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(en) G8 2008: Infotour report from Japan/Korea

Date Tue, 11 Dec 2007 13:45:03 +0200

Hello, ---- below is one Infotour report from someone active with No! G8 Action
Japan. Please forward as you like: ---- My Dearest Friends, ---- I am just back
from a trip to Korea and Japan. No! G8 Action Japan, and two members of the
info-tour group from Germany, and I went to Seoul and Tokyo, where we gave
presentations in universities and activist spaces and had meetings with various
types of activists. Subsequently, the rest of the group extended their itinerary
to Hokkaido, Osaka, Kyoto, and Yokohama, before returning to Tokyo to conclude
the tour in Japan. Then one went back to Europe, while the other and one person
from No! G8 Action departed for South East Asia. The information on the tours is
on this website: http://gipfelsoli.org/Home/Hokkaido_2008.

By touring with the European activists closely, we Japanese learned their
experiences in Europe. And both sides were able to collaboratively act upon
organizing people in different places, with the perspectives of past and future.
Meanwhile the European activists were conducting their own project to
film-document the movements of the East Asia that have been little exposed in
the West. So the tour consisted of mutual learning processes.

The trip to Seoul was largely supported by The Research Machine Suyu+Nomo, a
unique independent research and living community, where we had close exchanges
with the members. We gave a presentation and had discussion at Galmuri Press
(aka. Multitude Network Center), a radical press and study center. We also met
with representatives of Migrants Trade Union and Migrant Worker television as
well as anarchists of different generations -- from eighty-five to in their

In Tokyo we organized presentations in various environments, botha ctivist and
academic, where the European activists encountered independent media group,
NGOs, radical left activists, and even the chairwoman of the Social Democratic
Party. But the focus was the close communication with the members of No! G8
Action, who are in the midst of preparations for the next G8 protest.

According to one Japanese activist, who organized and led the tour to Hokkaido,
they met with local anti-G8 activists and examined what the G8 meant in the
historical context, beyond the stereotype of "using the G8 as a chance to
protest." They also visited the site at Lake Toya, including the hotel where the
representatives will stay. There they were constantly dogged by the Japanese
security police, but also interviewed by the newspapers as well as a local TV:

In Kyoto, where there will be a G8-related conference hosted by the Ministry of
Foreign Affairs and a large protest is planned, they had a presentation at Kyoto
University which led to a long discussion with the students and activists. In
Osaka they met with the support group of homeless people and participated in
their festival.

The last part of the tour is currently underway in Taipei, various cities in the
Philippines, and Hong Kong. At this very moment they are somewhere in the
Philippines and having exchanges with innumerable groups. The report is forthcoming.

The members of No! G8 Action in Japan are trying to organize multi-layered
coalitions, from large to small, from moderate to radical, including various
organizations, working groups, and professionals. Their most crucial effort at
this moment is to establish close ties with local groups in order to establish
roots in Hokkaido. Their objective is to form a radical mass movement against
the G8 locally and globally, at the same time as realizing good reception
conditions for the foreign participants. They are still facing various issues.
There are many unknown factors. But they are struggling to achieve the best
possible goals.

Thematically they are trying to place the next year¹s event in the historical
and geographical contexts: for instance, connecting it with the themes of the
past G8 protests (especially those taken up in the Okinawa G8 in 2000 related to
the people¹s lives affected by the US military base), the problematics of JPEPA
(Japan-Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement), and the local issues in
Hokkaido such as those being faced by the farmers and the indigenous Ainu
people. Our future plans for the info-tour are as follows: In New York, on the
31st of October, two Japanese activists will give a talk at the NewSpace:
http://new-space.mahost.org/, focusing on the issues around the coalition
building for a radical mass movement in today¹s Japan. On the 6th of November,
at Blue Stockings: http://www.bluestockings.com/, we will give a presentation to
invite New York Activists to Lake Toya. On the 7th, we are planning to give a
party for those who are in New York area and wondering about the possibility to
come to Japan or just interested in hanging out with us. Thereafter two of us
will travel to Montreal and Toronto to have exchanges with the activists there.

In December someone from No! G8 Action Japan will embark on a trip to some
countries in Europe. In 2008, we will be continuing our itinerary to places we
have not seen in Asia, Europe, and North America. Your suggestions and
invitations are much appreciated.

One last thing: we are also planning an international conference to discuss the
past and future of the Global Justice Movement, tentatively called "Anti-G8
Forum", inviting intellectuals and activists from different corners of the
world. For this project, several intellectuals representing different
universities met in Tokyo to form a committee. This is supposed to reinforce the
entire anti-G8 project on the strategic level. We shall report on this project
as well.

For your interest, following are images from the past protest scenes that have
taken place in Japan. These might give you a glimpse of the street actions
Images from Japanese protests

Mayday 2007

Japanese Antifa 2007

Yasukuni shrine information in English

Koenji street party 2005-2007

Anti-poverty gathering and demo


Old left movement 1968-1970

Shinjuku Riot 1968

In solidarity,
Global Outreach of No! G8 Action
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