Charter of Foundation of WATCH

Watch Human Rights on Summit
- Network of Lawyers observing Human Rights around G8 Summit -


April 11, 2008

Yukihide Nakamura, Attorney at Law, Shizuoka
Yuichi Kaido, Attorney at Law, Tokyo
Tadanori Onizuka, Attorney at Law, Tokyo
Mitsuru Namba, Attorney at Law, Tokyo
Kazuo Hizumi, Attorney at Law, Tokyo
Makoto Teranaka, Amnesty International Japan
Yukio Yamashita, Attorney at Law, Tokyo
Koji Asaishi, Attorney at Law, Aomori
Kiyoshi Abe, Attorney at Law, Sendai
Morihiro Ichikawa, Attorney at Law, Sapporo
Takayuki Matsumoto, Attorney at Law, Kobe
Mikiko Ohtani, Attorney at Law, Tokyo
Tadaaki Mutoh, Attorney at Law, Fukuoka
Shuichi Adachi, Attorney at Law, Hiroshima
Masato Wada, Attorney at Law, Tokyo
Akio Taba, Attorney at Law, Tokyo
Yasushi Tadano, Attorney at Law, Tokyo

1. The G8 Summit

This year in July, the G8 Summit will be held at Lake Toya in Hokkaido.
Conferences related to the G8 Summit will take place all over Japan in cities such as Tokyo, Niigata, Kobe, Yokohama, Aomori, Osaka and Kyoto.

Meanwhile, the police have intensified their surveillance of civil movements. They have visited offices of NGOs, who are planning actions during the summit, and have questioned NGO activists about their activities.

Last year, a Korean citizen was denied the use of the internet in an internet-café when he visited Hachinohe in order to prepare a Peace and Green Boat for a joint Japan -South Korean event.

We are afraid that in the months ahead, immigration control will be practiced more severely than ever and members of NGOs from abroad who are planning any actions will be refused to enter Japan. Already, some incidents have occured which affirm these concerns:
On 7 March 2008, a member of a Korean NGO who intended to visit Japan to participate at a conference was refused entry to Japan at the Narita Airport and was obliged to fly back to South Korea. She was permitted entry on her second attempt to enter the country.

Also, a German who tried to enter Otaru Harbour from Russia with a cargo-passenger boat was refused at the border.

Media reports do not show any criticism against the police repression against the civil movements.
In the last few years, the police authorities of different countries have been suppressing civil movements related to G8 Summits partly with violence. Attracting the world’s attention as the host of the Summit, Japan might limit civil activities under the pretext of securing the Summit, regardless of whether the civil activities are related to the Summit. Therefore, we think that there is a high risk that the police will exercise high levels of controls when it comes to people moving through international boarders, as well as conducting high levels of surveillance. Even the mildest radical civil activities during the Summit or related conferences may receive high levels of attention.

2. Situation of NGOs and civil groups around G8

NGOs committed to environmental, poverty, development, human rights and peace themselves have established a „2008 Japan G8 Summit NGO Forum“. The Forum, established in January 2007, consists of over 100 groups.

The NGO Forum submits propositions to the government, drafts policies and organizes symposiums and other activities to promote its aims.
In Hokkaido where the Summit will take place, the „Hokkaido Peoples’ Forum on the G8 Summit“ was founded in September 2007 and has started its own activities.
On the other hand, various groups who are critical of the G8 itself have got together in the „Network Questioning the G8“ which has already started its activities and is planning meetings and demonstrations. This network also comprises the Japan Peace Committee and the Peace Forum. 

3. Purpose of the Watch Human Rights on Summit

Due to the possibility of civil liberties being curtailed, we have established the „Watch Human Rights on Summit“, which is a lawyers' network for the observation of human rights around the G8 Summmit. We have decided to set up a website/blog in order to share information and to provide legal advice in case of human rights violations and to provide legal support, if this proves to be needed.

Lawyers from Hokkaido, Aomori, Sendai, Tokyo, Hiroshima and Fukuoka are participating at this observation network, with plans for more lawyers to assist from Hokkaido, Kyoto, Osaka and elsewhere. In our network, lawyers who specialise in immigration control are engaged so as to help people coming from abroad.

4. Summary of the activities of the network (schedule)

a. Set up a blog for exchange of information:
WATCH will provide the latest information about entry refusals and arrests.

b. Provide legal advice to NGOs:
WATCH will issue brochures about the immigration procedure and the penal procedure after the arrest and provide an English version on the web.

c. WATCH will campaign in the Japanese and international media against incidents of excessive control and surveillance by the Japanese authorities during the Summit.

5. Organization Plan

Yukihide Nakamura, Attorney at Law

Secretary General
Yuichi Kaido, Attorney at Law

Deputy Secretary General
Morihiro Ichikawa, Attorney at Law
Akio Taba, Attorney at Law
Makoto Teranaka, Secretary General of Amnesty International Japan
Mitusuru Namba, Attorney at Law
Kazuo Hizumi, Attorney at Law
Yukio Yamashita, Attorney at Law

Kenichiro Okada (Hitotsubashi University)
Chigaya Kinoshita (Hitotsubashi University)
Ko Watari (Assessorin jur.)

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