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I
take great exception to the June 9 Zeit Gist article, “Rumpus on campus.” The writer may think that he has furthered the cause of justice by revealing Hosei University for the bully it is, but at the very least, the most basic of facts should have been checked.

The article states, for example, that “Since the dispute began three years ago, 107 students have been arrested and 24 indicted.” Were all those arrested students? Were there 107 arrests or 107 people arrested? Big difference. The fact is that many of these people had repeat arrests.

The article also states that “Another large demonstration of 1,500 people took place on April 24 this year, at which six students were arrested.” The real number of demonstrators was closer to two or three hundred; among them were probably fewer than a dozen Hosei students. The other 30,000 students of Hosei have no sympathy for their cause and are annoyed by their noisy presence at the front gate of the university day after day. Although six people were arrested, most were not students. Had editors cross-checked even this fact, they would have concluded that their source of information was not very reliable.

And the photo at the top of the article, which shows a student lying down on the ground, is from 1 1/2 years ago. This was a kind of performance — not someone being roughed up to the point of unconsciousness by “thugs from a private security firm.”

Has the prestigious Japan Times finally been reduced to nothing more than a blog that simply passes around bogus blather spewed out by other blogs. Why not just embed a link right in the article taking interested readers directly to the source of information? It is also indicative that this article quotes only expelled students and their friends, who remain anonymous. What happened to getting to the root of the matter and trying to hear all sides of a story? Shame on The Japan Times for resorting to tawdry sensationalism like this.

name withheld by request

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