• Sagamihara, Kanagawa


As for the accusation that the estimate of 1,500 demonstrators at an April 24 protest this year was an exaggeration, a time-honored tradition of public protests is that activists play up the numbers, police play them down and journalists cite both. Since there was only one figure available for my article — 1,500, according to the protesters — that was the one given. Now we have another; the letter writer says there were 200 protesters. But the letter writer is unable to explain the nature of the alleged “performance” in the photograph accompanying the article. I suggest that readers check out video images available online — which show track-suited security personnel forcibly ejecting students from campus at demonstrations — and make up their own minds.

Regarding arrest figures, there have been 110 arrests since the dispute began in March 2006, of which 32 involved Hosei students and 78 students from other universities. The writer is correct to say that some of these were repeat arrests and not, as I say in the article, “arrested students.” Thirteen students from Hosei have been arrested and nine formally charged.

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