Japanese police released Wuer Kaixi, one of the Chinese pro-democracy student leaders during the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre, on Sunday, two days after arresting him on suspicion of trespassing on the premises of the Chinese Embassy in Tokyo.
Wuer, 42, was released by the Tokyo police as there was no fear he would escape or destroy evidence, his lawyers said, adding he will continue to respond to questioning by authorities.
Wuer said after his release, “I tried to enter the embassy for the purpose of turning myself in. I wanted to return to China and prove my innocence in court. I have not given up my hope of returning (to China).”
He also told reporters he wanted to hold talks with Chinese authorities for his repatriation, saying he tried last Thursday to fly out of Narita airport to Beijing, but the airline refused to let him board the plane.
Wuer was arrested Friday, the 21st anniversary of Beijing’s bloody crackdown on thousands of pro-democracy protesters, after he tried to forcibly enter the embassy premises in Minato Ward despite being stopped by riot police who were on guard.
He was one of the best-known student leaders of the 1989 pro-democracy protests and is No. 2 on Beijing’s most-wanted list. He fled China after the violence broke out and eventually settled in Taiwan, where he works as an investment banker.
China appears to be unwilling to allow Wuer to return to the country for concerns that his repatriation may rekindle people’s attention on the Tiananmen Square incident both at home and internationally.