Action Request – Make and Send Videos for Hakamada

Amnesty International Japan Action Request

We will also discuss preparations for an event Amnesty International Japan are planning on the 24th of February (Sat) in support of Hakamada Iwao.  Hakamada Iwao was released in 2014 after almost 48 years in detention (45 years on death row). He is still technically guilty and waiting execution; although the courts decided to grant him the retrial he needs to clear his name, the prosecutor is appealing the court’s decision. The high court will decide in March whether to dismiss the prosecutor’s appeal and allow Hakamada’s retrial.

AI Japan is gathering video messages from around the world to show the enormous international support that exists for Hakamada. AITEN members and supporters can play a big part! Read about the event in detail below:

Please gather short video messages from people known to the public. Please also record group messages from sports teams, company staff, charities, campaign group members and supporters, hospital workers, students, and others.

In the video, please state in your own language (with English translation of the message):

  • Your name/group/organization and your country;
  • Your message to support Hakamada and his family.
  • Your message should include a demand for a retrial, or for the prosecution to drop their appeal.
  • You can video individuals or groups.
  • You can use your phone or camera to record the message, but please use horizontal/landscape format and keep it short (<30 seconds).

See this example by AI Malaysia to get a few ideas:

AI Malaysia – Hakamada Iwao Support Message

We’ll show the videos at the event on 24 February,
and post them on AI Japan’s website, Facebook and Twitter.
They may also appear in/on Japanese media. SO MAKE SURE THAT EVERYONE AGREES TO THIS, or covers their face.

Deadline: send to arrive by 17:00, 16 February 2018,
to Erina Yamashita (

Thank you!

AITEN Meeting February 22nd 7pm~8pm (Thur)

Next Meeting

The next AITEN meeting will take place on February 22nd (Saturday) from 7 pm. The location will be at the Amnesty International Japan office, a 5min walk from Shin-Ochanomizu station and 10mins from Jimbocho station. A map can be found at the bottom of this page!

Thanks to everyone who was able to make it to our last AITEN meeting! During our last meeting, we discussed plans for our video projects, deciding upon some key ideas we have for the future.

The ideas we had for the videos were:

1. Answer Questions: Make a series of videos answering some frequently asked questions people might have about AITEN to put on the AITEN website. Questions include “what is AITEN?”, “What kind of activities do we take part in?” ,”What does AITEN do?”

2. Weekly Human Rights Update: Make a weekly series that focuses on a specific human rights case going on right now. We can have members create a quick poster with the specific Amnesty International case, with each member giving quick explanation for this case

3. Interviewing People around Tokyo:  Interview people about Amnesty International in the street, showing them the logo and ask them questions. Ask them if they know about Amnesty International, human rights and problems in Japan regarding human rights abuses.

Finally, we spent some time viewing a documentary about the Hakamada Iwao case. You can read more about him by clicking this link:

For the next meeting on the 22nd of February starting at 7 pm, we will continue discussions on our video projects and set dates for potential filming days. Come prepared with any ideas and suggestions you might have!


AITEN Meeting January 20th 1pm-5pm (Sat)

Next Meeting

The next AITEN meeting will take place on January 20th (Saturday) at 1pm-5pm. The location will be at the Ookayama Nishi Juku Centre (大岡山西住区センター). It’s a 5 Min walk from Toritsu Daigaku Station. A map can be found at the bottom of this page!


Thanks to everyone who was able to make it to our last AITEN meeting! During our last meeting, we discussed plans, to begin with our video project, deciding upon the style and kind of stories we would like to have told through our videos.

The ideas we had for the videos we should be making are:

  1. Tell stories: Using existing video or pictures with text in order to ask questions like “What can we do about this?”, “What do these three people/countries have in common?
  2. Draw Pictures: Create videos that utilize stop-motion images on a canvas screen to explain issues and problems that Amnesty International aims to solve. Similar to Robert Reich’s video on “The Big Picture” 
  3. Focus on Specific Issues: Focus on issues like the refugees’ crisis, LGBTQ issues, hate speech and specific human rights abuses around the world and within Japan
  4. Create Quizzes: These are similar to videos we often see on Facebook, with video titles such as “How much do you know about?…Come to a meeting to find out!”

Within the meeting, we agreed that all videos should use a minimum amount of text and that they should not be longer than 1min. In addition, we also discussed the use of bilingual voiceover and subtitles, having each video be in both Japanese and/or English.

A final thought, we often talk about issues and problems that are sad and anger-inducing but we would also welcome Good News stories that showcase the progress that Amnesty International makes around the world and the benefits of joining AITEN here in Tokyo!

For the next meeting on the 20th of January starting at 1pm, we will begin recording videos for the next AITEN video project. Come prepared with any art materials or equipment for video-making, as well as your own ideas and suggestions.

Looking forward to seeing everyone next week!

The location of the meeting is as follows:


AITEN Meeting on December 9th

Next Meeting

The next AITEN meeting will take place on December 9th (Saturday) at 1pm, at the Doutour right by the Amnesty International office. We will continue to discuss preparations for our upcoming art exhibition + auction, video project and increasing the profile of AITEN on online platforms.

Thanks to everyone who was able to make it to our last AITEN meeting – it was great to see some new faces joining our group! During our last meeting, we discussed plans to hold an art exhibition and auction as a fundraising event for Amnesty International. We are still discussing plans for a potential venue, please keep your eyes open for any spaces or exhibition halls that may be available for 40-60 people or more!

We also began work on our future video project for AITEN. We were able to film a few interviews with AITEN and Amnesty International members and show a few clips of the letter-writing activity. We hope to create a few more of these quick videos to raise awareness of the many activities, events and projects at AITEN. Get thinking about potential ideas for videos and don’t hesitate to share them at the next AITEN meeting!

It’s clear that we need to do more to keep sharing things and making our website & Facebook page more attractive, with a few members suggesting an Instagram page, blog or Twitter account. At the next meeting, bring any ideas you have to increase the online profile of AITEN in Japan!

After the AITEN meeting at 1pm, Amnesty International Japan will hold the annual Human Rights Day Letter-Writing Marathon at their offices from 2pm-4pm. If you are interested, head over to AIJ offices right after the meeting to take part in this wonderful event.

The location of the Doutour Coffee can be found below:

Next Events

Dec 3 (Sun) What the Dickens open-mic letter writing. On the same day Nahid, who has supported many AITEN events is holding a Persian Music event. Please think about supporting one of these. We will post an attendance form soon – good if we can have some members at each. Information about the Persian Music event can be found at this link: Persian Music Event

Dec 6 (Wed) AITEN Comedy Night (8pm-late) at Good Heavens in Shimokitazawa. 1500 yen at the door. Please bring and tell all your friends and share the flyer Chris has posted. Let’s make sure we have a good attendance for this hilarious event! Come earlier to grab some food before the bar gets too busy.

Dec 9 (Sat) Write for Rights (2-4 pm) Ahead of Dec 10th Human Rights Day the annual letter writing marathon will be held at the AIJ office.

Dec 27 (Wed) AIJ Concert in Shibuya from 7pm: Several bands including シアターブルック& the band apart. Tickets, 3,600 in advance.



Stand up for Our Rights 6th Dec (AITEN Comedy Night)

AITEN is hosting a comedy night on Wednesday, December 6th at 8:00 pm at the Good Heavens Bar in Shimokitazawa. The event costs ¥1500 at the door and includes a free drink!

A portion of the proceeds from the event go to Amnesty International, so it will be a wonderful event that will support the excellent work done by Amnesty International all across the world.  The Comedy Night promises to be a night of laughs, drinks and great food. In addition to the comedy on offer, there will also be opportunities for letter-writing and an auction for prizes to be held that night.

We look forward to seeing you at the Comedy Night on December 6th at 8:00 pm!

 All necessary information is found on the poster attached below.