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].


  • stop treating mudering Tibetan thugs as heros

    Please stop that

  • jing

    tibetans are our brothers and friends, one of our family member. we may have words with each other at home sometimes but that’s none of others business. there are persons want to hurt others for their own interests in every counries, but they could not represent all the nations.

    some JAPANESE are reluctant to see a stronger china, so they welcome and support any forces that could weaken the power of china. read the news and analye it. do you think what you have read from bbc and cnn is the wholesome of the facts?

  • jing

    some tibetans saved hans life from the hands of mobs. they are good. not all the tibetans are seperatists.we love peace and the police and army has the right to keep orders and protect citizens from riots and dangers

  • ross

    So, to all the chinese posters here, and there are many answer this…

    Japan invades China in 1937-1945 and it must leave, appologise and China constantly screams over the death, rape, destruction that was caused.

    China invades Tibet in 1950 and completely destroys Tibet in the 1960s, but thats OK?? You are actually helping tibet by destroying it?

    So japan must appologise and are devils forever? But Chinese invading, destroying and killing in Tibet is OK?

    Your government is telling you a complete load of lies. Your TV is completely fake. Nothing appears on your internet or TV unless your government says it can. The same government that killed thousands during Tianamen is killing again in Tibet. Are you to afraid to understand this? Or do you really know this but cant admit it and as long as you make money who cares????

    Time to wake up China. If you want to be an important country you have to act in a decent way, to your own people and the rest of the world.

  • topden

    no matter what, chinese cannot hold and supress the truth no longer, no matter how hard they try, even if u barr the world medias from entering in to tibet, the truths gonna surface, and u will see it with ur own eyes.. u cannot fool the world any longer.. it time for u bring changes in ur system against violation of human rights in tibet.. Tibet/;s gonna be free FREE TIBET,, CHINESE GET THE HELL OUT OF TIBET.!!

  • xia

    to ross
    we know what you think about on these topics. that’s what you are taught about. but i couldnt agree with you even i read all these story and news on your media.(r u sure the data you learn is true and fair? ) if your tv say the truth all the time, then there were no 911 or iraqi war any more.

    tibet is one part of china, legally. the most important thing is that we now live a peaceful life in this country and we try to protect the peace and what’s more, to live a better life.

    to some foreigners, it’s easy for you to stay aside and say something without using your brain.but to us, our people were beaten and dead,our store burnt down,our normal life changed,land and history heritage destroyed.do you care about? how much do you know about china ?

    we respect tibetan friends and their religion, it’s 21st century.the world is changeing all the time.

    that japan invade china and other asian countries has nothing to compare with the tibet issue. their invasion have never been legalized and what they’ve done couldnt be discribed as humanbeings. but now that japan is a friend and servant of america. so history is allowed to be forgotten on the book and media and guity be forgive by western country.

  • Ruoxi

    How come you dare to compare China’ s entering Tibet in 1950s to Japan’s invading China? Have you learned about history? Tibet was part of China at that time, and what Chinese government did is to maintain its own land. Did you mean China was supposed to be part of Japan at 1930s and that was why japan invaded China? That’s totally nonsense.The same government killed thousands in 1989? Did you find any evidence to prove that? Our government and TV is fake? have you ever been to our country ? have you ever been to Tibet? If the answer is no, please shut up.

  • chan

    oh,pls,pls note that tibet has been right there on the map on republic of china(taiwan) for like more than 80 yrs since it set up.tibet has been part of china since 18th century,and the qing dynasty had also got its military in tibet!!!
    take your time and have a visit to tibet to have a vision of your own.

  • hunghiu

    I’ll tell ross that Tibet be a part of China for hundreds years and there no invading in 1950.Do not speak if you are responsible.Pepole who never learn from the history will take the same mistake. I used to thougnt Japanese would avoid militarism. It is fantasy.

  • Jack

    On Taiwan, and it’s connection to Tibet:

    It’s not really applicable to Taiwan independence. Unlike Tibet, Taiwan has a formidable military and has full control of it’s own territory. Also unlike Tibet, it is modernized, mobile phones and high speed internet are ubiquitous.

    Whether one agrees with China’s irredentist views or Taiwan’s independent leanings, any attempt at pacification by the PLA in an invasion causing event (laid out by the ’05 Secession Law) will be extremely difficult, if not impossible. China would more likely destroy most of Taiwan’s infrastructure, permanently ostracize local Taiwan residents, or quite possibly both.

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