Against Japanism
Against Japanism
Jul 8, 2022
The Anti-Vietnam War Movement and the Red Army Faction w/ Alex Finn Macartney
Play • 1 hr 39 min

Alex Finn Marcartney joins Kota to talk about the history of the anti-Vietnam War movement in Japan and the legacy of the Red Army Faction or the Sekigun-ha, the mother organization of the Japanese Red Army and the United Red Army we previously discussed in this podcast. 

In this episode, we discuss...

1) Japan’s role in the Vietnam War and the significance of Okinawa as a “keystone” for the US-Japanese imperialism in the Cold War as 2022 marks the 50th year since its so-called “reversion” from the US to Japan. 

2) Some of the watershed events in the Japanese Long Sixties such as a student protest at Haneda Airport to prevent Prime Minister Sato Eisaku’s visit to the US, and how these events radicalized the anti-Vietnam War movement from a citizens-led pacifist anti-war movement to a students and workers-led militant anti-imperialist movement, although the distinction between these two forms of struggle was not clear cut. 

3) The meaning of and the discourse surrounding the Yodogo Incident where a group of young militants from the Sekigun-ha hijacked a plane and went to the DPRK, and ask whether the event was simply a farce or a productive lesson for revolutionary movements. 

4) The emergence of the Sekigun-ha within the context of the broader mass opposition to the Vietnam War. We specifically highlight its theories of the World Proletarian Revolutionary War and the International Base Area, as well as how it conceptualized political violence. Throughout our discussion of the Yodogo Group and the Sekigun-ha, we highlight the importance of understanding the theory and ideology of these revolutionary organizations as they are, before criticizing and passing judgment on them, while the mainstream media do just that by pathologizing them along gendered and racialized lines. 

5) How the Sekigun-ha in Japan and the Red Army Faction in West Germany influenced each other, and how these two societies’ relationship with US imperialism through NATO and ANPO aided the parallel existence and solidarity between these two organizations.

6) What the history of the Red Armies and the militant Global Sixties tell us about the National Question and internationalism.

Intro: Cielo by Huma-Huma

Outro:  Enter the Mirror by Les Rallizes Dénudés

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