The Words of the Goto Family

Urgent Prayer request for Mr. Toru Goto

Luke Higuchi
March 10, 2013

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Our Japanese brother, Toru Goto, who was kidnapped and held against his will by his family and deprogrammers for over 12 years has asked for America's prayers. He will be taking the stand for his court case on March 11th 10:00am to 5:00 pm Japanese Time (March 10th 9:00pm to 4:00 pm EST) and needs your spiritual support. His criminal case was thrown out by the Japanese prosecutors and he is now coming to the end of a 2 year civil trial. If Toru can win his court case, this will be a big blow to the still active Japanese deprogramming community, and possibly stop the kidnappings that continue with impunity.

Here's some background:

Mr. Toru Goto (31) visited his home and was kidnapped by his family. He was confined to three apartments in total over a period of 12 years and 5 months,. A professional faith-breaker frequently visited the third apartment together with his family and ex-members, during which Mr. Goto was severely harassed. Each time he tried to approach the entrance his family responded with brutal violence leaving his face and hands bloodied. After giving up on escaping by using force, he decided to go on hunger strikes: 21 days, 21 days, and 30 days..

Finally, in February 2008, they threw him out of the apartment. By that time, he had been virtually reduced to skin and bones and had great difficulty walking. He had been kidnapped and confined when he was 31. He was now already 44 years old. He managed to reach to Unification Church headquarters in Tokyo and was rushed to a hospital where he stayed until March 31.

In May 2008, he filed papers with the Ogikubo district police accusing those who had forcefully confined him. In February 2009 the police sent the case to the prosecutors' office. Unfortunately, on December 9, prosecutors refused to indict them.

How is the court case going?

The defense argues that there was no kidnapping and confinement and that Mr. Goto stayed in that tiny room for 12 years of his own volition.

By some miracle, Mr. Goto's team found, in a Unification Church headquarters storage room, a hand written manual explaining how to kidnap and deprogram Unification Church members, written in Minister Matsunaga's own hand. There is also a video tape of Minister Matsunaga that goes over the steps already covered in the manual. It includes fine points about how to break the spirit of a Unification Church member. But Mr. Goto's team does not have as much evidence against Mr. Miyamura, the second deprogrammer.

Court Case Timeline:

March 11th: Mr. Toru Goto will take the stand.

April 8th: Ms. Kiyomi Miyama who is witnessed his captive condition will take the stand

May 14th: The elder brother of Mr. Goto who assisted in the kidnapping of Toru Goto will take the stand

June 3rd: Sister in law of Mr. Goto who assisted in Mr. Goto's confinement and one of two deprogrammers, 'Minister Matsunaga' will take the stand

June 17th: Mr. Kakashi Miyamura, Mr. Goto's second professional deprogrammer, will take the stand.

The judge will make a decision after these witnesses take the stand.

Human Rights Without Frontiers Accuses the Japanese Government:

"The failure to protect citizens from such crimes is a grave violation of their constitutionally guaranteed rights and their international human rights based on Japan's legal obligation under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Moreover, as 80% of victims are women, Japan is also in violation of its obligations under the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women, and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women signed and ratified by Japan."

What can we do?

First and foremost, please play tonight for Mr. Goto's trial which begins tonight at 8:00.

Support activities by helping us contact US congressman to invite them to Japan. When US Congressman tell Japan that they are violating International Human Rights Law Japan will respond.

We need more noise about these violations within college campuses and grass roots organizations.

Contact me and let me know you want to help.

Thank you,

Luke Higuchi
President, Survivors Against Forced Exit (SAFE) 

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