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!


June Public Meeting


Wednesday, June 23, 2010  19:00 – 21:00   (7:00~9:00 pm)

Guest Speaker #1: Introducing Jane Begley, a regional organizer of AIUK
Topic: Youth Activism in Britain
Showcasing actions in support of Chinese journalist, Shin Tao, Japanese death row prisoner Hakamada Iwao, against the arms trade, and more!
DVD presentation with activities, a quiz, and DVD & CD prizes!

Guest speaker # 2: Chris Pitts.
Topic: Gaza Today: A major human rights outrage.
Followed by letter-writing to Israel, Japan governments.

All welcome! Bring a friend to introduce to AITEN!
Informal atmosphere, refreshments, raffle.  ¥500 donation suggested.
Location: Amnesty International Japan National Office,
Venue: Amnesty International Japan Office, Kanda, Tokyo
Nijikai (informal drinks and chat) at a nearby family restaurant!

This is shaping up to be the best meeting we’ve had this year, so please attend AND invite your friends via email, FaceBook, Twitter, and telephone.

Action in London for Japan

Action in London outside the Japanese Embassy in support of Mr. Hakamada Iwao

On Wednesday, 10th March, we [AI campaigners] took photos of youth activists in the UK to the Japanese Embassy in the form of a large birthday card for Mr Hakamada Iwao.

Mr Hakamada is the world’s longest serving death row prisoner. Many people in the UK are surprised that Japan still uses the death penalty at all. It is even more shocking that someone can be sentenced to death after an unfair trial and then left waiting to die for over forty years.

We asked people to take photos holding the phrase ‘Free Hakamada’ in Japanese on a piece of paper. The reaction from local groups and youth activists was great – we received over 60 photos in total! The design team at Amnesty made these photos into a giant card demonstrating the concern of people in the UK.

On Mr Hakamada’s 74th birthday, Wednesday, 10th March, we took the card to the Japanese Embassy. I think the Embassy official was impressed at the widespread concern in the UK about this case. We spent over an hour talking to him; he promised to pass on our concerns to the Ambassador.

We plan to keep up the pressure with further action.

Anna Smart
East Asia Regional Coordinator, Amnesty International UK