2019: Okuzaki's Legal Action to Abolish Chapter One

Quelle: The Asia-Pacific Journal | Japan Focus Volume 17 | Issue 20 | Number 1 | Article ID 5318 | Oct 15, 2019
Mit freundlicher Erlaubnis von Japan Focus.

“Yamazaki, Shoot Emperor Hirohito!” Okuzaki Kenzo’s Legal Action to Abolish Chapter One (The Emperor) of Japan’s Constitution
Yuki Tanaka

At the New Year’s public opening of the Imperial Palace on January 2 1969, a Japanese war veteran by the name of Okuzaki Kenzō (1920–2005) fired three pachinko pinballs from a slingshot aimed at Emperor Hirohito who was standing 26.5 meters away on the veranda greeting about 15,000 visitors. All three hit the bottom of the veranda, missing Hirohito. Not many people seemed to notice that it was Okuzaki who fired them. Okuzaki then shot off one more, calling to the ghost of his war comrade, shouting, “Yamazaki, Shoot the Emperor (Hirohito) with a pistol!” Again he missed. Policemen on guard duty searched frantically for the perpetrator but could not identify him in the crowd. It was not certain whether Hirohito himself noticed the pinballs hitting the bottom of the veranda. Together with Hirohito, his wife Empress Ryōko, his two sons - Princes Akihito and Masahito - as well as their respective wives were also standing on the veranda, but it remains unclear whether any of them were aware of this incident. 

Okuzaki approached one of the policemen frantically moving around the crowd and grabbed his arm, telling him, “It is me who shot the pinballs. Let’s go to the police station.” Obviously he did this intentionally, hoping to be arrested on the spot. Later he confessed that yelling “Yamazaki, Shoot the Emperor with a pistol!” was his tactic to attract police attention. He expected that the word “pistol” would immediately alert the police to the possibility of danger and that he would be arrested forthwith. Yet, disappointingly, this did not happen and therefore he had to ask a policeman to arrest him.

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