Vigilante Group Members Arrested For Attacking Right-Winger

A picture from the Otoko-Gumi's website.

A picture from the Otoko-Gumi’s website.

In recent months there have been a number of stories regarding right-wing rallies, in particular those held by the anti-zainichi Korean group, the Zaitokukai.

But now, there comes news that 8 men from a self-described left-wing anti-Zaitokukai group, known as the “Otoko-Gumi” [“The Men Folk”] have been arrested for violence against a man participating in a right wing rally back in December 2013, a video of which appears to have been uploaded to the group’s homepage.

Some netizens have commented that this is proof the left-wing is made up of violent criminals who deserve to be punished, while others said that the left wing were just as bad as the right. A number of tweets singled out national broadcaster NHK for not reporting the news, but these comments were countered by netizens who criticized the Sankei Shimbun for its right-wing bias.

But overall, moderate voices prevailed on Twitter, with netizens insisting that no matter the issue, violence is never the solution.

From MSN Sankei West:

8 People Arrested From Leaders Of ‘Otoko-Gumi’ A Group That Says It’s Anti-Hate; Suspected Of Violence Against Right Wingers

The citizen group “Otoko-Gumi”, who preach anti-racism. On their homepage, they say “Otoko-gumi will continue to put extreme pressure on racists. We will also do relentless research on netouyo, and continue to go after them. With all our might, we will do away with racists”.

On June 16, the security division of Osaka Prefectural police arrested a total of 8 members of the “Otoko-gumi”, which professes to be an anti-racist citizen group, including Soeda Atsuhiro (41) of Tama Ward, Yamasaki City, leader of the group, and the group’s former director, Kimoto Takushi (43), also from Tama Ward, Yamasaki City. The men were arrested on suspicion of violating anti-violence laws for being involved in surrounding and attacking in a group other men who were trying to participate in a demonstration calling for Koreans to be ousted that was held in Osaka in December last year.

Relentless Toward Netouyo…Violent Video “Activity History”

Regarding the hate speech in the streets that incites racism, opposition between right-wing citizen groups and those who oppose them at regional demos held around Japan is growing more extreme.

According to police, on their homepage the Otoko-gumi call themselves an “anti-racist battle-front/militant group”. They take an adversarial stance against right-wingers, and have acted in opposition to regional demos.

The men are suspected of having acted violently toward a man (47) involved in a right-wing group who was trying to participate in the demo in Osaka on 26 October 2013 by surrounding him as a group, threatening him by saying “We won’t forgive you, motherfucker”, “We HATE you”, and by pushing him around.

The Otoko-gumi uploaded a video showing this online, featuring it on the historical activities section of their website under the title “Sudden Raid on the Racists”.

Comments from Twitter:

のらくろ伍長:

Come on, these guys are yakuza.

Hiroshito:

The people they were countering were the bloody Zaitokukai. The counter-group are of course going to be looking toward the Sankei Shimbun, which consistently supports the Zaitokukai with shitty articles like this.

JJ:

I really wish the media would report on this properly! RT @daitojimari @mitico_Giappone

knockeye:

No matter the movement, they’re over at the point that they forget the feelings of normal citizens of Osaka.

タケ:

They’re not going to broadcast this news?

disneyworld:

I don’t accept the hate-speech of the Zaitokukai, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you can whatever you want in opposition. I mean, these idiots are in the same vein as the anti-nuclear nuts, they probably just wanted to stand out and were happy to get arrested.

nabeso:

What the hell. The security division of the police out again?

chaeki:

It’s hilarious that they say they’re anti-hate speech, but all the while they’re being violent. There are some people who’ve had suspended sentences for previous crimes like this, but this time, give them actual time.

神宮司智也:

So an organization where a group suddenly starts attacking an individual is a citizens’ group? That’s no different from anti-social organizations like violent gangs. I mean, it just goes to show that they’re not right in the head when they do stuff like upload violent videos of themselves online as their past activities.

GONG:

When something doesn’t benefit them, they resort to violence. These people are scum, nothing to do with racism or whatever. Even if this human trash claims that what they did was legitimate, who’s gonna back them up?

hide:

So these people hate discrimination, right? I wonder if they notice that their actions because of this are actually discriminating against others?

Niko:

Come on, these guys are amateurs, they’re not even yakuza. @game_zuki: This is the true face of the left wing, they’re just violent criminals. Makes me laugh to think yakuza like that are talking about human rights.

カンチョー:

One side’s as bad as the other (笑)

吃る豆腐うー@触手募集中:

Oi, get along you lot ww
No matter what happens, violence is bad….

雨のち曇り:

Hey, NHK! Stop covering these guys.
Say something about this!

Kahn Brushcoast:

I’m frightened of extreme left-wing violent groups. I want them all to be arrested and sent back to Korea. Or given the death penalty.

Atsuo Kawasaki:

The police and public safety commission should crack down on violent zainichi mobs pretending to be citizen groups!

くろぺ:

The avengers are banding together and fighting…but why the hell are they all in their 40s?

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  • A Gawd Dang Mongolian

    So violent prejudice against people that are violently prejudiced.

    I can see this ending well.

    • Miniluv101

      There is however a privilege in refusing violence. I don’t claim that the Otoko-Gumi’s only choice where violence, but for many stuck in poverty violence is an inescapable fact of life. They face violence on the streets, in their home and from authority, and in countries without free education there’s little chance of breaking out from that viscous cycle.

      There is also the the fact that in many of these communities there’s a true need of active self-defence, when authorities ignores or even sympathize with those who endanger them, whether right-extremists, drug cartels or corporate exploitation.

  • Rutim

    Both sides won’t care if they will use violence against each other in those kind of situations (Asahi was silent about agressive men like that?). The best that people can do is critical thinking and analysing what’s going on gathering informations from both sides. Unfortuantely, you can’t read everything that’s up in the air.

    • Relivash

      Population known for it’s hivemind thinking, where’s the criticall thinking?

  • Claude

    I can’t help and wonder if this group was inspired by the Vigilante Straight Edge gangs like Friends Stand United and others who hit the streets on patrol kicking the shit out of pimps, drug dealers and racists. A phenomenon in the 90’s in North America maybe it’s found it’s way to Japan. I read that these Straight Edge gangs in North America are so violent that they aren’t treated any different than any other street gang by the police or FBI.

    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Friends_Stand_United

    • Xio Gen

      They could have also been inspired by Vidal Sassoon. He went around post-war Britain kicking nazi-sympathizer ass.

  • Boris

    They lose credit when they use violence.
    Make your point heard, not your fists.

  • Gerhana

    if there is an extremist group in a country, it must be because the moderate centrist is disintegrating, or the marginalisation of select few that were push towards the edge, which give them no choise but to form an extreme identity that often react violently. First the zaito whatever, probably a minority group that wish for the old Japan, the imperialist Japan. Their counter and fight back which pushes another minority group, the Korean living there, causes another extreme group to rise up in defending the Korean, or more likely the new Japan. With the rise of technology and the accessibility for everyone to create, share and distribute information, the power shift from that of the monarchy/government/head of the country, towards these social group with their own ideology. With poor leadership (because these social group are highly unlikely to have a good leader) if left uncheck and things drag on to worse, it could lead to civil war with no clear winner. Until a group, probably with military might, move in and control the country, with the excuse of stabilisation, displacing the power from the Japanese people to the foreigner. The citizen becomes unhappy again….

    Anyway dont really know their history, was just musing and guessing….

  • Xio Gen

    Ugh, the user hide is using the same argument teabaggers do here. Because intolerance of intolerance is intolerance, amirite?

  • Korea

    They should always defend Koreans in Japan.

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