Japanese police wary of rightists amid territorial rows, leftists linked to antinuclear power rallies

Kyodo

The National Police Agency said Tuesday it is keeping a watchful eye on growing protests by rightwing activists targeting China and South Korea over Japan’s territorial disputes with its neighbors that flared anew this year.

The activists “could carry out serious crimes, including terror attacks against senior politicians and foreign embassies,” and their protests against China and South Korea are likely to continue next year, the agency said in its annual report.

Ties remain strained between Japan and China over the Japanese-administered Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea, known as Diaoyu among the Chinese, while Japan and South Korea remain at odds over the South Korean-controlled islets in the Sea of Japan called Takeshima by Japan and Dokdo by the South.

With regard to the movement against nuclear power that started with last year’s meltdown disaster in Fukushima Prefecture, the agency said in the report that extreme leftists tried to recruit people from various walks of life who have participated in the massive rallies staged against atomic power, using social networking services including Twitter and Facebook in their efforts.

The report also said police believe offshoots of Aum Shinrikyo are still trying to attract new followers, after they stopped investigating the heinous crimes committed by the cult after its last three remaining fugitives wanting in connection with the 1995 sarin attack on the Tokyo subway system were collared earlier this year.

The report also warned against email-based cyber-attacks against government agencies and other organizations, saying, “Online theft of classified information could have serious consequences on law and order in Japan as well as the country’s diplomacy and security.”