* Message from the homeless in Tokyo

Issue 

To stop mass murder, we are sending this news with anger. You know the name of Tokyo as the most developed city of the world, but you do not know that the Tokyo metropolitan government plans treason against human beings at a new city centre, Shinjuku. It is a gross forced eviction, and also the homeless will be interned in a place where living conditions are not adequate for human beings. [There are] 200 homeless people in the big underground passage at Shinjuku, which is one of rare places where they can shelter themselves from rain and cold. We are afraid that forced eviction may cause deaths among them in such a cold winter. The Resolution on Forced Evictions (1993/77) adopted unanimously by the UN Commission on Human Rights affirms that forced evictions constitute a gross violation of human rights, and urges governments to take any possible measures immediately aimed at stopping it. We made a representation to the Japanese government to act up to this resolution with approval by seven groups and 25 individuals on January 12, 1996, but the next day, the metropolitan government called out over 600 policemen and security guards and assaulted the homeless. We would like to appeal all over the world for protests against this rash act by the Tokyo metropolitan government. Japanese economic success has been accomplished under a sacrifice of many labourers. Japanese labour conditions have been inadequate. The big depression has brought much harm to labourers. This is the background of homeless people in Tokyo, in particular at Shinjuku. The world has a lot of bitter experiences in its history. The representative one is the accession to power of the Nazis under the Weimar Constitution, which was thought to be the most democratic one of the world in those days. We are very worried that what was happened in the past will be repeated on the homeless, who are regarded as the queer minority right now. Their rights to live are going to be violated in Tokyo. January 17, 1996
Shibuya Harajuku Society for Life and Rights

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