Police have raided headquarters of far-left Japanese Marxist faction Kakurōkyō. Some 50 officers descended this morning on the Kakurōkyō (Revolutionary Workers) base, known as Gendaisha, in Suginami ward, west Tokyo.
As we have seen with previous raids on the Chūkaku-ha base, these raids are as much for show and intimidation as anything. They are performed partly for the benefit of the TV news cameras, with plenty of riot police in attendance, along with security police in red uniforms.
As always, the entrance to the base was blocked and police were forced to use a metal cutter to get in. TV news footage shows officers apparently arguing with activists, though no arrests have been reported.
The raid is in connection with the arrests of some 25 protestors at demonstrations around the Diet over the security bills, which were controversially passed by the Japanese parliament this month. Three of the arrested protestors were members of Kakurōkyō, including a man in his thirties arrested on September 16th. The arrests provided the pretext for the police raid on Gendaisha.
The New Left group is one of the remaining splinters of the Shaseidō Kaihō-ha, a group originally linked to the Socialist Party that later turned radical in the second half of the 1960’s. It then split in subsequent decades, sometimes violently, and was involved in a prolonged conflict at Meiji University in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s that left several dead.
The police raided the headquarters of the so-called “Mainstream Faction”, also known as Hazama-ha or Gendaisha-ha.
Kakurōkyō has also been accused of paramilitary activities over the years, including a bombing at a police dormitory that left one dead. While some of these attacks date back to the 1980’s, police allege that the Kimoto-ha (or Sekisaisha-ha) faction, which broke away from Hazama-ha in 1999, was behind much more recent mortar attacks on US military facilities, such as the one at Camp Zama in April this year.
Members of various far-left factions were out in force at the recent Diet protests, though they didn’t generate headlines like SEALDs or the famous people who came to speak to the crowds. There were even some minor scuffles between SEALDs supporters and members of the Chūkaku-ha-affiliated Zengakuren, who have launched something of a propaganda war against the cleaner, private college-educated student activists.
Second Police Raid
In the afternoon there was also a raid on Libertine, a share house for left-wing student activists in the Ikebukuro area. One of the students arrested at the Diet was part of the hunger strike protest and reportedly a regular at Libertine, prompting the police to search the property. They confiscated six items. Libertine has been raided twice before, though this was apparently the first that the security police entered through the window! Police view it as an ajito (secret base) for a far-left faction.