National

Hong Kong extradition opponents in Osaka protest legislation ahead of G20, asking for U.K. and U.S. help

by Eric Johnston

Staff Writer

About 40 Hong Kong residents and Japanese gathered Thursday evening in central Osaka to protest extradition legislation that would allow Hong Kong residents to be sent to mainland China to face trial.

The demonstration came on the eve of the Group of 20 summit, which will include a closely watched meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping. It also came as protests in Hong Kong continued Wednesday, with activists calling on world leaders to take up the extradition legislation issue with Xi.

China has said it will not allow such discussions in Osaka, but the U.S. has suggested the issue could be raised.

Protesters in front of Osaka’s Namba Station held signs that said in English, “Save Hong Kong” and “President Trump, please liberate Hong Kong.” One of the leaders, a resident of the former British colony who identified himself only as “A.C.,” read out a statement in English to the crowd as a light rain poured down.

“In light of Hong Kong’s current circumstances and possible humanitarian threat, we hereby urgently plead for the government and Parliament of the United Kingdom, out of conscience and moral responsibility, to reassess the validity of the Sino-British Joint Declaration and for the United States Congress to pass the ‘Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act’ as soon as possible, and for nations around the world to protect the safety of our citizens,” he said.

The protest was organized over social media and was not sponsored by any particular established group.

The demonstrators added they had no plans for further demonstrations during the G20 summit, which concludes Saturday.