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Can pigs fly?

History of the No-Nuke Movement in Japan

Preliminary version of the documentary

Can pigs fly? tells the story of the Japanese No-Nuke-Movement from its beginning in the 1950’s through the reaction in Japan to the Tschernobyl Melt-Down and the accident in Tokaimura in 1999 to the recent disaster of the Fukushima breakdown. Through examples the film shows the attempts of protest like the one of surfers against the Nuclear Industry Complex of Rokkasho and the resistance of 20 years and still ongoing protest of the fishers of Iwaishima against the not yet built Kaminoseki Nuclear Power Plant. Activists and a scientist on social movements analyze the strategies of the Nuclear Industry and the Japanese Government to pacify or suppress protest through bribing people in the poor rural areas of Japan with money or job opportunities. The struggle is also compared to other Social Movements in Japan like the one against Narita Airport near Tokyo and the one against the US-Military Bases in Japan. The film also briefly touches upon the question of Nuclear Weapons in Japan and why the Japanese society has (had) not much interest in the Nuclear question. The documentary ends with pictures of the protests of the old and new No-Nuke Movement in the post-Fukushima era. (31:26 min)

Freedom and Survival

The Freeter Union

Freedom and Survival – The Freeter Union” is the story of a Japanese Union created in 2004 in Tokyo by and for Freeters. Freeters are mostly young Japanese people, who work precariously. In the earlier times it was often a conscious choice, creating an alternative life style apart from the mainstream career in the Japanese Corperations. But today, especially since the burst of the economic bubble in the 1990’s and through the crisis in 2008, young people often have no other choice and becoming a Freeter starts to be an existential necessity to survive in a society built upon work as the most important value and identity. So the union has the goal of fighting unjust work conditions to regain freedom as well as giving solidarity and emotional support to each other in their everyday lives, partially also through living together, which is quite unusual in Japan. Since 2004, more and more grass root groups have built up in other Japanese cities and diverse sub groups have emerged like the Kyabakura Union or the Gas Station Union, which are organised inside the General Freeter Union. Through the Union, the Freeters are able to collectively defend their survival and support and empower themselves through direct actions against unfair working conditions and bad bosses and solidarity with each other. (30:51 min)

Japan´s “Comfort Women”

Activists supporting women enslaved during WWII

Two young women briefly tell the story of how the Japanese Imperial Army in WW II forced girls and women from their conquered Asian countries into sex slavery for Japanese soldiers. The two women explain their motivation for working for a support group in Kyoto, inviting and hosting survivors from other countries such as Korea to give speeches across Japan about their experiences. They support the women’s efforts for recognition and reparation, and build strong networks between the affected countries. Includes original photos (4:07 min)

Zenkyoto and Student Movements Now

Japanese student protests from the 1960’s until today
Clip edited by Battoe, camera and interview by Jason Kirkpatrick

A student from Hokkaido University in Sapporo explains a history of student protests in Japan, starting from its earlier high-points during the 1960’s where the “Zenkyoto” Student Movements fought against the US-Japan Security Treaty. The students also joined workers struggles, for example, the Miike coal miner strike. The current issues of today´s student movements include the strive to retain previously autonomous student dormitories, and to contest the privatisation of universities in general. Includes original photos and footage from street battles in the ’60’s. (9:56 min)

More Information:


Nojukusha and Internet Café Refugees

Homeless workers in Japan

Part 1 – Tokyo

1) Daily Labour, Unemployment, Homelessness and work ethics in Japan
2) The example of the quarter San´ya near Tokyo
3) Invisible Homelessness – Internet Café Refugees
4) Visible Homelessness – building a Home, a trade café and Community in Tokyo´s Yoyogi-Park

Part 2 – Osaka-Tokyo

1) Nagai-Park (Blue Tento Mura, Eviction, Homeless Support Festival)
2) Tokyo Support Group Nojiren`s Community Kitchen
3) Uprising 2008 in Osaka / Kamagasaki
Documentary shot in Tokyo and Osaka about visible and invisible homelessness, as told by several homeless workers, activists and people from their support groups. This film explains the history of daily labour, the conditions of living on the street or in internet cafés, as well as their struggles and how they create community in Blue Tent Villages and through Community Kitchens and Cafes. Additionally featured are an interview at a homeless festival in a park at a brutally evicted homeless encampment, and footage from the street confrontations in Osaka against the Yakuza (Japanese mafia) backed police. (18:47 min)

The Ainu Rebels

Contemporary musicians and dancers of Japan´s indigenous people
Clip by Sascha Klinger

Interview with some members of the musical group, Ainu Rebels. The Ainu are the discriminated against indigenous people of Japan, living on the northern island of Hokkaido. Official estimates of the population are of around 25,000, whilst unofficially the number is upwards of 200,000 people. This short film explains Ainu efforts to become recognised by the state as an indigenous people, in a country where the government has denied their existence and banned their language.  (5:20 min)

Wikipedia Definition:
The Ainu (アイヌ?) IPA: [ʔáinu] (also called Ezo in historical texts) are an indigenous ethnic group of Japan. Historically they spoke the Ainu language and related languages and lived in Hokkaidō, the Kuril Islands, and much of Sakhalin. Most of those who identify themselves as Ainu still live in this same region, though the exact number of living Ainu is unknown. This is due to ethnic issues in Japan resulting in those with Ainu backgrounds hiding their identities, and confusion over mixed heritages.

Die Yasukuni Schrein Thematik

Clip by Battoe (Subs only available in German)

Short Synopsis
Dokumentation über die Rolle der Rechten im heutigen Japan und während des 2. Weltkrieges mit den Themen Yasukuni Schrein, Comfort Women, Uyuko, Yakuza und Antifa

Documentary about the role of the right-wing in contemporary Japan and during World War II including the topics Yasukuni Shrine, Comfort Women, Uyuko, Yakuza and Antifa

2 responses

7 02 2009
CHAMPON: A SPECIAL PRESENTATION « the anarchic tendency to run around in circles

[…] same at both the venues, we then watched if not all, most of the videos with subtitles from the  Action in Asia DVD. this is dvd is a compilation of  clips/documentaries in Asia. and as for action in asia, if […]

19 02 2009

hi,ecological greetings to all of you out there……..just a comments about the spelling in brgy.tamajong its suppose to be brgy.tamayong not brgy.tamajong…..anayways, just an update about the plastic banana issue,after you left Davao(the g8 info tour team) a year later (2008),a group of farmers surrounding the banana plantations called MAAS(Mamamayang Ayaw sa Aerial Spray(Peoples Against Aerial Spraying)) and supported by IDIS (Interface Development Interventions),KAUBAN Movement,church and Peoples Organization….On November 10,2008 the group traveled to Cagayan De Oro City to oppose the Appeal Of Philippines Banana Growers and Exporters Association(PBGEA) to The Court Appeals saying that Banning on Aerial Spraying in Davao City is Unsconstitutional because the City Of Davao Made an Ordinance For A total Ban Of Aerial spraying In Davao City as an Agricultural Practice this was done also because of the Pressure of MAAS such as Public Demonstrations, Product Boycotting,noise barrage,vigil,etc..now,when the When the trans-national group demand a writ of prelimary injunction of the ban the group made a big camp outside the court appeals for two months….some of the activities of the group are locking the front gate/main entrance of the building of the court of appeals,the farmers shave their heads to show their frustrations,hunger strike,road blockade which all turn out to be a very violent dispersal by the police… after two months of protest on january 11,2009,the Court decided the case which favors the corporate monsters saying that the Ordinance Banning Aerial spray is Unconstitutional…. again a very frustrating justice system in the philippines which always favor the rich,the elite and multicorporate monsters….but still the battle aint over when its over we are now we’re planning for a big protest going to manila to bring the case in the upper court(the supreme court)because as much as possible we are practicing a non-violent protest and trying to follow the legal system….there will still be a lot protest locally and nationally…….please,the international community can help us by boycotting all the plastic banana exported to japan by PBGEA….for more pix about the protest in cagayan scan our website http://www.kaubanmovement.webs.com,www.dirtybananas.com,www.myspace.com/kauban
peace…love….and solidarity

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