Reversing a lower court ruling, the Tokyo High Court has found a Buddhist monk who distributed political fliers at a Tokyo condominium complex guilty of trespassing. Although the ruling only fined him ¥50,000, it carries the danger of actively encouraging police and prosecutors to charge citizens who distribute political leaflets with trespassing and other violations. It will also intimidate people engaged in various civic and political activities.

On Dec. 23, 2004, Mr. Yosei Arakawa, 60, dropped political fliers of the Japan Communist Party into door mailboxes of a building in Katsushika Ward. When a resident got angry, Mr. Arakawa offered not to drop fliers into the resident’s mailbox in the future. But the resident called police anyway. The monk was arrested and detained for 23 days.

Unable to view this article?

This could be due to a conflict with your ad-blocking or security software.

Please add japantimes.co.jp and piano.io to your list of allowed sites.

If this does not resolve the issue or you are unable to add the domains to your allowlist, please see out this support page.

We humbly apologize for the inconvenience.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.