The imprisoned founder of the Japanese Red Army admits her efforts to bring revolution to Japan in the 1970s and '80s ended in failure but she remains optimistic that public protest can check government moves to alter the pacifist Constitution.
"I think Japanese people are even more apathetic about politics now than in the past ... and I do think the actions of myself and others have contributed to that," Fusako Shigenobu told The Japan Times in a letter from Hachioji Medical Prison, where she is currently incarcerated for her role as leader of a notorious militant Marxist group that carried out terrorist attacks at home and abroad.
"Our hopes were not fulfilled and it came to an ugly end," she said. "If you consider what the people who fought against war and for peace were able to achieve in the past, maybe today's anti-war peace movement doesn't have the potential to be as strong as it was then. But as the people speaking out against nuclear power showed, there is still a strong groundswell. If anti-nuclear protesters and anti-war protesters can join forces, they can change the future. I am hopeful."