Buraku Liberation News  March 2000 No.113

A Student did not Regret His Series of Discriminatory Behaviors even after Persuaded by the University Authorities.

University tried to find the fact in cooperation with the BLL.

"The Sarin attack in a subway was committed by an order of the Buraku Liberation League! Take death sanctions against the BLL !"

From April to June 1999, graffiti inciting Buraku discrimination and sexually defaming a particular person were successively found on the campus of the Keio University in Tokyo and at lavatories of Japan Railway Tamachi Station near the university.

Every graffito indicated a name, address and phone number of a Keio University student. After confirming that the graffiti were not written by that student, the university began to patrol on the campus.

On June 1, staff members of the university on patrol found a similar graffito at a lavatory on campus. They interrogated a student who had just gone out of the lavatory, but he did not admit that the graffito was written by himself. Similar graffiti continued to be found on campus even after that.

The university officially announced that they would fight against discrimination and human rights violations occurred in the university. They established a committee to cope with the discriminatory graffiti, and tried to summon the student for interview. After repeatedly requested, the student finally appeared, but did not admit having written the graffiti during an interview with the university staff members, including the dean.

In June the university, on the other hand, consulted with the BLL Tokyo about such situation.

From 1993 to 1998, in the metropolitan area, over twenty postcards were mailed to members of the BLL. These postcards contained discriminatory messages such as, "I found a secret that you are a descendant of a special Buraku community. If you do not want it exposed and known to others, bring me five million yen."

The investigation by the BLL Tokyo found out that the names of a principal of the junior-high school the student had attended and of his classmates then were improperly used as the senders of the discriminatory postcards, and that the handwriting was closely similar to that of the graffiti found within and near the Keio University.

By asking the cooperation of his family, the university again interviewed him in the end of August. The student admitted that all of those graffiti were made by him.

He explained, "I wanted to revenge on junior-high school classmates who had bullied me, and the principal who had not noticed the bullying. I planned to push the BLL to deputize the revenge on behalf of me."

Concerning the co-student whose name was wrongly used in the graffiti, he explained about his motivation of having been insulted by that co-student.

On the other hand, he kept notes mentioning his experiences of having been bullied for a long time.

According to the notes, he entered a private junior-high school in Chiba Prefecture where students were engaged in studying for going to famous universities. He was treated as a gloomy person by his classmates only because he had no interest in idol singers and baseball players. They did not tell him necessary information on school matters. He came to be absent from school very often and transferred to a public school.

The student made threatening letters and discriminatory graffiti in revenge for having been bullied by his classmates.

The notes indicated that he had read many books on the Buraku issue because of his interest in an issue of discrimination arising from his own experiences of having been bullied.

The BLL indirectly requested him through the university to attend a hearing in November 1999. However, he rejected it, insisting that the BLL was a violent group and he could not expect a democratic argument with them.

As he wrote back "Go to hell! Kill (mentioning a name of a BLL executive member) ! " on a letter to summon him sent from the university, the BLL prepared to file a case against him for threatening.

In December, as the university notified him that they were considering a sanction, he accepted the request for fear of being expelled from school.

In a meeting with the BLL held in January 2000, the student told that it was not wrong to revenge on others, saying that he had been filled with hatred against those who bullied him, and that he never imagined the feelings of the BLL members.

The student also explained to the university staff that he could apologize to the BLL members from the heart if he would be able to make the people who bullied him in junior-high school days to apologize him and make redress his damages. After the meeting, he rejected to meet anymore.

In April 2000, the Faculty of Literature of the Keio University, where he enrolled, decided to expel him from school

On the other hand, the Tokyo Civil Liberties Bureau of Ministry of Justice received reports of the graffiti from JR Tamachi Station in May and from Keio University in October 2000. They are said to have started to investigate the incidents. However, no findings and conclusions are released so far.

Looking back on the incident, Mr. Saburo Hasegawa, Secretary- General of the BLL Tokyo made a comment as below :

In spite of our request to the Tokyo Civil Liberties Bureau to investigate the discriminatory incident, we were told that they could only ask the person to voluntarily respond to their investigation and enlighten him. A BLL member notified the police of being threatened by him. However, they were reluctant to accept a letter of complaint. We have not heard about any development in investigation so far.

We think that people in the government consider discrimination as malicious mischief instead of regarding it unlawful.

Fortunately, we were able to identify the person with a joint effort between Keio University and the BLL.

It is very important for us to directly hear from the person and to know the background of the incident in order to find possible measures to keep similar incidents from taking place again. In reality, we have no way to do if the person refuses to talk.

While the university, the JR station and the BLL tried to find a solution to the incident, we did no see any particular efforts made by the Civil Liberties Bureau. A law banning discrimination should be developed. A human rights institution should be established to effectively cope with such an incident.

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