Japanese and Tibetans marching on Tokyo
On 8th March, Tibet Support Network Japan and Tibetan community in Japan observed the 49th Tibetan uprising in Tokyo. In the morning, some fifteen to twenty Tibetan and Japanese supporters marched to the Chinese embassy in Tokyo. Fluttering the Tibetan National flag, they sang the Tibetan national anthem before the main gate of the embassy. SFT representative read a memorandum drawing attention to resolve the Tibetan issue peacefully at the earliest. The activist raised slogans demanding human rights and freedom in Tibet. According to the Tokyo city police regulation, only five persons were allowed to stand before the gate so the demonstrators took turns. Although it was a holiday, Chinese officials passed in and out from the main gate but they showed no reaction. The memorandum was put in the embassy post box. The protest lasted for an hour and was concluded with the singing of the Tibetan national anthem once again and a prayer for world peace.
The group later joined the main gathering at Shinjuku Park from where the actual march took place. Nearly a hundred Japanese and Tibetans gathered at the park.
Tibetans demonstrating before the Chinese
Embassy in Tokyo
Mr. Kubo Takeshi, Chairman of Tibet Support Network Japan presided over the gathering and spoke on the importance of Tibetan issue and world peace. He stressed on the need for Chinese authorities to take this seriously and consider the peaceful approach of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Mr. Makino Seishu, Representative of Japanese Parliamentary Group for Tibet, welcomed the gathering and said that the Tibetan struggle is not the problem of Tibetans only, it is an issue related to the peace and stability in Asia and the world. He called upon Chinese communist leaders to open China for peace, democracy and freedom. He said that however powerful China may be, with its belligerent and bully attitude, China couldn't win love and respect of the world.
The march started from Shinjuku Park with great fervor, raising slogans and calling upon China to respect Human rights, religious freedom and genuine autonomy in Tibet. They also called upon the UNO to pay attention to the issue of Tibet. Some taken away with emotion, called for `Free Tibet` and `China get out of Tibet`. The march passed through the central street of Shinjuku, one of the busiest cities in Tokyo. Many passer by stopped to see the march and some raised their caps and hands to show their solidarity.
At the end of the march before the Shinjuku
On the day, Shinjuku Street saw a very colorful street demonstration with the people clad in Tibetan outfits, many putting on caps with the design of the Tibetan flag. Some local media also came to cover the event.
When asked about the demonstration to an elderly passerby, he said that the presence of many Japanese youngsters carrying Tibetan national flags and the cry for `Free Tibet` echoing in the streets of Tokyo is a rare sight, but for the Chinese authorities it is a warning that the Japanese public are not silent about Tibet`.
Many Japanese youngsters expressed relief and happiness for being able to participate in the march and expressed their support in every possible manner. They proposed more interaction between Tibetan and Japanese for better understanding and cooperative effort to pressure Chinese authorities to free Tibet.
The march concluded at Shinjuku Kumin Kaikan, Shinjuku Public Hall where a get together was organized. Mr. Kubo and Tibetan community leader thanked the participants and spoke about the forth-coming Tibetan Olympic Torch relay event on 16th March in Tokyo. Many participants enthusiastically endorsed the event and called upon everyone to participate in the Tibetan Olympic Torch relay.