Hundreds demonstrate in Tokyo against junta

Kyodo News

An estimated 700 Myanmarese and Japanese staged a march Sunday in Tokyo to protest the Myanmar junta’s crackdown on prodemocracy demonstrations.

Shouting demands that the military government stop the violence and free detained prodemocracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, the demonstrators marched for about an hour toward the Myanmar Embassy.

Some of the marchers held photos of Kenji Nagai, the Japanese journalist who was shot dead Thursday while covering a demonstration in Yangon.

Participants, some wearing ethnic Myanmar clothing, demanded that the Japanese government and the United Nations put pressure on the junta.

“The Myanmar people are poor and have hardships even about eating,” said a Myanmar Buddhist monk who lives in Japan. “We feel it is very regrettable that monks and others have been arrested and subjected to violence. We would like to appeal to the world so that they will be freed early.”

A gathering was held in front of the Myanmar Embassy in Shinagawa Ward in the evening to mourn those slain in the demonstrations in Myanmar.

Participants held candles and offered a moment of silent prayer.

Elsewhere in Tokyo, about 20 Myanmar residents of Japan started a 48-hour hunger strike in front of United Nations University in Shibuya Ward, demanding that the U.N. Security Council put pressure on the Myanmar junta.