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Cablegate: A Letter to President Obama Asking for an Apology

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TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 8547
INFO RUEHZJ/HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
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RUEHKSO/AMCONSUL SAPPORO PRIORITY 8681
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEAWJA/JUSTICE DEPT WASHDC PRIORITY
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UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 TOKYO 000026

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PHUM JA
SUBJECT: A LETTER TO PRESIDENT OBAMA ASKING FOR AN APOLOGY
FOR COLD WAR FIRINGS

TOKYO 00000026 001.2 OF 002


1. (U) Poloff met with members of the "The National Liaison
Center against the Red Purge" to accept a letter for
President Obama. The men, in their late 70's and early 80's,
described being fired from their jobs as communists or
communist sympathizers almost 60 years ago. They were, they
said, summarily fired without any recourse to appeal. The
loss of a job they explained, carries a great social stigma
in Japan, and as a result, many of those purged committed
suicide. The rest survived as best they could, but few of
them, teachers, administrators, workers, were ever able to
obtain positions of equal pay or status, they stated. "Now,"
says Keiji Kaneko, Secretary General of the Red Purge Center,
still tall and clear-eyed at 80, "all we want to do is to be
able to die with some dignity, by having the United States
and the Japanese government admit that what was done to us
was wrong. There aren't many of us left now, and every year
our numbers decrease."

2. (U) Comment: Japanese courts have found that the actions
that took place during the Red Purge were unconstitutional.
Redress though has not been possible for a variety of
reasons, including the fact that the companies involved have
changed their legal identities. Scholars debate the extent
to which the Red Purge was solely a United States-initiated
effort, with some pointing to evidence showing that domestic
anti-Communist forces also appear to have played an important
role. End Comment.

FULL TEXT OF LETTER
-------------------
3. (U) "The United States of America that Ordered the
Enforcement of the Red Purge Sixty years ago, should
Acknowledge its Error and Apologize to the Victims

December 24, 2009

The Honorable Mr. Barak H. Obama
President of the United States of America
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, D.C. 20500

Dear President Obama,

During the postwar period from 1949 to 1950, of the
occupation of the U.S armed forces, the Red Purge enforced on
all over Japan was large-scale, atrocious and sly oppression.
It has never been seen even in the world history. Estimated
40,000 workers were branded as "subversive elements" by
reason of the members of the Japanese Communist Party or its
supporters and suffered serious mental, material and social
damages because of being purged from their jobs. It shows
obviously that there were a lot of people who killed
themselves since they could not bear difficulties. And the
Japanese people's social movement which declared sensible
demands such as protecting the life of the people from
damages of the war, reconstructing the exhausted industry and
economy, and planning to eliminate militarism and to
establish democracy, suffered immeasurable damages.

The Red Purge was implemented nationwide in the name of
General D. MacArthur, Special Commander of the Allied Powers,
who was dispatched by the U.S Government. This purge started
with the curtailment of administrative personnel and the
industrial readjustment in 1949, and the main reason of this
unfair dismissal which aimed at the members of the Japanese
Communist party and its supporters, was based on "The nine
principals of economic stabilization" -the Dodge Line- of
your Government's policy.
Furthermore, the then Japanese Prime Minister, Shigeru
Yoshida, said plainly, "We framed a plan to discharge red
elements....in accordance with the suggestion of the General
Headquarters." At the time of the following Red Purge for
teachers, the lists of teachers concerned were handed down to
local authorities by C.I.C (Counter Intelligence Corps). In
1950, the full-scale Red Purge was implemented on the basis
of the anti-Communist statements and letters submitted
several times by General MacArthur. Even the Japanese
Government and industrial leaders who carried it out have no

TOKYO 00000026 002.2 OF 002


intention of hiding this fact.
The consent of the Cabinet meeting of the Japanese Government
-"A matter on the expulsion of Communists and its supporters
from public offices" - expresses the expulsion of activists
by quoting from the MacArthur documents, and the note
addressed to the local governors -"Regarding the expulsion of
Communist subversive elements within enterprises" - states
that the Red Purge has to be implemented in accordance with
the process of General MacArthur's statements and letters.
Judging from above circumstances, there is little room for
doubt that your Government particularly had responsibilities
for the Red Purge.
The Red Purge was openly contrary to the Constitution of
Japan that had already been established. Naturally enough,
even the Occupying forces should have respected the
Constitution that guarantees the enjoyment of fundamental
human rights, freedom of thought, and conscience, and freedom
of assembly and association as well as speech, press and all
forms of expression. Furthermore, it completely offended
against the United Nations Charter, the Potsdam Declaration,
and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that all
clearly state the prohibition of discrimination because of
thought and creed, and the establishment of fundamental human
rights. Therefor, had your Government, which did the
signature of such the Declaration and the Charter, followed
these principles faithfully, it would have given no
instructions of the Red Purge.
The United States of America is a country where the
significance of human rights is highly respected and you, Mr.
President, always voice the importance of human rights. That
is why your Government has to acknowledge its critical error
of the implementation of the Red Purge ordered 60 years ago,
apologizing for the victims whose human rights were violated,
and showing your sincerely toward the resolution of this
matter.
We call on your Government to take effective measures for the
relief of human rights of the victims, while consulting with
the Japanese Government that implemented the Red Purge in
accordance with the instructions of your Government. By
doing so, we are convinced that the word "Change", which was
emphasized during your presidential campaign, will be surely
animated.
Sincerely yours,
Keiji Kaneko (Secretary General)
The 5th General Meeting of
The National Liaison Center against the Red Purge
6-17-13, Tomioka Higashi, Kanazawa-ku
Yokohama-shi, Kanagawa, Japan"
ROOS

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