Japan from the inside out

Getting centered

Posted by ampontan on Monday, July 19, 2010

THE AUGUST ISSUE of the monthly Shincho 45 reports that when current Democratic Party of Japan Secretary-General Edano Yukio ran for reelection to a lower house seat in 1996, he exchanged a “memorandum of endorsement” with a man police suspect was a senior member of the Kakumaru Faction, the Revolutionary Marxist Faction of Zengakuren.

Edano Yukio

The man, identified as Mr. A, was the chair of the executive committee of the Omiya Branch of the East Japan Railway Workers’ Union (JREU) in Saitama. In the memo, Edano said, “I understand the (activities and policies) of the Japan Confederation of Railway Workers’ Unions (JRU) and the East Japan Railway Workers’ Union and will act in solidarity with them.”

Mr. A was arrested in 2002 for threatening and verbally abusing another employee and forced to resign. According to a contemporary account in the Tokyo edition of the Asahi Shimbun, the police suspected him of being one of the principal members of Mangrove, a Kakumaru group within the JREU.

The Kakumaru Faction split in the 1960s from Chukakuha, another radical terrorist organization (with whose members the Social Democrat Fukushima Mizuho has ties). Kakumaru’s objective is Marxist revolution, and their members have been involved in murders and other crimes. They have penetrated the two railway workers’ unions and are said to exert a substantial amount of influence over them.

Mr. Edano’s political fund management group received JPY 4.04 million (about $US 46,400) from the two unions for four years after the memorandum was exchanged. He frequently attends JRU meetings and has given a speech to the membership in support of all the members arrested in the 2002 case, which is currently before the Supreme Court.

In last week’s upper house election, JRU member Tashiro Kaoru won a PR seat running as a DPJ candidate. Shincho 45 says that in 1996, he was the driver and close associate of Matsuzaki Akira, whom police suspect is a key member of the Kakumaru Faction. Matsuzaki has admitted being involved with the group when they were formed. This website calls him “a mortal enemy of the working class, a hundred-percent Fascist”, which gives you an idea of what sort of people we’re talking about. (They also think the Obama administration is an enemy of the working class.)

The Kakumaru Faction still exists and has an estimated 4,000 members.

The overseas English-language press likes to describe the DPJ government as “center-left”. The three most important people in the government today are Prime Minister Kan Naoto, whose political career started with the Socialist Democratic Federation; Chief Cabinet Secretary Sengoku Yoshito, whose political career started with the Socialist Party; and Secretary-General Edano Yukio, who hangs out with people in the Kakumaru Faction.

If the DPJ wanted to get down with the “center” part of that label, wouldn’t now be a good time to start?

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One Response to “Getting centered”

  1. uth said

    what going on with Mr.Edano Yukio?? And who is Mr.A?? i just wanna know..
    U: Thanks for the note.

    They didn’t give his name.

    – A.

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