6th May 2008: Tibet supporters in Japan held a gathering titled “SAVE TIBET” in Tokyo. It was done to coincide with the Chinese President Hu Jintao`s visit to Tokyo on the day. Objective of the gathering was to send message to Hu Jintao that although Japan welcome his visit, Japanese people have not forgotten Tibet and that China should stop suppressing and killing innocent people in Tibet.
Nihon Seinen Kaikan Hall in Tokyo with capacity of 1300 people was fully packed on the day. The event started a 1 pm. Mr. Seishu Makino, organizer of SAVE TIBET NETWORK greeted the crowd and explained the objective of Save-Tibet movement; he called upon all the people to fight against injustice being perpetrated by the communist regime in Tibet and other parts of China. Mr.Karma Chopel, Speaker of Tibetan Parliament in exile was the chief speaker. He thanked the crowd for their support and dwelt upon the current situation in Tibet and need for international intervention to resolve Tibetan issue. Mr.Yukio Edano, the representative of Japan’s Parliament member for Tibet in his speech requested the people for more support and initiative to help the Tibetan brothers and sisters in Tibet. Dolma Tsering, a Tibetan woman, and a Japan’s first non-Japanese licensed welfare worker, spoke to the gathering.
A short video introducing brief history of Tibet since 1950s and His Holiness’s message was shown. Representative from Japan Amnesty member, Japanese Buddhist monks, and Shinto priests also made speeches. Kalden Obara, a leader of Tibetan community in Japan delivered speech on behalf of Tibetans.
Petitions and signature campaign numbering more than 30,000 received from all parts of Japan and abroad were announced. The petition request for immediate actions to alleviate the sufferings of the people arrested and besieged in Tibet by providing necessary food, water and medical care, as well as release thousands of innocent Tibetans.
People from Inner Mongol, Uighur, Taiwan as well as a Chinese activist for democratization of China and the Tinanmen square victims also made their representation. Later the Tibetans and Japanese sang Tibetan uprising song Longsho which created a great impact on the all those gathered for the event.
Among those present, some had tears on their eyes; some said it was their first time to know about what happened and happening in Tibet, Uighur, Inner Mongol and other regions. The hall was overwhelmed with feeling of solidarity and support.
After the gathering at the hall, people headed for the Park, from where the demonstration-march begun. Another few thousands of people waiting outside the hall and the Park joined the demonstration. The march passed through Omote-Sando street, which is one of the most fashionable high street in Tokyo and reached Yoyogi park. It was some two kilometers walk-course. On the open-air stage in the Park, Tibetans lined up and raised slogans. Thousands of people repeated “Free Tibet” and other slogans endlessly with great fervor.
In the evening, “Candle Lighting Vigil” was observed to pray for the Tibetans and Chinese who were killed in Tibet at Yoyogi Koen. Tibetan and Japanese recited Avaloketesvara mantra and Dolma. The vigil was observed till 8 pm.
The event was greatly covered by domestic as well as international medias. How much care the Japanese government may have taken not to spoil the Hu Jintao`s visit, Japanese supporters of Tibet have been able to convey to Hu that Japanese people are watching and China should host Olympics with due respect to the spirit of Olympics, i.e. peace, freedom and harmony.
May 6th, Demonstraton
May 6th, Gathering