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Akiko Hoshino’s Reply and Appreciation

During the lockdown put into effect for the three consecutive days including the New Year day and the following weekend, UID-DER made a streaming web program titled “Against Those who Plunge Times into Darkness, We are Sowing Hope for Tomorrows!” We set sail for a journey on the river of history showing the necessity to keep faith in the working class and hope alive and fresh, even in most challenging, most sorrowful days. Through the program we made it clear, on the basis of many examples and historical experience from Turkey and the world, that the working class struggle cannot be repressed and stifled for good. We also said that the rebellious storm that had been active during the last 20 years would continue to grow.

During the lockdown put into effect for the three consecutive days including the New Year day and the following weekend, UID-DER made a streaming web program titled “Against Those who Plunge Times into Darkness, We are Sowing Hope for Tomorrows!” We set sail for a journey on the river of history showing the necessity to keep faith in the working class and hope alive and fresh, even in most challenging, most sorrowful days. Through the program we made it clear, on the basis of many examples and historical experience from Turkey and the world, that the working class struggle cannot be repressed and stifled for good. We also said that the rebellious storm that had been active during the last 20 years would continue to grow. One of the videos in the program was based on a poem written by a fellow female worker from UID-DER. The name of the poem was “Our Song has not yet been Sung” and the video included Fumiaki Hoshino’s hope-giving paintings painted in prisons in Japan. He served 44 years of his life under bars, but never lost faith in a world free of classes, exploitation and wars. Vibrant colors in his paintings were just a reflection of that. We shared the video with Fumiaki’s comrade and wife Akiko Hoshino. Here we are publishing dear Akiko’s response.

Dear friends of UID-DER

I express my genuine thanks for your sincerest condolence for the death of Fumiaki Hoshino. I was strongly encouraged. Excuse me for my late reply. The lively web program with a poem calling on workers to fight, attached to Hoshino’s paintings, is really an excellent work. The poem and its explanatory description. The poem fits into the paintings, because the poem is like describing the world of Fumiaki’s paintings.

The poem is very impressive. The poem with the explanatory description shows us a wonderful world, just like one painted by Hoshino himself. The two works just fit in. “Where there is a life, there is a hope; where there is a struggle, there is a hope.” This is just what Fumiaki conveyed in his paintings.

On May 30, 2019, Fumiaki Hoshino died. I think that the fact is he was killed. On August 22, 2018, Hoshino fell down in a faint with abdominal pain. The Tokushima Prison wrongly diagnosed him with “stomach convulsion”, and ordered him to take only one day off. Regardless of his family’s demand, Tokushima Prison did not conduct a detailed examination to detect the cause of the symptom. It was on March 1, 2019, almost a half year later that the Tokushima Prison conducted an ultra-sonic examination. It is evident that the ultra-sonic examination on March 1 has found the very big tumor in his liver. But the result was not informed to Fumiaki himself and neither to the Shikoku Regional Parole Board which shortly before that had been initiated the examination for his parole. Fumiaki was prevented from having the opportunity to appeal for taking necessary steps of treatment of liver cancer, to the Parole Board. On April 18, 2019, Fumiaki was transferred to the Medical Correction Center in East Japan, a medical prison, and had surgery there. By that time, his tumor had grown to 5,5 inches by 4,3 inches. On May 28, a liver cancer surgery was carried out by the teams of two – a main doctor from outside the prison and a doctor at the Medical Correction Center who served as an assistant. The surgery resulted in excessive bleeding of 4.000 milliliters. We were told that Fumiaki would be taken care intensively in the ICU. However, this promise was actually not kept.

After the surgery, he was left in the room called “recovery room” without receiving any emergency medical care. At that moment Fumiaki’s condition was very dangerous in the state of shock. The surgery caused very low blood pressure and it did not recover to 90 mm Hg, induced urinary retention, significantly decreased hemoglobin and so on. But the doctors of the Medical Correction Center all went home except an anesthetist on night duty. They did not arrange to call up the surgeon for emergency during the night. Even more surprisingly, there were no patrols of nurses during midnight from one to five o’clock. And in the morning on May 29, it was too late. Fumiaki died on May 30.

We filed a state compensation lawsuit against the Tokushima Prison and the Medical Correction Center. It is our impending task to demand an overhaul of the medical system in prison. The stark fact behind the prisoners’ deaths caused by the “medical care in prison” is always hushed up.

The Suga government is rushing head-on into constitutional revision and war. We are determined to make further efforts in strengthening international solidarity to crush Japanese Suga government. We would like to express our solidarity with Turkish workers who are fighting against terrible oppression and all workers of the world. Let us fight together hand-in-hand.

The Hoshino Defense Committee Co-Chair Akiko Hoshino

8 February 2021