After leaving Russian FSB detention, left activists is returned to sea by Sapporo authorities
Sapporo-Otaru. 10.03.08 – 13:00 GMT: The German left activist Dr. Martin Kraemer has been refused landing in the port of Sapporo-Otaru. He has been condemned by Japanese authorities to remain stay put on the Panama vessel BM-2, which had brought him from Sakhalin on Friday, 7th of March. “Just released from special confinement by the Russian political police FSB, it’s now the Japanese repressive forces who try to top them.
In Russia, I got kicked and received an official death threat in custody, but this is worse,” says Martin: “Today’s blow against Japanese dignity set in before I could even open my mouth in this splendid country.” The surprising decision by Japanese immigration officers was announced today after receiving central instructions at 16:00 o’clock local time (8:00 GMT). At that time, Dr. Kraemer had already spent 66 hours waiting in the port of Otaru to get landing permission.
Sapporo Esperanto activists and the German embassy in Tokyo tried to intervene favorably for Dr. Kramer, but all in vain. As a German citizen, Dr. Kraemer needs no visa to enter Japan. Landing permission for German tourists up to 90 days is normally a mere formality on entering Japan. Simultaneously, the eldest officer of Otaru Immigration control confirmed that according to his memory today’s refusal is an all time first for the port of Sapporo-Otaru. Today’s refusal was preceded by an 8 hours ordeal of repeated luggage searches virtually to the last sewing needle followed by meticulous cross examination of Dr. Kramer and the Japanese inviting part both alike in separated rooms respectively. Special emphasis was put on examining the question why Dr. Kraemer had been wearing a red hard-head on board of the ship and played the International on his trumpet when saying farewell to an enthusiast Russian crew on leaving the vessel. All this questioning however could bring up no presentable pretext for refusing Dr. Kraemer to land. “In the end they just hid behind paragraphs, they were cautious not to cite in detail,” records Martin Kraemer.
Dr. Kraemer is now in a special situation. He has been returned by force on the ship and refused permission to set his feet on Japanese soil whatsoever for the time being. However, the splendid hospitality of the Russian crew and captain welcoming him back after a long day has its limits. Their ship, which took Martin for free from Sakhalin to Hokkaido as a token of internationalist friendship, is to sail back to Russia on Friday. According to the Japanese authorities, Martin Kraemer is to stay with the crew, but his Russian visa has been cancelled on 6th of March by the port authorities of Korsakov (Russia). Within the next 72 hours he will now file a formal complaint will to the attention of the Japanese Ministry of Justice. If the ministry refuses to revoke today’s decision or if it takes longer than Friday to decide, the Japanese authorities will face the odd job of how to deport a German citizen from their waters, who has not even been granted to set foot on their soil.
Today’s arbitrary decision of the Japanese authorities foreshadows what is to come when hundreds and thousands of left activists will apply for landing in Japan to voice their protest against this year’s G8 summit near Sapporo. “No matter whether Russian or Japanese Big Capital dictatorship: when G8 approaches they seem all united to kick us into the Pacific Ocean! Won’t stay under water for long, though,” promised Dr. Kraemer tonight: Japan, we are coming!
For further information: please call Mr. Torkler from the German embassy in Tokyo under +81-357917700 (or mobile +81-9017084960) and the Japanese Esperanto activist who has invited Dr. Kraemer to Sapporo under +81-11-717 41 89 (or mobile +81-9075147265).
The Russian member of the Duma Oleg Shein supports Dr. Kraemer after the incidents of FSB torture, please contact his assistant Andrej Demidov in Moscow under +7-495-6928906 (or mobile +7-926-2379977).