By Tess Langbroek
Ordinary Japanese have taken to the streets to join Uyghurs in their protests against the Uyghur genocide. The Manga-style testimony booklets created by Shimizu Tomomi about Uyghur victims of Chinese concentration camps have become powerful tools in spreading awareness about the atrocities committed by China.
A rally titled ‘What happened to me’ was held on in downtown Osaka on April 2, to protest China’s atrocities. The demonstrators handed out booklets with the same name. About twenty Uyghurs living in Japan and local councillors participated in the protest. They informed the passers-by about what is happening to Uyghurs, The Sankei News reports.
Several local politicians took part in the demonstration.
China is extra-judicially holding an estimated three million Uyghurs in internment camps that it labels as vocational training. According to witness testimonies, forced abortions, sterilizations, rapes, and coerced labour are commonplace.
Takashi Nagao, one of the protestors and a former member of the House of Representatives who is actively working on the Uyghur issue, said, “The Chinese Communist Party is trying to erase Uyghurs and Uyghur culture.
Shiori Soeda, a member of the Sennan City Council, and the chair of the Public Relations Planning Committee to support Uighurs said: ‘This was the second street protest in front of Osaka Namba Takashimaya since August last year. The number of participants in these street protests is increasing’. At the beginning of each rally, we always sing the Japanese National Anthem and the anthem of the nation of East Turkistan. The flags of both countries are fluttering beautifully in the wind.’
List of participating politicians:
General Affairs Chairman Shoko Noda (Higashi Osaka City Council)
Vice-Chairman of the Petition Response Standing Committee, Ryohei Nishikawa (Sakai City Council), Public Relations Planning Committee Chairman, Shiori Soeda (Sennan City Council), Hikaru Nishimura (Osaka Prefectural Assembly), Junichi Sakamoto (Izumi City Assembly), Hidehisa Hiramoto (Kameoka City Assembly), Yoshinori Taguchi (Hirakata City Assembly), Osamu Kato (Hirakata City Assembly), Yuma Arisawa (Suita City Assembly), Kenji Okabayashi (Kishiwada City Assembly), Takashi Nagao (former member of the House of Representatives), and Shigechika (LDP Hirakata branch manager).