Japan: CIPFG Announces the Successful Conclusion of the Human Rights Torch Relay and "Million Signatures" Campaign

The Coalition to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong (CIPFG) Japan Chapter held a press conference on August 6th, 2008, at the Foreign Reporters' Club. At the press conference, the CIPFG announced a successful conclusion to the Global Human Rights Torch Relay and the 1.35 million signatures collected from 133 countries in the world calling upon China to stop the persecution of Falun Gong. Representatives from CIPFG Japan Chapter later visited the Japanese Olympic Committee and the Chinese Embassy.

On August 6th, 2008, CIPFG held a press conference at the Foreign Reporters' Club in Japan
Ando Kan and CIPFG representatives went to the Japanese Olympic Committee to deliver a letter and relevant reports to the JOC President Tsunekazu Takeda
Ando and CIPFG representatives visited the Japanese Cabinet Office and delivered a petition and relevant materials to the Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda

Successful Conclusion of the Global Human Rights Torch Relay

At the press conference, Ando Kan, vice president of CIPFG Asia, gave a statement announcing that the Human Rights Torch Relay had concluded successfully. The Relay ended in Hong Kong on July 20th, 2008, after being passed through 39 countries and 168 cities around the world.

In Ando's statement, it mentioned the Torch was ignited on August 9th, 2007, in Athens, Greece. During its year-long journey, the international community identified and supported the ideology the Torch represented and received many proclamations from different governments. Political figures, NGOs, athletes, celebrities, and conscientious people from around the world participated in the relay. The purpose of the relay is to condemn the Chinese Communist Party's (CCP) human rights violations and demand improvement, especially in the persecution of Falun Gong, before the Olympics.

The CCP, regardless of the international appeal, intensifies the persecution of Falun Gong and human rights. From December 2007 to the first half of 2008, the Chinese Communist regime arrested at least 8,000 Falun Gong practitioners in 29 provinces. Some of them were killed within several days of arrest, including Yu Zhou, a well-known musician in Beijing.

In the statement, it condemned the International Olympics Committee (IOC) and some western democratic countries for ignoring and exonerating China's crimes against humanity for various interests, or even becoming the CCP's accomplice to trample human rights directly or indirectly.

More than 1.35 Million People Call for an End to the Persecution of Falun Gong

Ando introduced the "Million Signatures" campaign initiated by the CIPFG. The petition was launched in January and by the end of July, 1.35 million signatures were collected from 133 countries. To ensure the authenticity of the signatures, the signatories were asked to include their contact information. Following Taiwan and Australia, Japan collected over 100 thousand signatures. According to Ando, the petition and relevant materials were delivered to the Chair of the IOC.

The Release of "A Guide to China's Labour Camps"

At the press conference, a guide for the Olympic journalists, entitled "Torture Outside the Olympic Village: A Guide to China's Labour Camps" was introduced to the public. The guide contains 22 pages of detailed reports on seven forced labour camps in six cities near Beijing. The camps are: the Tuanhe Forced Labour Camp in Beijing, the Women's Forced Labour Camp in Beijing, the Jianxin Women's Forced Labour Camp in Tianjin, the Masanjia Forced Labour Camp in Shenyang City, the Tilanqiao Prison in Shanghai City, the Qingdao Forced Labour Camp and the Qinhuangdao First Detention Centre.

The guide also describes how guards in the Tuanhe Forced Labour Camp, less than twenty miles away from the Beijing National Stadium, beat Falun Gong practitioners with electric batons, deprive them of sleep, brainwash them and force them to do slave labour under extremely harsh conditions.

The same day, CIPFG also held press conferences in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Malaysia, South Korea, Argentina, Indonesia, France, Belgium, Israel, India, Australia, New Zealand, and Poland.

After the press conference, Ando and representatives from CIPFG went to the JOC and delivered a letter and relevant materials to JOC President Tsunekazu Takeda. Afterwards, the group went to the Chinese Embassy and read a statement calling upon the CCP to end the persecution of Falun Gong. They then put the statement and relevant materials into the mail box of the embassy.

Japanese Cabinet Accepts Materials from CIPFG for the Prime Minister

On the morning on August 7th, Ando and representatives from CIPFG visited the Cabinet Office of Japan. Ando seeks the Japanese government's help to enter China to investigate illegal organ removal from living Falun Gong practitioners in China. Mr. Yamada, received the CIPFG members and listened to the facts of the illegal live organ harvesting from practitioners in China, the purpose of the Human Rights Torch Relay and the "Million Signatures" campaign. Mr. Yamada also agreed to pass on the materials to the Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda.

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