Monday, December 7, 2009

Freedom of expression?

Last week the Supreme Court in Japan upheld a ruling that had found a Buddhist monk guilty of trespass when he entered an apartment building to put political leaflets in the mail boxes of the residents (which are usually in a separate location from the apartments themselves). There was a notice in the entrance hall of the building prohibiting the insertion of leaflets and pamphlets in mailboxes. One of the residents got angry and the Buddhist monk ended up being arrested and fined. It is now getting increasingly difficult to distribute leaflets in Japan. Many newer apartment buildings have secure systems which deny others entry. Some people living in houses put notices up saying they don't want leaflets put through their letterbox. And now there is a ruling from the Supreme Court that means people need to take care when doing this kind of activity. Churches here have often distributed leaflets about events or other literature. It just shows that as we start off a new church in this area, we need to take care when distributing information. But of course people contact is fine - and maybe that's the most effective way anyway.

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