The police crackdown on the far left in Japan continues unabated. Following the two arrests at a Chūkaku-ha apartment (one was later released and another re-arrested) and recent Kakurōkyō raid, as well as numerous arrests and raids in 2015, now comes a fresh series of arrests by the security police and Kyoto police between February 29th and March 1st.
The targets were high-profile leaders of far-left student activism in Japan: 6 were arrested and 13 places raided by police nationwide, including Kumano Dormitory and other Kyoto University sites. The arrests are in connection with “forcible obstruction of university classes” during a campus strike that prevented classes from taking place at one site for around 6 hours. Raids were also made of Chūkaku-ha bases in Osaka, Fukushima City and Naha, Okinawa.
Chūkaku-ha Zengakuren Chair Ikuma Saitō is among those arrested, along with the head of the Kyoto University student council Dōgakukai, Yōhei Sakube, who both led the small campus strike last October at Kyoto University, which has been a simmering fulcrum for Zengakuren ever since an undercover cop was rumbled on campus in November 2014 (the Kyōdai Poporo incident) and the Kumano Dormitory subsequently raided. Sakube was previously arrested for unauthorised entry onto a Kansai University campus in late 2014, for which he was held for weeks, eventually charged, and found guilty and fined.