Open Letter to the Workers' Movement

Statement issued by the Spartacist Group Japan, 11 April 2003

We want to inform you of a dangerous forgery being perpetrated, falsely using the name of our organization. Mailings are being sent out purporting to come from a member of the Spartacist Group Japan. We do not know who is responsible for these false and provocative mailings.

The Spartacist Group Japan is a Marxist organization in Tokyo, affiliated with the International Communist League. We publish a newspaper and participate in meetings and demonstrations, such as protests against the Iraq War, the yujirippo measures for the militarization of labor, the denial of civil rights to Japanese Koreans, the death penalty and the historical crimes of Japanese imperialism.

In late March we were informed by officials of a labor union in the Kanto area that they had received a sinister message, purportedly from a member of our organization from a personal address. The contents of the note was two words: "Smash counterrevolution," implying that this union was "counterrevolutionary" and should be destroyed. The envelope was mailed from Ebisu Gardens in Tokyo. The intent of this provocation appears to be to set organizations within the workers movement against each other, seeking to provoke violence and invite government intervention. We are indebted to the unionists for making us aware of this threat against our comrade, our organization and the union.

Those familiar with the program and activities of our organization will easily realize that we did not send this letter. As a Marxist organization, we defend all trade unions and leftist organizations, irrespective of their particular political views or affiliations, against all attacks and threats from the bosses and the bosses' state.

During the past year, our comrade was contacted several times by people who had received an unwanted mailing from his return address. The contents of those mailings had been fairly innocuous printed material. The forging of our comrade's name to a threat against a trade union is an ominous new development. We appeal to anyone else who has received such a mailing to let us know right away.

The SGJ has a long history against violence within the workers movement. In our 1986 founding document, we wrote: "We defend workers democracy and decisively reject the gangsterism and thuggery that the Japanese `far lefts' inflict upon each other's organizations. Such behavior has everything in common with the most infamous methods of Stalinism and must be rooted out of the workers movement." We do not know who is behind this attempt to frame up our organization, but it has more than a whiff of the dirty tricks of the "security" police, who have a long history of spying on every organization which expresses dissatisfaction with the current status quo, from citizen's organizations and peace groups to anti-death penalty activists and Burakumin spokesmen.

We do not know if this frame-up emanates from the government, an ultra-rightist organization or a leftist group. If "leftists" are behind it, this is bitter testimony to the debased political traditions of currents falsely claiming the banner of communism. This provocation serves only the interests of the Japanese capitalist state. Gangsterist practice within the workers movement is itself an invitation to police agencies to infiltrate an organization.

This provocation comes within the context of the Japanese government's "total support" to the U.S.-led war against Iraq and the mounting threats against North Korea. The domestic reflection of the government's military build-up and increasingly bellicose posture is the so-called "anti-terrorist" repression, which begins by targeting immigrant workers for deportation and ethnic Koreans for surveillance and harassment and which will move from these more vulnerable sections to target all political activists and labor militants. Every striker, every antiwar student, every opponent of racial oppression and injustice has a stake in opposing all repressive measures. Such provocations, whatever their immediate motives, also are intended to create fear, confusion and suspicion among the targets. We will not be intimidated from our political purposes by this frame-up. We will take any necessary measures to expose this falsehood. If your organization has received a suspicious mailing that may be further evidence of the apparent campaign against the SGJ please contact us with any information at Spartacist Group Japan, P.O. Box 49, Akabane Yubinkyoku, Kita-ku, Japan 115-0091; TEL: 03-3981-3090.

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