7333 FAX:06-6206-9999
Osaka prefectural police main department TEL 06(6943)1234
Nishi-nari police department 06-6648-1234

Mr.Junichi Seki
Mayor of Osaka City
1-3-20, Nakanoshima, Kita-ku, Osaka-si, Japan
Fax: +81-6-6202-6950

Osaka City North District Park Office
TEL:+81-6-6312-8121 FAX:+81-6-6312-3403
1-1-21, Ougimachi, Kita-ward, Osaka-city, Japanese islands 530-0025
Fax: +81-6-6943-6877
3-11, Osakajyo, Chuou-ku, Osaka-si, Japan

City of Osaka Chicago Office
c/o JETRO Chicago
401 North Michigan Avenue, Suite 660
Chicago, Illinois
60611 USA
Tel: 1-(312)832-6002
Fax: 1-(312)832-6066

City of Osaka Dusseldorf Office
c/o JETRO Dusseldorf
Konigsallee 58
40212 Dusseldorf
Tel: 49-(211)1360241
Fax: 49-(211)326411

City of Osaka Singapore Office
5 Shenton Way
#37-01 UIC Building
Singapore 068808
Republic of Singapore
Tel: (65)6220-8588
Fax: (65)6224-9980

Bureau de Representation
de la Ville d'Osaka a Paris
29, rue des Pyramides
75001 Paris
Tel: 33-(1)4015-9366
Fax: 33-(1)4015-9172

City of Osaka Shanghai Office
Room 407, Shanghai International Trade Center
2200 Yan An Road West
Shanghai, China
Tel: 86-(21)6275-1982
Fax: 86-(21)6275-1983

Some UK Squatters