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<nettime> Tetsuo Kogawa: Japan has turned out to be a repressive police
Geert Lovink on Sat, 30 May 2015 23:35:11 +0200 (CEST)


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<nettime> Tetsuo Kogawa: Japan has turned out to be a repressive police state


Japan has turned out to be a repressive police state 
By Tetsuo Kogawa, Tokyo Japan

(posted to nettime with the permission of the author. /geert)

A couple of months ago, Seiya Kitazawa, a 15 years old net-activist, aka
"Noel" worked hard at AfreecaTV (one of the relatively free
chat-streaming sites). He had a unique style of independent live
transmission with his white half mask and carrying his laptop just like
a "cigarette girl" in the old American movie theater and transmit his
talks and live movie images at various spaces. However, he met a lot of
reactions from mass media and reactionary chatters because he was "too
forward" and didn't mind familiar-Japanese manner and censorship. His
transmission is not sophisticated but critically "alienated" the
contradictions of Japanese mainstream media and alleged "democracy". 

Apparently, they leaked his allegedly "illegal" (against the
broadcasting regulations and socialized manner) behavior to the police.
So, when he transmit his DIY program in Fukushima at the 3 years
anniversary, police officers tried to stop him and even tried to take
him to the police station. As he continued his interesting attempts,
mass media tried to scandalously report his work. 

As soon as he started his transmission, the police came and challenged
him "what are you doing here?" He insisted on his freedom of speech and
citizen right. But on the 29th of April when he started using a drone
photographing cities from the sky, criticism against him escalated
dramatically. And finally he was arrested at his home in the midnight of
21st of May!
http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2015/05/21/national/crime-legal/teen-arrested-planning-fly-drone-tokyo-festival/#.VV3UdkbJnac
[The fact is more complicated, but I can show the examples of
mass-circulated English paper in Japan.]

What is the suspicion against him? The police argued that he "planed
using his drone at the traditional festival in Asakusa, Tokyo which was
to be held on the very day and it had a possibility to disturb the
festival business. Kitazawa didn't plan such a thing and said definitely
that he was probably just streaming from Asakusa. Usually, it would be
impossible for the police to prosecute him. But they are very eager to
do so. 

The timing is bad because the Abe government has been trying to force
establishing a special law for using drone. Don't mix up with the
similar attempts of the other countries. For instance, in the US, the
possible regulation is to be for the commercial use of drone: the hobby
use is not be the aim. But in Japan, the government tries to prohibit
the use of drone without licenses and to control everything.

Coincidently, there was a strange incident that a middle-aged guy had
tried a drone demonstration against the Abe administration. The
government argued it as the terrorist attack. But according to some
speculation, this incident might be a put-up job to legitimate the law,
though.
http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2015/04/25/national/fukui-man-arrested-landing-drone-prime-ministers-office-says-protesting-nuclear-power-policy/#.VVZQ7JPJnad 

Kitazawa has been never "political" nor declared any ideological
messages against the government policy. He just tried to show his
personal interesting talks and view images over the internet. That's why
I highly evaluate his activity in the age of micro-politics. I think he
is a radical successor of Mini FM although he didn't learn about it.
Today, traditional type of criticism and demonstration don't work
anymore.

The repression against him reveals that in the area of micro-politics,
Japan is much more controlled and unchanged. In the level of
micro-politics, Japan is unchanged from the prewar period to the
present.  After his first challenge on the 29th of April, he flied his
drone over the Buddhist temple in Nagano to show the ceremony on the 9th
of May. Unfortunately, the drone 'landed' in the midst of the ceremony.
Mass media reported that it "crashed" but it is a lie. Moreover, there
is a speculation that it was hacked and forced to land by a cyber police
department.
http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2015/05/15/national/boy-15-using-pc-caught-trying-fly-drone-near-diet-building/#.VVZZi5PJnad 

On the 13th, he tried to show City of Tokyo from the perspective of the
top of Edo castle but just before starting his another drone (the
previous one is still in the police department) many cops came and
brought him to the police station on the excuse that they had to
"protect" a "juvenile" (15 years old) who rejected his identity. He was
released after 4 hours. But it turns out to be the beginning. He was
arrested and will be in the police station not allowing to meet even his
parents (except his lawyer) even after 14 days and more.

This is too unreasonable and absurd. Given the present "nationalist"
feeling, people might consider "outsider's" opinion and criticism as an
"domestic" matter and even as an "domestic interference". But I am
wondering that as a world-citizen we might have any solution to clarify
this absurdity. If anything, please drop me a note to me:
polym {AT} translocal.jp

The are too many videos in YouTube (no English subtites):
https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=%E3%83%8E%E3%82%A8%E3%83%AB%E3%80%80%E9%85%8D%E4%BF%A1


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