Japan: Homeless at risk of forced eviction from park for Olympic construction, supporter arrested
A community of homeless persons is at risk of forced eviction from Meiji Park in Tokyo, for the construction of the new Olympic stadium. The community states that the authorities had previously promised to refrain from evictions, and to engage in consultations: nevertheless, on 27 January 2016, they reportedly attempted to close the park and shut down the public toilets and water facilities that were the lifeline for the community. Strong opposition prevented the authorities from continuing with the construction. On 2 March, one supporter of the community was reportedly arrested, allegedly for assault during the events of 27 January.
[English summary of Japanese items, produced by Business & Human Rights Resource Centre]
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Author: No to the Eviction of Nojukusha for the Olympics and the March 2 Repression at the Proposed New National Stadium Site Rescue Committee
... The JSC had been engaged in a dialogue with those living inside the Park at the latter’s request; they had promised that they would “not, as long as there are people living inside, be working on such constructions as would affect their life” and that they would “resolve issues through a dialogue.” On January 27, nonetheless, the JSC tried to forcefully shutdown the Park; even after they failed in face of grueling protests from the [community] and supporters, they attempted again to close off the [only] entrance [that remains] on February 5, mobilizing police officers. ... We have been active seeking a resolution through dialogues ... JSC employees came to the Meiji Park on February 17, and we held a talk, albeit for just half an hour; we reconfirmed they “will not and cannot do construction work as long as there are people living.” March 2, when A-san was arrested, was the deadline for the JSC’s reply to our written inquiry about, among other things, the legal bases for the dangerous construction work on January 27 and the [attempted] forceful shutdown on February 5. Was the arrest their answer? Do they not have to honor agreements and confirmations if they are dealing with [homeless persons]? ...
Japan: Emergency Statement Regarding the Japan Sports Council's Shutdown of Meiji Park on January 27th
Author: Association of the Residents of the Meiji Park and the National Stadium Surroundings and the Supporters
This forceful eviction we've witnessed last month is a violation of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights which advocates the right to housing for all. ... Ever since the fall of 2013 when Tokyo was elected as the 2020 host city, Tokyo metropolitan government has unjustly threatened the Meiji Park residents and has forcefully relocated them within the park twice, even though up to that point Tokyo even had acknowledged that the homeless people could live in the Park. ... we present the following demands to Japan Sports Council: 1) JSC must resume the public hearing with the residents of Meiji Park and their supporters. 2) JSC must not begin any work in the park unless all parties have come to a resolution through discussions. 3) JSC must immediately terminate the obstruction of lifeline facilities in the Park such as roads, bathrooms and running water. 4) JSC must immediately remove all the structures that were installed on January 27th and have since been obstructing access for bicycles and wheeled carts.