Rally for Retrial of the Sayama Case

On May 25, on the 41st anniversary of the arrest of Kazuo Ishikawa, the Buraku Liberation League (BLL) organized a rally in Tokyo to call for the long-demanded retrial of the Sayama Case. The rally was attended by leaders of the BLL, Kazuo Ishikawa and his wife Sachiko, members of the defense counsel, several parliament members and journalists in addition to 4,000 people from around the country.

Satoshi Kamata, a famous documentary writer, gave an appeal on stage. He has just released a new book entitled "The Sayama Case, Ishikwa Kazuo ? the 41st Year Truth." Mr. Kamata said, "Forty-one years have passed since Kazuo Ishikawa was arrested, and the authorities have not yet admitted his innocence. It is still very difficult to break through the thick wall of the authorities. Mr. Ishikawa is still invisibly handcuffed, despite his provisional release ten years ago. As long as he is handcuffed, we must continue to strive for recognition of his innocence. My book, released today, tells his story, starting from the arrest until his marriage with Sachiko. He was arrested because he lived in a Buraku that was near the place where the corpse of victim was found. He was illiterate at the time, but he learned how to read and write while in detention, and finally wrote the "statement for retrial," which refuted the arguments of the judge and the prosecutor. It demonstrated the victory of the liberation movement over 40 years. Now, the movement has almost won the final victory. I assure you that nobody can destroy justice. Let us continue to struggle!"

Kazuo Ishikawa and his wife Sachiko made an appeal at the rally. Mr. Ishikawa said, "I thank all of you for coming from so far away to attend this rally. Our struggle to realize a trial at the court of special appeals is approaching the climax. The judicature has failed to fulfill its responsibilities. It is intent on defending its reputation and covering up the truth. Please make your voices heard and request that the court conduct a fact-finding investigation."

Other people who made appeals on stage included the president of the BLL, the defense counselor, local support groups and members of parliament. The rally was concluded with the determination to raise public opinion regarding the truth of the Sayama Case with documented information, including the book written by Mr. Kamata, and to stage a nationwide petition for a retrial to submit to the Supreme Court.