Past Film


Beyond the Call (2006) (English, with Japanese subtitles)

Time: 16:30 doors open, 17:00 film starts.  Stay behind after to discuss the movie – optional.
Venue: Heaven’s Door, Shimokitazawa (Click on ‘Read more’ below for map and directions)
Admission free

n an Indiana Jones meets Mother Teresa adventure, three middle-aged men, former soldiers and modern-day knights, travel the world delivering life saving humanitarian aid directly into the hands of civilians and doctors in some of the most dangerous yet beautiful places on Earth, the front lines of war.

Their personal convictions and courage drive them to places such as Afghanistan, Albania, Chechnya, Cambodia, Burma, Thailand, Rwanda and the southern Philippines, often when few if any other humanitarian aid organizations are around. The camera follows Artis, Laws and Ratterman as they take us on a journey into the heart of humanity and the soul of courage.

For further information, please visit the official page

(Click on ‘Read more’ below for map and directions)

Map to Heaven’s Door

From Shimokitazawa Station (Inogashira and Odakyu Lines) South Exit, walk down the hill leaving MacDonalds on your left. Just before Mr. Donut, turn right, then left onto a street of shops, bars and restaurants. A short distance down this street, you will see Heaven’s Door on your left on the 2nd floor (See map).

Takimoto Bldg 2F
Kitazawa 2-17-10
Setagaya-ku 155-0031
Tel: 03-3411-6774

Past Film

The Seige

Sunday 29th March 2009

The Siege (1998) (English, with Japanese subtitles)

After the abduction by the US military of an Islamic religious leader, New York City becomes the target of escalating terrorist attacks. Anthony Hubbard, the head of the FBI’s Counter-Intelligence Task Force in New York, teams up with CIA operative Elise Kraft to hunt down the terrorist cells responsible for the attacks. As the bombings continue, the US government responds by declaring martial law, sending US troops, led by Gen. Devereaux, into the streets of New York City.

For further information, please visit The Siege page at IMDB

Past Film

Punishment Park

Sunday 22nd February 2009

Punishment Park (1971) (English, no Japanese subtitles)

A rare chance to see this 1971 pseudo-documentary-style feature film, never released in Japan, that carries echoes of the social psychology experiments of Millgram and Zimbardo.

“Punishment Park” is a pseudo-documentary purporting to be a film crews’s news coverage of the team of soldiers escorting a group of hippies, draft dodgers, and anti-establishment types across the desert in a type of capture the flag game. The soldiers vow not to interfere with the rebels’ progress and merely shepherd them along to their destination. At that point, having obtained their goal, they will be released. The film crew’s coverage is meant to insure that the military’s intentions are honorable. As the representatives of the 60’s counter-culture get nearer to passing this arbitrary test, the soldiers become increasingly hostile, attempting to force the hippies out of their pacifist behavior. A lot of this film appears improvised and in several scene real tempers seem to flare as some of the “acting” got overaggressive. An interesting exercise in situational ethics.

For further information, please visit Punishment Park page at IMDB

Past Film

Standard Operating Procedure

Sunday 25th January 2009

Standard Operating Procedure
(English, no Japanese subtitles)

Is it possible for a photograph to change the world? Photographs taken by soldiers in Abu Ghraib prison changed the war in Iraq and changed Americas image of itself. Yet, a central mystery remains. Did the notorious Abu Ghraib photographs constitute evidence of systematic abuse by the American military, or were they documenting the aberrant behavior of a few bad apples? We set out to examine the context of these photographs. Why were they taken? What was happening outside the frame? We talked directly to the soldiers who took the photographs and who were in the photographs. Who are these people? What were they thinking? Over two years of investigation, we amassed a million and a half words of interview transcript, thousands of pages of unredacted reports, and hundreds of photographs. The story of Abu Ghraib is still shrouded in moral ambiguity, but it is clear what happened there. The Abu Ghraib photographs serve as both an expose and a coverup. An expose, because the photographs offer us a glimpse of the horror of Abu Ghraib; and a coverup because they convinced journalists and readers they had seen everything, that there was no need to look further. In recent news reports, we have learned about the destruction of the Abu Zubaydah interrogation tapes. A coverup. It has been front page news. But the coverup at Abu Ghraib involved thousands of prisoners and hundreds of soldiers. We are still learning about the extent of it. Many journalists have asked about the smoking gun of Abu Ghraib. It is the wrong question. As Philip Gourevitch has commented, Abu Ghraib is the smoking gun. The underlying question that we still have not resolved, four years after the scandal: how could American values become so compromised that Abu Ghraiband the subsequent coverupcould happen?

For further information please visit Standard Operating Procedure page at IMDB



You can make a difference now – Use Your Freedom and write a letter to shine a light on human rights violations. Get involved in current Amnesty International Appeals and Campaigns. See the following links to go to Amnesty campaign information:

Latest Appeals

Current Amnesty International Campaigns

Urgent Action Network

Do you buy music online? Then “Make Some Noise” for human rights.


March Public Meeting


Meeting Minutes
March 10th Tuesday, 2009

Date/Time: March 10th Tuesday, 19:30-21:00
Venue: AIJ Office
Attendee: Elena, Hisako, Christoria, Susanne, Thea, Nick, Takashi, Will, Yuki, Chris, Takemi (Minutes taker)


(1)AGM : April 4th & 5th, Sunday; Chris spoke briefly about resolutions.
①No resolutions seem to raise arguments.
②Volunteers are welcome to represent AITEN at AGM. àAppeal will be sent out.
(2)Human Dignity Campaign: It will be launched in May 2009. It is going to be a major campaign worldwide. Fairly new approach compared to traditional AI approach. Focus on poverty. à Brainstormed on what poverty is, what poor people don’t have. For details about the campaign, refer to the attachment “AI’s Goal: Campaigning for Human Dignity: End human rights abuses that keep people poor”.
(3)Letter-writing session: All participants wrote letters on cases from “Wire” etc. An appeal prepared by AIUK for Mr. Hakamada, 44th year of imprisonment, whose 73rd birthday coincidentally falls on today, was introduced. Nick wrote a letter for Yuyu, a Nigerian running a bar in Yokohama, arrested after a false claim of rape. It can be seen as a typical case of how badly black people could be treated in Japan. Please visit the website Nick prepared for him for details. “”.


2.Upcoming Events:
(1)A documentary “Sour Strawberries” with English/Japanese subtitles (working/living conditions of immigrant workers in Japan) will be shown, with Arudo Debito’s talk followed by a discussion session. Tuesday March 24th @Ben’s Café. \500 donation will be collected at the door. Christoria will prepare an appeal for card signing.
(2)Movie night: Sunday March 26th, “The Siege”. Details are on our website. We will ask Heaven’s Door to provide “2 glasses of wine with cheese and crackers for \1,000” as it was popular last time. April movie to be decided.
(3)“Freedom Toast Café”: Sunday, April 12th: Theme to be decided.
(4)Letter-writing marathon: Sunday April 19th @Dickens. From 16:00- 18:00(18:30) Take recent cases from Wire. Invite young people, international school group members (Yokohama, St.Mary, etc.). No entry charge. HR Trivia Quiz. Bring anything to make it fun.
3.Next meeting:
April 14th, Tuesday @AIJ Tokyo Office

Other Amnesty Supporters in Japan

Other Amnesty Groups in Japan

There are four other English-speaking or bilingual groups (other than school groups) in Japan:
In Kamakura, Group 103.
In Osaka, Group 95: Email, Facebook group.
In Tsukuba, Group 131.
In Fukuoka:

For further details please visit the Amnesty International Japan English page.

Amnesty Campaign Information

You can make a difference now! Use Your Freedom and write a letter to shine a light on human rights violations. Get involved in current Amnesty International Appeals and Campaigns. See the following links to go to Amnesty campaign information:

– Updated Appeals
– Current Campaigns
Urgent Action Network

Other Human Rights Sites

United Nations Human Rights Page

Other NGOs and Resources in Japan


Tokyo Community News
The best website listing events of interest to progressive thinkers. The work of dynamic academic and campaigner, Sarajean Rossito of People for Social Change.
The best site for up-to-the-minute comment and news on the struggle for human rights in Japan. The blog of academic, journalist and campaigner, Arudo Debito.

Japan Institute for the Study of Wrongful Arrests and Convictions
An excellent source of information on miscarriages of justice in Japan.

Japan Death Penalty Information Center
A great source of information on the death penalty in Japan.

Bands that have supported AI in Tokyo

The Infinite Happiness Orchestra
The Beautiful Losers
the Clockwork Flowers
Eden Rogue
Forrest Nelson
– Hitmen (email)
Max Blues


February Public Meeting


Meeting Minutes
February 10th Tuesday, 2009

Date/Time: February 10th Tuesday, 19:30-21:00
Venue: AIJ Office
Attendee: Trevor, Nick, Chris, Chika, Christroria, Takemi (Minutes taker)


(1)Membership: About 25 members currently.
(2)Treasury: Our policy now is to keep minimum necessary money and the rest goes straight away to AIJ.
(3)Freedom Toast Café: Feb.8th @Ben’s Café. A session organized by the Youth Network held for young Japanese people to learn about AI and HR issues and improve English ability. The topic was “Torture”. About 10 people participated.
(4)Movie night: “Standard Procedure”. The venue owner gave us an extra incentive. (Wine and Cheese for a fixed price.)


2.Upcoming Events:
(1)A PSC (people for social change) event in support of several NGOs @Fujimama, 5,000yen for drink and food, Saturday February 28th.
(2)Movie night: Sunday February 22nd, “Punishment Park”
(3)“Freedom Toast Café”: Sunday March 8th: Anyone who wants to make presentation is welcome. 18:00-20:00. Theme to be dicided.
(4)Tuesday March 10th, Next AITEN meeting. We will talk about the resolutions to be made at the AGM.
(5)A documentary “Sour Strawberries” (working/living conditions of immigrant workers in Japan) will be shown, with Arudo Debito’s talk followed by a discussion session. Tuesday March 24th @Ben’s Café. \500 donation will be collected at the door.
(6)AIJ AGM: Saturday/Sunday April 4 and 5.


(1)Member renewals: Sending appeal to our mailing list to join AIJ. àApplication/renewal procedure should be highly visible on AITEN website. Send an appeal (with information on a successful case) and credit card application or other payment methods. àWe should think about a good way to appeal to non-native speakers.
(2)New website: Almost ready to go. Just have to transfer “” domain name registration.
(3)Letter-writing marathon: Sunday April 19th @Dickens. We will discuss at the next meeting.
(4)AGM (Next month): We will discuss issues, elect delegates @next AITEN meeting.
(5)Next gig on Sunday June 14th @Dickens. Nick will take care of bands.


4.Next meeting: March 10th, Tuesday

January Public Meeting

AITEN Monthly Meeting Minutes : January 2009

1.Date/time: January 13th, 2009, 19:30-21:30
2.Venue: AIJ Office
3.Attendee: Chris, Takemi, Yoko, Peter, Juliet, Allison, Peter Dunning, Susanne


(1)December gig : Successful.
– @Turnout: Around 100 participants, Raffle sales: \37,000, AI goods sales: \5,000
– AMusic: Forest Nelson, Amy and her band. Good.
– BLetter-writing: Made a big seasonal greeting card for Hakamada-san (a Japanese prisoner on the death row), wrote 15 postcards to the Minister of Justice of Japan asking not to carry out the death order of Mr. Okunishi and approve his retrial. The big card will be sent to Mr. Hakamada by his sister, the only family member who’s allowed to contact him.

5.Upcoming event.

(1)AIJ Film Festival 2009l: 17, 18 January.
(2)Movie night: “Standard Operating Procedure”, January 25th, Sunday, 17:00- @Heaven’s Door in Shimokitazawa
(3)Letter-writing marathon: Coordinating with Youth Network. Yoko will think about how.
– @Date/Venue: March 15th, Sunday. 19:00- @What the Dickens.
– ATheme: e.g.1,000 letters for peace, 1,000 letters for children’s need.
– BAllison will send out an invitation mail to all members/supporters.


(1)AITEN new website update: Almost ready except for AITEN general information and contact. Chris will send updated information to George. We will have information for 2008 and onward on the new website but will keep all data from the current one separately. Domain name transfer will be taken care of by the end of March by George. The cost of website/domain
(2)Gig schedule: Fundraising gig with live music in June 14th, September 13th, December 13th, all Sundays.
(3)Monthly meeting
– @Schedule: 2nd Tuesday each month.
– ASpeaker suggestions are welcome.
– BLetter writing: Members in turn talks about a particular case to write letters on. Allison will in February. We can select a case and follow. Chris will see to it through AIJ.
– CMake book/DVD swap a meeting routine.
(4)Membership renewal: Ask Yuki draft an appeal, Peter will check, and Allison will send it out to current members/supporters.

7.Next meeting: February 10th Tuesday, 2009.

AITEN Meeting Minutes


Meeting Minutes
Tuesday 9th December 2008

Venue: AIJ Office
Attendees: Chris, Yuki, Miki, Hisako, Takemi, Itsuki, David, Will, Susanne, Yoko.

1. November Movie Night: 6 people attended. Technical problem. Movie night organizer, Yuki will line up movies for the coming few months and test them on the DVD player. Yuki and Paul, the venue owner, will discuss how to increase attendance. (quiz prize). Publicity material on our activities should be there. Scheduled on the last Sunday each month next year.

2. School group activities:
– ISSH Festival: The group members prepared long information on cases.
– Yokohama International School: 15-20 people attending at the group meeting. Tomone, the group leader created awareness this year. She is graduating from school next year. She needs help to continue the activities. Yuki will contact Tomone.
– International University of Japan: Chris was invited to talk. Some are interested in starting a school group. Chris is talking with Makoto, who says they need to get involved in AI network.

Upcoming Events

1. December 10th, Wednesday: AI Charity Concert for UDHR 60’s Anniversary with Taiko drums and Ainu music.

2. Dec. 14th, Sunday: Symposium on Death Penalty (in Japanese) 13:00 @Meiji University Liberty Tower 1013.

3. What the Dickens Gig: Chris, Takemi, Hisako, Susanne, Yuki, Miki, George, Will, Yoko, David will be there.
– How to talk to people about opposing death penalty. Presentation by Chris. Long discussion followed.
– Raffle : Chris will take care of tickets, prizes(DVD player, AI goods), sales .
– AI Goods Sales : George.
– Letter-writing: Hisako, Miki, Takemi. Background information prepared. 2 cases chosen. We will send huge Xmas cards to a prisoner on the death row and will write Japanese Government for another case.
– Photo/video: Will
– Door rotation: David
– Posters/Signs: Yuki.
– MC/Annoucement: Chris, Itsuki.
– Staff will wear green AI T-shirts.
– Bands: ready to roll.

4. Film Festival: 17, 18 January. Cards/leaflets to hand out are available. Many of the films are in original language with Japanese subtitle. Some should have English subtitle, because they come from the UN Film Festival. We will ask Sonoko Kawakami. Miki/Susanne will translate the schedule into English.

We need a new membership secretary. Discussed at next meeting.

Next meeting: January 13th Tuesday, 2009.