Japan: Support for Tibet

As fires rage on in the streets of Lhasa, bloggers in another part of the world have been anxiously following developments in Tibet with open eyes and open ears. Over the weekend, as mainstream media [ja] in Japan presented what many criticized as toned-down coverage of ongoing events in Lhasa, the word “Tibet” climbed to number one on Japanese blog search engines with thousands of entries largely in support of the uprising. Meanwhile on the streets, groups of the Tibet Support Network Japan (TSNJ), members of the Tibetan community and other supporters hit the streets on March 8th to celebrate the anniversary of the Tibetan uprising in March, 1959, and a week later on March 16th to demonstrate at Tokyo's Yoyogi park.

As events in Tibet have escalated over the past few days, these and other groups have come together to bring out the message. The TSNJ has put together a blog where they post news updates and messages in Japanese and English. Well-known podcaster [ja], DJ and blogger Morley Robertson has brought attention to Tibet with his project Tibetronica, and over the last few days his listeners have been getting involved through a project called Rave Tibet. [ja] One of the contributions is an embeddable “Tibet Clock” [ja] which, in addition to telling the time, also streams video content about Tibet. Another listener yayoi yayoyi sent in the following map of China:

Free Tibet Free Turkistan - by Yayoi

Listener 筮竹 submitted this skateboard:

Tibet skateboard

Elsewhere in blogs, many were critical of politicians and the mass media for not drawing enough attention to the uprising in Tibet. Blogger yula22 writes:



This is what I want to say to the politicians, mass media, and every kind of organization and group who cry every day for “human rights”.

These people, who shut up and let the human rights oppression against Tibetans go on, what these people are [talking about] is nothing but “imitation” human rights.

Blogger 酔夢ing Voice points the finger squarely at the Japanese media:


While in Shina [China] the Tibetan protests and Chinese oppression are big news, in Japan on NHK's early morning news there is only a token bare minimum of information being transmitted. Newspapers are transmitting [the information] on the web, but TV news, whose speed is essential, has been terrible on this — it is remarkable how much TV coverage has deteriorated. On top of this, while NHK news is transmitting propaganda from Xinhua that directly criticizes the 14th Dalai Lama, they have not reported the statement of the 14th Dalai Lama cautioning China. It seems like, while coverage is critical of Shina [China], at the same time it is also cleverly concealing information about the Tibetan people and the Dalai Lama.

(Note: The word “Shina” (支那) is a derogatory term meaning “China”. NHK is Japan's national broadcaster.)

Blogger and former journalist Hara Junjirou meanwhile considers the nature of the demonstration and questions how long the Chinese government can hold on to Tibet:


In images of the uprising, it is the souvenir stores and hotels of Chinese that have become the target of attack. Incorporating a country with a different history and culture into China's territory is really impossible. Tibetans are not a minority people that need to be given sanctuary. Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, they all declared independence from Russia. It is time now for the Chinese government to also recognize this.

In the way that the Chinese government is treating the demonstration, blogger warabidaniyuukoku sees similarities with the Japanese government:


A large number of spies from the Chinese Communist party were sent to this Tibetan demonstration.
These guys put on a performance and made a disturbance, and the riot police were waiting to slaughter the demonstrators. Copying the tactics of the Japanese army, perhaps?

Many bloggers connected events in Tibet with the independence movement in Taiwan. Blogger para1002n wonders what the effect will be on upcoming Taiwanese elections:


On the 22nd of this month, presidential elections will take place in Taiwan. The uprising in Tibet and the elections in Taiwan will soon join together and come to a head. It is like a threat: if Taiwan tries to declare independence, this is the kind of thing that they will go through. Although the force of the appeal for self-government in Tibet is not directly supporting the elections in Taiwan, through a [common] undercurrent they are induced to join together.

Others proposed a boycott of the Beijing Olympics. Blogger shibaken2 describes the boycott:


I am against participating in Olympics that are in a country that is a communist dictatorship.
Also let's not buy any goods that are manufactured in China.
I hesitate to buy things when I think that children and women were worked like slaves to make them.
Why do other countries flock around this kind of country?

Blogger romery-chan considers the idea but doesn't think it's feasible:



I seriously understand people who want to boycott.
But in a country with more than a billion people, and corporations across the world inflating expectations of an influx of business opportunities, a boycott is impossible.

I wonder, what do people from Taiwan think about this…?

Blogger asu-he wonders about the Olympics as well:


It's warm today and the weather is nice. I feel good.
It feels like it's spring, and it's nice to have some peaceful time.
But then, the newspapers are talking about the “Tibetan uprising in China”.
I wonder, will they really be able to host the Olympics?

Blogger nakahitosi goes as far as to compare the Beijing Olympics to the Berlin Olympics under Hitler:


The Beijing Olympics, more so even than the Berlin Olympics under the Hitler administration, are smeared deep red with the blood of many many people.

Others responded to the blocking of YouTube by the Chinese government. Blogger blue_k_i comments:


It's clear that it's not about “worries over safety”.
It's a measure to block on-the-scene information from flowing overseas.
Then they can crackdown [on people] without being watched.

Finally, one blogger pointed the finger at Japanese peace groups, who they claim do not criticize China enough for human rights abuses:


Japanese peace groups criticize Japan and America, but they don't criticize China at all.
For proof just go to the homepage of peace groups, there is nothing about the massacres and oppression in Tibet.
The Chinese government calls the massacres and oppression the “people's war”, and they have declared war against the Tibetan kingdom and against the Tibetan exile government — do these peace groups not know this?

For more Japanese views: hienkouhou comments on Bjork [ja], negaigoto writes about their experience meeting the Dalai Lama [ja], and blogger Fukushima Kaori (福島香織) gets lots of comments on a piece about why the Olympics should not take place in Beijing [ja].


  • man

    no country will allow separation.

    even Japan.

  • cnn

    It’s easy to blame others.

  • leon

    I don’t know were you all lived, but think of is: if in USA Native Indain go on the street to brun the mall, kill you family and tell you get the hell out what would happen?

  • Kang

    Japanese should shut up, it’s non of your business.

  • ric


    In Canada, Quebec had referendums on independence in 1980 and 1995, and I do believe if they had voted yes we would have sadly but peacefully let them go.

  • i believed in american’s media before,but now ,it really disapponted me; it let me know,there is popularly bias,unfair in US’s media too.their reports also quote out of context,instigate others to hate other contries they don’t like. they can’t be fair in treating others who not with them.obviously..i have to judge more carefully when i read american media reports next time.

  • Tsering


    please tibetan are as human as any other.
    Stop the killings in tibet(human beings, culturals, monuments, tibetan heritage.)

    Tibet was once an independent nation like any other country.

    shame on CHINA.

    Free Tibet.
    go back chinese.
    Free Tibet,
    china out from TIBET.

  • tory, canada

    to ric:

    Unfortunately, things are not that simple in Tibet, there are a lot of Han and Hui have been living there for decades as well, why do they have to leave? It would be a huge disarster if China let these rioters get control of the Tibet, – we’ve already seen what they did on last Friday.

    to Tsering:

    “Tibet was once an independent..”, true, but depends on how much time you look back in history, how about back to Qin dynasty?

    However, this dispute will help no one, only solution for Tibet is everybody in Tibet try living together, happily, if not possible, at least don’t try to kill each other like these rioters did last Friday.

  • parkmount

    We all know how the Chinese Olympics logo is designed now that we saw what happened in Tibet.


  • yan

    Japan really doesn;t have any rights to criticize others.
    They can start to talk only after they admmit that they did less than human things to Asian countries and officially apologize. In addition, stop fish whales without humanity. Feel shame for yourself first.

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