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Sunday, Apr. 20, 2008


Lunatic fringe runs rampant


Regarding the controversy over the "Yasukuni" documentary by Li Ying, why must the theaters cancel screenings of the film -- and their freedom of speech rights -- because rightwing sound trucks will "inconvenience" their neighbors? Surely it is the responsibility of the police to prevent this inconvenience. I witness eager police officers on a weekly basis responding to noise complaints of customers talking outside of bars and clubs or playing music too loud. Why is it when someone drives a truck blaring sound whose sole purpose is harassment through noise, the police suddenly lose their eagerness? The laws prohibiting this activity are clearly on the books. And the police seem to be able to mass hundreds of officers for small antiwar or union demonstrations. So. . .?

Why, for that matter, are the neofascists allowed to continue their harassment, and constant stream of death threats and actual violence against anyone who challenges their world view? The film documents rightists beating antiwar demonstrators at Yasukuni shrine, something that occurs regularly enough while the police merely look on. Why is such a lunatic fringe allowed to act with such impunity? The answers to these questions are far from reassuring.

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer's own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.

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