Chinese Protest Japanese Prime Minister’s Visit to NY
Several hundred Chinese, who support China’s claim to the Diaoyu Islands [known as Senkaku Islands in Japan], protested last week in front of the Consulate General of Japan in Midtown Manhattan against Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s visit to the United States.
They shouted slogans like, “Oppose the revival of Japanese imperialism” and “Diaoyu Islands belong to China.”
Howard Shiang, whose father fought against the Japanese military, spoke about the Japanese government’s crimes against China during World War II. New York State Assemblyman Charles Lavine (D–Nassau County) also joined the protest, denouncing the atrocity committed by Japan against hundreds of thousands of Asian “comfort women.”
Jiang Hong Fa, the chair of the New York Association for Peaceful Reunification of China and a pro-Diaoyu activist, said that the prime minister’s visit to the U.S. is intended to draw attention to the Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security between the United States and Japan and apply it to the Diaoyu Islands.
Abe wants to modify the treaty, renaming Japan’s self-defense forces into a “national defense force,” indicating a sign of the revival of Japanese imperialism, said Hong Fa, adding that the protesters were not against the Japanese people, who many also want peace.
Lin Sing Association President James Wong said he witnessed the Japanese invasion of China, which included eight years of war. Abe denies both his intent to change history and Japan’s atrocities during World War II, said Wong.
Shiang showed photographs of his father, who he said was killed in Shanghai for protecting his country, when he was just four years old. His mother later joined an organization that protected children during the war. As someone who witnessed this history personally, Shiang urged everyone to contain Japan’s efforts to revive its military.
Other participants included leaders and members from the Fukien Benevolent Association of America, the United Fujianese American Association, Changle Association, Fujian Women and Friends Coalition, Three Mountain Center, Fujian Houyu Association, the American Chinese Commerce Association and the Fujian Chamber of Commerce.
Assemblyman Lavine said that from 1931 to the end of World War II, more than 400,000 Asian women were forced to be “comfort women.” Most of them were from Korea, China, and the Philippines.
He supports a resolution to build a New York memorial in Nassau County to honor the women who were forced into sexual slavery by Japan’s Imperial Army. Because of this resolution, he has received many emails from Japan asking him to change his mind.
Xian Fong Cheng brought his 7-year-old son to the February 19 protest. Cheng said that while he doesn’t want to pass hatred on to the next generation, he wants them to know their history, especially those who were born in the United States. They must know what happened in their parents’ country.