People in Yokohama’s Chinatown, the largest Chinese community in Japan, and elsewhere around the country grieved over the death Feb. 20 of Deng Xiaoping.

At the Yokohama Yamate Chinese School, which is attended by children of Chinese merchants, teachers discussed with students Deng’s death and his accomplishments. Among them was the opening of China to the outside and guiding the nation into a market economy.

Jin Miying, an 11-year-old student, said she learned about Deng’s death from the TV morning news. “My parents were worried about what would happen to China in the future,” she said. “I feel sad, too.” The Yokohama Chinese Merchants Association flew the Chinese flag at half-staff.

Association Chairman Ryuo Haengung expressed his condolences at a press conference. “Mr. Deng led the most tumultuous life as a Chinese leader,” Ryuo said. “His accomplishments in driving China into the right direction will never be forgotten. I cannot forget how he enthusiastically talked about transforming China into a modernized nation,” he said.

A leader of the Taiwanese Chinese community in Yokohama expressed hope that Beijing’s policies will remain intact. “No matter who assumes power in mainland China, I hope Mr. Deng’s policies will be maintained,” said Jin Jiwei, secretary general at the Chinese Assembly Hall.

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