Japan: Introducing Falun Dafa and Exposing the Persecution at the Eighth Special Olympics in Nagano

The Eighth Special Olympics World Winter Games was held from February 26 to March 5, 2005 in Nagano, Japan. Attendees were 2,600 athletes and coaches from 84 countries and regions. The number of participants is the largest of all Special Olympics. Falun Gong practitioners in Japan took this opportunity to expose the brutal persecution of Falun Gong practitioners in China to the Japanese people and the people attending the Olympics from around the world. The practitioners hoped that people who learned the truth would help call for an end to the persecution.

Based on the "special" characteristics of the Olympics, practitioners especially prepared leaflets focused on the persecution of disabled Falun Gong practitioners who are suffering inhuman persecution for persisting in their belief in "Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance."

Through practitioners' tireless exposure of the persecution, the local police have learned that Falun Gong practitioners are peacefully calling for an end to the persecution. Therefore, the application for permission to hold activities was approved quite smoothly. During the event, the person in charge of the permit approval called practitioners several times to ask how the materials were being distributed, if there were many people who accepted the materials, and if anyone had come to make trouble (referring to the Chinese Embassy). The administrator asked practitioners to let him know immediately if there was such interference or any other problems. An elderly practitioner who had just came from China heard about this and said with a sigh, "Chinese police cannot distinguish right from wrong, and they arrest and beat good people. It is such a contrast here in Japan, where the police are so kind!"

February 25: The Day Before the Opening Ceremony

Five hundred people from across Japan who participated in the Olympic Torch Relay arrived in Nagano one day ahead of the opening ceremony, and held celebration activities at Shanguang Temple. Falun Gong practitioners who had already arrived in Nagano made good use of this opportunity, and many people took the initiative to request truth clarification materials from practitioners. When encountering foreign athletes, practitioners would give them bookmarks with "Falun Dafa is good" in English and say to them, "Falun Dafa is good!" Everyone happily accepted this special gift and sometimes, people had to line up to wait for obtaining one. A foreign visitor had learned about the Chinese Communist party and Jiang's faction's persecution of Falun Gong before coming to Japan, and she ran to the practitioner to get some material. As there was no more material in English, she took one in Japanese, and then ran back to her friends. While looking at photos on the literature, she explained to them about the truth. Even though she did not know Japanese, she described the situation so vividly.

February 26: The Day of the Opening Ceremony

The opening ceremony was held at dusk at a gym in the suburbs of Nagano. There were many people at JR Nagano Station that day. Falun Gong practitioners stood separately in front of the station to distribute a truth clarification newspaper, and most people accepted it. Practitioners felt that the situation has changed quickly, and people have become more and more ready to accept the truth. Before, the Japanese people were reluctant or afraid to accept or read the information about the persecution. This time, many people took the materials and read while walking. Some people especially walked back and asked, "Is it true?" the practitioners then explained the photos depicting tortures used to persecute Falun Gong practitioners and told them that these were only the tip of the iceberg, and that the real situation of persecution against Falun Gong practitioners in China is even more severe. The listeners were surprised at hearing all this. They could not imagine that in the 21st Century, the authorities of their neighbouring country are so savage and inhumane.

People who learned about the truth had positive responses. Some said, "Keep it up." Others said, "The Chinese Communist party is no different from the former Soviet Union. They cannot sustain themselves much longer." Other people said, "It is very cold, and the wind is strong; be sure to take care of your health." An elderly woman learned about the truth and could not help saying, "Too cruel, but many people still do not know; you must give materials to them one by one and let more people know about the persecution!"

A little girl ran to us and asked, "Where can I donate money?" The practitioners explained to her, "We only want everyone to learn about the persecution. We hope you will tell more people about the persecution and you have already helped us by doing so. We don't accept money." She nodded and walked away with satisfaction. We believe that she will explain the facts to her friends and relatives.

March 5: The Closing Ceremony

The closing ceremony was held in the afternoon of March 5. In the morning, Falun Gong practitioners distributed materials on the busy streets. A practitioner met a Japanese man, who is the owner of the building where practitioners distributed materials. He was very talkative. He took the materials and took a look at it and then began talking about his opinion on China. When the practitioners told him about the persecution, he was very surprised because what he was hearing was quite different from what he had learned previously, but he obviously believed what the practitioner told him. They talked over two hours. The practitioner told him, "We came to clarify the truth in the hopes of stopping the persecution of Falun Gong as soon as possible. We did not come for the sake of money. The informational materials were printed with practitioners' own money." Upon hearing this, the man wanted to give his money to the practitioner. The practitioner told him clearly, "I don't want money, if you want to help us, let more people learn about the persecution." The gentleman complied happily. He said, "I've noticed that you are a different group of Chinese people. Very noble." As he was on his way to attend the closing ceremony, they could not talk in further detail. He left his name card and also asked for the practitioner's name card, and said that he would like to find an opportunity to talk in more detail with the practitioner.

The practitioners hurriedly ran to the gym where the closing ceremony was held, after all the people had entered. There was still some time before the closing ceremony was over, and practitioners went to nearby residential buildings to distribute information. As soon as the practitioners finished distributing the materials, people attending the closing ceremony began coming out of the gym. Most people accepted our materials with a smile. Some expressed that they had taken the materials before. One woman said, "I saw your Falun Dafa in Houston. You're great."

March 6: Conclusion

The Special Olympics was over. As today is the weekend, we distributed leaflets for a whole day. In the afternoon, before we finished the day's work, a girl with golden hair and green eyes suddenly walked up to us and spoke in not quite fluent Japanese that she wanted to learn Falun Gong. Her family is near Vancouver, Canada, and she had learned about Falun Gong before coming to Japan, but she hadn't have time to learn it then. She didn't expect that she would come across Falun Dafa here in Japan. She is attending school at a small town near Nagano. Practitioners and she exchanged contact numbers and the practitioners will go to teach her the exercises.

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