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!


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.

Free Taner, Amnesty’s chair jailed in Turkey !

Demonstration at the Turkish embassy in Japan on June 15th !

AITEN members joined AI Japan last week to protest and urge the Turkish authorities to free Taner Kiliç. The Chair of Amnesty International Turkey, has been detained in Turkey and wrongly accused of membership of the “Fethullah Gülen Terror Organization”, which the authorities blame for last year’s attempted coup.

Turkey: drop the charges against Chair of Amnesty International Turkey and release him immediately

Demo at the Turkish embassy

Next AITEN’s Movie Night on Sunday 11th

Movie Night

Conviction (2010), starring Hilary SWANK and Sam ROCKWELL, dramatizes the true story of Betty Anne Waters—a high school drop-out single mother with two children and a blue-collar job—whose brother, Kenny, was wrongly convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison. Unable to pay for a competent defense lawyer to appeal Kenny’s case, Betty Anne decided to devote herself to study to become that lawyer. 18 years later, in 2001, Kenny was released!

AITEN invites you to enjoy the award-winning movie of this amazing story at Good Heavens pub in Shimokitazawa this coming Sunday, June 11, at 5PM.

Next meeting

AITEN is the Amnesty International Tokyo English Network, a group of people living / working in Tokyo who get together to educate and agitate for human rights worldwide . Come and meet us—with no obligation to join— at our next meeting: Weds  June 14th at the AIJ Japan office

AITEN events and meetings in March 18th -20th – 21th !

1. This Saturday, 18th March 2017, Sacred Heart International School
will hold their annual Family Festival.

And again this year the organizers have waived the fee for the table so that AITEN members and supporters can ask
people to write and/or sign cards for Prisoners of Conscience, to buy AI goods or make a  donation, and can support and exchange ideas with the school AI group.
There is food and drink from around the world, an amazing range of stuff to buy, and the festival will go ahead rain or shine, so come to Hiroo subway station on
the Hibiya Line (one stop from Ebisu), enjoy the festival (it runs from 10:00 to 16:00), and help out on our table for an hour or so.
We really need your help!
Poster for the festival:

2.  Next AITEN public meeting is on Monday 20th March  2017 (4 ~ 6:30pm).
      “The Witch-hunts of the McCarthy Era and HUAC, and its lessons
for us today.”

The discussion will be introduced by showing clips from the recent movie “Trumbo,” (English only, running time 120 mins)
starring Brian Cranston. (A version with J subtitles is due in mid-May). Trumbo trailer here.

Come, watch, discuss.

Free admission. No cover charge. Food and great beer available.
The place is the Good Heavens pub in Shimokitazawa. (Google maps

3. AITEN monthly meeting on Tuesday 21st March at the AIJ office.

We’ll be letter-writing and event planning (including what we will do at What the Dickens on Sunday, 2nd April and on Earth Day Weekend at Yoyogi
Park on April 22/23). All welcome, no obligation to join.
Map to Amnesty’s office in Kanda:

Hope to see you at one or more of those. Please forward this notice to
people you know.

“It’s better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.”

WRITE FOR RIGHTS 2016 campaign is starting in Ebisu ! Dec. 4th (Sun.)

AITEN event in Ebisu

Our next event will be held in the pub What The Dickens in Ebisu on December 4th (Sunday). (see map below)

From 16:00, we will be writing letters and discussing Human Rights issues to support the global Write For Rights campaign.

There will be an open-mic event in the pub from 18:00, which you are welcome to join as well.


WRITE FOR RIGHTS is a global Amnesty International’s campaign to mark the International Human Rights day. All over the world, people like YOU and ME gather and spend some time to write letters to

  • prisoners of conscience and opinion
  • oppressed women
  • people from minorities suffering from state-level intolerance
  • people condemned to the death penalty

WE BELIEVE that by sending letters, each one of us has the power to express his/her concerns, raise awareness in the world and eventually enable the release of those prisoners, improve the life conditions of minority and protect each other’s lives. Each year, prisoners are freed thanks to Amnesty’s campaigns and most of all THE INVOLVEMENT OF EVERY ONE OF US.

Here is the list of cases carefully elected by Amnesty International as representing the most actual issues of Human Rights globally:



What The Dickens – Ebisu

AITEN March meeting on Wed. 18th

AITEN March meeting on Wed. 18th

1900~2100 at the Pinnacle Japan office (DSK’s office) in Nishi Azabu.

We’ll be letter-writing to support prisoners of conscience and protest against torture.

We will keep on preparing for our next fundraising event to be hold around mid-May.

Recently many people have joined the group ! Don’t hesitate to join as well !

Dinner/drinks at a nearby restaurant afterwards !

Please join us! Meet up in front of Tully’s Coffee Shop on Roppongi Dori (Near Roppongi Station Exit 1B) at 6:45 pm.

AITEN Monthly Meeting March 2014

Our next meeting is on March 11th (please note: TUESDAY) at the Amnesty Japan office in Kanda.

Time 19:00 – 21:00

We will look at some recent women’s rights issues around the world in advance of the next AITEN fundraiser on MARCH 20thROCK FOR WOMEN’s RIGHTS!! at What the Dickens in Ebisu (NOTE THE DATE PLEASE!)

There will be time for letter-writing – with dinner at a nearby restaurant afterwards for those who’re able to join us.

Please come along! A map to the AIJ Office is below:
ADDRESS : 7F Seika Bldg. 2-12-14 Kandaogawamachi, chiyoda-ku Tokyo 101-0052
TEL : +81-3-3518-6777  FAX : +81-3-3518-6778
E-mail :