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Policing Protest: "Restrictions on Street Demonstrations in Japan"

A lecture by Lawrence Repeta—Professor, Meiji University Faculty of Law, Tokyo

Wednesday, March 14, 2012
2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
UCLA Charles E. Young Research Library
2F, West Electronic Classroom

2011 was the year of the “Arab Spring,” “Occupy Wall Street” and other mass demonstrations and new protest movements arose in various corners of the globe.  What about Japan? Victims of a weak economy, the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl and other woes, the Japanese people have good reason to protest against the political status quo.  And they have.  A mass anti-nuclear protest on September 11 (led by Nobel Prize winner Oe Kenzaburo and other well-known figures) was reported to draw 60,000 people and there have been numerous smaller street protests against nuclear power and other issues. But compared to demonstrations in the United States and Europe, Japanese protests have been short-lived and received little recognition from the media and abroad. Why is this so?  Are the Japanese people satisfied with conditions as they are?  Are they apathetic?  Are street demonstrations limited by strict permitting systems and aggressive police tactics?

Long time activist and professor Larry Repeta explains the circumstances involved in protest in Japan and invites members of the Los Angeles community to engage in a productive dialogue about the state of the people's voice. All interested parties are encouraged to attend.

Lawrence Repeta is a graduate of the University of Washington Law School and a member of the Washington State Bar Association. He has served as a lawyer, business executive, and law professor in Japan and the United States. He is best-known in Japan as the plaintiff in a landmark suit decided by the Supreme Court of Japan in 1989 that opened Japan`s courts to note-taking by courtroom spectators. Larry joined the faculty of Meiji University in 2010.  He serves on the board of directors of Information Clearinghouse Japan (情報公開クリ アリングハウス), an NGO devoted to promoting open government in Japan, and the Japan Civil Liberties Union(自由人権協 会)and is a member of the editorial board of, a virtual global network of government transparency activists.

For more information please contact

Ken Shima

Sponsor(s): Terasaki Center for Japanese Studies

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