Holding white pieces of paper, placards, flowers and LED candles, demonstrators gathered outside JR Shinjuku Station on Wednesday night in solidarity with anti-lockdown protests across China.

Dissent in China has been rare and criticism tightly controlled, especially since President Xi Jinping came to power a decade ago. But after a fire at an apartment block last week killed at least 10 people in Urumqi, the capital of the far western Xinjiang region, an outpouring of grief and criticism that began online spread onto the streets amid concerns strict lockdown measures had hampered rescue efforts.

In subsequent days, some demonstrators have called for greater freedoms and for Xi to step down.