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Update on Japan/ G8 2008

The Japanese people are also making major preparations for their
mobilisation against the G8. They are kicking things off with their own
infotour, going soon to two cities in Australia.

Two from the German Infotour group will go to asia in about a month,
going to about 6 cities in Japan, plus S. Korea, Indonesia, Philippines,
Taiwan and Hong Kong (host of last WTO + WTO protests). We will be
presenting at a number of academic symposia, plus at a few rallies
across Japan where a number of speakers are schedules. Apparently the
plan is also to do IMC interviews as well as meet with some
alternative/lefty press.

A bit about local organising:
A “Citizens Forum” will be inaugurated soon. In Tokyo, we have
established a wide range network: “Anti-G8 Council,” which includes
World Social Forum Committee, ATTAC, as well as other more radical
groups. And “NGO Forum” (a more formal political entity) has long been
at work. Apparently more coordination comes together soon, including
some media group. In the northern region of Hokkaido, near where Sapporo
and near the area of the G8, there is a broader coalition working
together. In other regions groups are still deciding how to work together.

There was a good exchange with many coming from Japan in recent times to
learn from the experience here, and a small but good number of Japanese
(and some other asians) came here to observe and participate in G8 2007
protests. They plan to have a number of various anti-G8 events starting
one week before G8, some in Sapporo where there will also be a big rally
just before the summit. They plan actions during the summit itself.

About repression, the expect the police to have checks at the main
airports. Police have already visited at least a very small number of
activists, and it is expected some would be visited or detained before
the G8. It is possible that the military could be used, which would be
quite controversial in a similar way to that of Germany, because after
WWII both countries had special sections in their constitutions limiting
military usage.

It is hoped that a new 5 minute film showing the Japanese activist
movements will be done in the next week. This film is intended for
international audiences, and will have information in English. It is
planned to be made available for download. There will be an anti-G8
poster exhibit in Tokyo in november, amongst other things.

Japanese activists hope to visit Germany in December and do an infotour
here about the Japanese G8. They also hope to show their film, and will
be looking for people to host them in Germany, and they will be looking
for funds for their tour. The German infotour group going to Asia next
month also will be making a longer film about social movements in Asia.
This project is also seeking funding, so do let us know if anyone can
help with funds for either project.

It is hoped that more reports will be sent soon from asia infotour next


Source: Infotour