Please support our campaign against the illegal arrest of a student at Waseda University on April 1st 2008. Please respond to the statement bellow and sign the petition.
【Stetement of Protest Against the Administrative Members of Waseda University
Katsuhiko Shirai, President of Waseda University
E-ichiro Nojima, President of the Student Department
Yoichi Shimada, Chairman of the Department of Student Affairs
Hidehiko Fukuda, Officer of the Department of Students Activities
On April 1st 2008, a senior student of the faculty of Jurisprudence at Waseda University in Tokyo was about to install a billboard protesting a new regulation prohibiting student activities at the time of the annual welcoming ceremony. He was suddenly taken away and arrested by private university officials on the charge of trespassing. He was eventually turned in to the police.
The conduct of the university officials cannot be justified. In the first place they have no authority whatsoever to arrest him and turn him in to the police. Secondly, up until 2006, many groups presented their billboards and gave speeches in the same public space during the ceremony; it did not interrupt the ceremony. Then why did it come to be prohibited beginning from 2007?
As some of you might remember, on December 20th 2005, a similar incident took place at the same Waseda University. An activist who was distributing leaflets protesting the university reforms was privately arrested by officials of the Literature Department and then turned in to the police. The university administration was criticized for this conduct by many people in and out of Japan. And now this recurred within less than three years.
We believe that the problem in the extreme behavior of Waseda University is not just of the university, but an embodiment of the seriously disturbing tendency of the entire society. In Japan today, there are innumerable incidents where people¹s basic freedoms – freedom of thought/conscience and freedom of speech – protected by the constitution are violated. These affairs at Waseda are an expression of the fact that the entire society has allowed a university, the nurturer of speech, to trespass the ultimate line that has to be guarded in a free society.
We hereby protest the conduct of Waseda University officials and demand full explanation, apology, and compensation concerning this misconduct immediately.
Masakiho O-ishi (Professor of Waseda University)
Junichi Takahashi (Professor of Waseda University)
Shoji Hara (Professor of Waseda University)
Satoshi Ukai (Lecturer of Waseda University, Professor of Hitotsubashi University)
Hidenaga O-tori (Lecturer of Waseda University, Theater Critic)
Takumi Ide (PHD candidate of Waseda University)
Kensuke Nakayama (PHD candidate of Waseda University)
Shingo Hori (Student of Waseda University)
Keita Matsuura (Student of Waseda University)
Toshihiko Mineo (Student of Waseda University)
Kishu Izuchi (Film Director, Scenario Writer)
Yoshihiko Ichida (Professor of Kobe University)
Yu-ichi Ikeda (Literary Critic, Former Lecturer of Waseda University)
Mitsuyo Kakuta (Author)
Tatsuya Kimura (Associate Professor of Seijo University)
Hidemi Suga (Professor of Kinki University, Former Professor of Waseda University)
Teruo Takei (Literary Critic)
Gen Hirai (Music Critic, Former Lecturer of Waseda University)
Mitsuo Fukawa (Editor of Historical Studies of Printing )
Masafumi Yonetani (Lecturer of Tokyo University of Foreign Studies) 】
For those who agree with the above statement, please fill in and send it from the form. You could also send us your signature via mail or by telephone, We will present it to the university administration and upload on our website. If you prefer anonymity, let us know.