Handout: Press Conference of Protesters against the Anti-China Rally on Oct.16
4:00 p.m., October 22, 2010
Water Plaza (Mizu no mae Hiroba), Shinjuku Central Park
1. Protesters' Nationality Mistakenly Reported
No Hate Speech Action (ヘイトスピーチに反対する会) protested against the Anti-China Demonstration on October 16, trying to interrupt their march by sitting in, holding a banner and signs against Japanese colonialism and persecution of the Chinese population in Japan, as a number of international news organizations reported, including Al Jazeerra, AFP, PanOrient News, Iran Daily, Press TV, EpochTimes, euronews, Straits Times and Reuters.
Most of the coverage, however, described the two protesters as "Chinese men." While our organization is open to people of any nationality, this is simply untrue. Our two protesters present at that time are actually Japanese citizens. We demand correction of the previous coverage for the following reasons.
2. Organizer and Participants of the Oct.16 Demonstration Racists
It may have appeared that the participants of the Oct.16 demonstration were trying to denounce just the Chinese government or its Embassy. In fact, however, they are genuine racists. The organizer of the demonstration, Ganbare-Nippon! National Committee (頑張れ日本！ 全国行動委員会), regularly spreads racist demagogy. One of their fliers claims that the ordinary Chinese population in Japan will turn the society into a state of chaos under the instruction of the Chinese Communist Party, sabotaging nuclear power plants, looting properties, putting poison into drinking water, and placing fire in Japan. These lies are reminiscent of the massacre of Korean residents around Tokyo by the Japanese police and ordinary citizens soon after the Great Kanto earthquake in 1923, when similar demagogy was employed. The organizers of the Oct.16 event are not only spreading lies but also inciting persecution of the Chinese population in Japan, and the participants sympathize with them.
As it happened, it was the racist demonstrators who first tried to insult the two protesters by calling them Chinese. While our two protesters take no offence whatsoever when called Chinese, we wonder how the international press chose to described us so without any proof in their coverage. Indeed, it can spread Japanese racist prejudice against Chinese.
3. Ongoing Dispute on Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands Not a Clash of Two Nationalisms but a Continuation of Japanese Colonialism
The media outside Asia tend to assume that the ongoing dispute on Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands is an example of a clash of two nationalisms, and that protesters against an Anti-China demonstration by the Japanese right should therefore likely be Chinese. If one consults modern Asian history, however, this is incorrect as Japan invaded the Islands in 1895 out of colonialist ambition. The Empire was defeated in 1945, but Japan still insists on their territorial rights, which is another example of the continuation of its colonialism. Hence, this is not about loyalty to one’s nation but about ending Japanese colonialism; it is the responsibility of the Japanese civil society, which consists of the Japanese and the non-Japanese.
4. Illegal Detention of the Protesters by the Police
Some news coverage stated the protesters were arrested or taken away by the police "for their own safety," or they were "immediately released," which is also mistaken. Soon after their intervention, the protesters were pushed into police cars and taken to a police station (Azabu Station) by physical force against their will; their repeated unequivocal refusal was simply ignored. Police however claimed it was not an "arrest" but a voluntary questioning. They thus took the protesters with no legal justification. The two protesters were released after about two hours, but one had his belt torn off and the other had bruises on his arms when they forcibly pushed into cars. If it was true that the police took the protesters away "for their own safety," then why did they not stop the violent right wing rally participants and leave the protesters alone?