An Appeal from Mr. Iwao Hakamata to the National Assembly, “Open a door for a retrial! Revision of the retrial law!”

July 18, 1981

I would like to appeal to you all in this assembly from prison.
I am Iwao Hakamata, a former professional boxer, who was falsely convicted of murder, arson and robbery which took place at dawn on June 30, 1966, in Shimizu city in Shizuoka prefecture.
A family of four, including the managing director of the Kogane Miso factory, was killed.
In 1968, at the first hearing at the Shizuoka District Court,I was sentenced to death. And on December 19, 1980, a final appeal was rejected by the Supreme Court.
The defense counsel, a citizens’ group to save an innocent boxer, Iwao Hakamata, friends, family and so forth are currently helping me in requesting a retrial.
At the time the final appeal was rejected by the Supreme Court, feelings such as sorrow and irresistible anger, due to a clearly fabricated frame-up, began welling up in my mind all day long. Thinking of myself becoming sixty, I imagine my pitiful appearance to be like that of an old man bent with age, who would finally die a lonely death in a dark prison cell. Would those be my last days?
However, I think that to live in a dignified manner and to advance majestically is to be a more worthy figure of a man and a Christian, rather than to go on living longer as one who stoops his head.
There were crimes committed by the authorities against the elderly Isimatsu Yosida, the Japanese Count of Monte Cristo.
Also, there were many other injustices committed by the authorities against many more victims which have been buried without the world knowing about them. These same injustices were committed against two other men, the elderly Kanamori and the elderly Kato, who fought against these injustices and eventually attained and won their retrials. Moreover, the retrials of the Menda case and the Saitagawa case have been opened…
They devoted all their lives to clearing their names and are still devoting themselves to this.
We falsely charged convicts should not grieve because we have these seniors from history as examples of people whose fortitude and admirable fighting attained them their victories. I will sincerely advance with all my heart.
My thoughts are with the sufferings of Paulo and the other disciples of Jesus Christ. I am a person who is sure that the most important key to resolving the absurdity, conflict and suffering of today’s reality is concealed in the Gospel.
My life in prison which helped me attain such a state of mind is very precious to me. Although restrained in prison, I realized
that there is freedom in this disablement if my heart is free;poems, hymns and songs will never disappear from my lips.
A life exceedingly and beautifully gives out fragrance in the sufferings of all the good people. I know that I am innocent.
It is a matter of fact that, not only I, but also the investigators who examined me and the prosecutors and their secretaries, and even the judge, obviously know that I am innocent. I believe that the presentation of false evidence, the concealment of material evidence and the concealment of the real criminal by the authorities will be disclosed. My innocence is going to be made clearer according to the demonstrable evidence involving a wooden back door and a dagger.
I am quite sure that the verdict of history is God’s judgement and that it will surely soon be handed down to the authorities in this case.
I deeply appreciate your support.

Iwao Hakamata
Hakamata Case