Little Bits of History

August 30

Posted in History by patriciahysell on August 30, 2017

1974: Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) headquarters is bombed. MHI is located in Minato, Tokyo, Japan and was founded in 1934. They are involved in aerospace, defense, energy, shipbuilding, and wind power. They build several different types of aircraft, rockets, and spacecraft as well as ships from large cruise ships to ferries, tankers, and warships. They also build turbines for both fossil fuels and wind generation of energy and a host of other products. This multi-billion dollar corporation sprang from an earlier business started at the behest of the Tokugawa Shogunate, the last shogunate before the Meiji restoration. They began with shipbuilding and then spread out to other areas of heavy manufacturing.

The East Asia Anti-Japan Armed Front (EAAJAF) sprang up from the Hosei University history department. In 1970, Masashi Daidoji enrolled and formed the L-Class Struggle Committee which was a “non-sect radical” group of the far left. They were not affiliated with any outside group but were decidedly anti-Japanese. With people from the philosophy and literature departments joining the ranks, they swelled to over 100 members but the All Campus Joint Struggle Committee failed and soon the L-Class also ceased to exist. Doidoji dropped out of school, but not out of activism. In August, a “Research Group” sprang up and they looked into the many “evil deeds” of Japanese imperialism and found many reasons to be intensely anti-Japanese.

They also looked into methods of urban guerrilla warfare and resistance movements. These, along with past historical errors combined and the zealots got the idea of appealing to the masses with the idea of staunch anti-Japaneseism, a radicalized version of anti-Japanism. The group decided to bomb three different sites which they felt were particularly representative of Japan’s participation in World War II. In December 1971 and in April and October of 1972 they carried out small bombing attacks and then opted to initiate a full-blown terrorist attack.

The EAAJAF was too broad and individual names were given to each smaller cell. Daidoji’s team was named “Wolf’ to express their “proud independence”. They used 1973 to perfect their bombs, grow their war chest, and create propaganda materials. On August 14, 1974 they tried to blow up a bridge over which the Emperor’s train was traveling. They were forced to abort when they were spotted. Instead, on this day, they attacked MHI. The bomb killed 8 and wounded 376 people. They were so successful, they carried out a series of more bombings until they were finally arrested on May 19, 1975. Although Daidoji and one other cell leader were given the death penalty, they remain on death row even now and wage their “war” from behind bars, writing revolutionary essays and books from prison.

Without Revolutionary theory, there can be no Revolutionary Movement. – Vladimir Ilyich Lenin

Understand: the task of an activist is not to negotiate systems of power with as much personal integrity as possible–it’s to dismantle those systems. – Lierre Keith

The only real radicalism in our time will come as it always has – from people who insist on thinking for themselves and who reject party-mindedness. – Christopher Hitchens

The goal of radicalism is to improve the human condition, not to prove one’s own moral superiority. – Jack Newfield