The Partisan Defense Committee issued the following statement on December 14.

We vigorously demand the immediate release of Oosaka Masaaki and demand that all charges against him be dropped. Since 2017, Oosaka has been imprisoned in solitary confinement and denied any visitation rights. He is being tried on multiple fabricated charges, including the killing of a policeman at a demonstration in 1971 against the Okinawa Reversion Agreement, which stipulated the continued presence of U.S. military bases in Okinawa. Oosaka participated in this 1971 demonstration, which itself was met with severe repression by the capitalist state.

Oosaka has been denied a trial by lay judges [selected from the public for certain criminal trials], and the prosecution says that some of their supposed evidence has been lost. Multiple witnesses have recanted, with one stating he was “made to sign a false statement by prosecutors and police officers.” The state persecution of Oosaka is not only an attack against [the leftist group] Chukaku-ha, of which Oosaka has been a longtime cadre, but is intended to intimidate every worker, leftist and young person who wants to protest the military buildup of Japanese imperialism and the broader attacks on working people. It is in the interests of the workers movement in Japan and internationally, regardless of political differences, to champion Oosaka’s freedom. If the workers movement takes up Oosaka’s defense, it will strengthen its own struggles against the Japanese imperialist rulers. An injury to one is an injury to all!

To defend comrade Oosaka and more broadly the left against the widespread state repression, it is crucial to create a broad front of the workers movement. For this, it is urgent to break through the pervasive sectarianism on the left, where each group refuses to defend the other.

This week the Partisan Defense Committee contributed ¥30,000 to Oosaka Masaaki’s defense fund, and we encourage every left group and working-class organization to also contribute.

Free Oosaka Masaaki now! Drop all charges!