HK$700,000 bail money sought for Nanjing massacre activists charged in Japan for protesting at shrine

Two Hong Kong activists detained and charged in Japan for protesting at a shrine will need HK$700,000 for bail money, according to the group to which the pair belongs.

Activists Alex Kwok Siu-kit and Yim Man-wa were detained last month in Japan following a protest at Tokyo’s Yasukuni Shrine.

昨天12月11日,南京大屠殺81週年前夕,保釣行動委員會派出兩名成員,郭紹傑(負責行動)和嚴敏華(負責拍攝),到日本東京靖國神社進行抗議行動,抗議日軍在八十一年前十二月十三日在南京進行大屠殺及日本政府至今還未有就此事向受害人道歉賠償。兩人於今天早上 6時30分在供奉甲級戰犯靖國神社門前,焚毀了寫上甲級戰犯東條英機的神主牌道具,並展示「毋忘南京大屠殺」橫額, 同時高喊「打倒日本軍國主義 」口號;及後兩人被日本人員帶走 ,情況在尚在了解中。保釣行動委員會

Posted by 保釣行動委員會 on Tuesday, 11 December 2018

In a video shot by Yim, Kwok held a banner demanding Japan take responsibility for the Nanjing massacre, and lit a prop spirit tablet of Tojo Hideki – a general of the Imperial Japanese Army, whose spirit is honoured at the shrine.

The fire was quickly extinguished, with no reports of any damage or injuries. Kwok and Yim were then arrested, and subsequently charged with trespassing.  They could be held in Japan until their potential trial in February.

Both are members of Hong Kong-based activist group Action Committee for Defending the Diaoyu Islands. The group asserts Chinese sovereignty over the uninhabited, Japanese-controlled islands – also known as the Senkaku Islands.

Bull Tsang, convener of the Action Committee, said on Saturday that each will need to hand in five million Japanese Yen – around HK$350,000 each – for bail, citing the pair’s lawyer. They also need a local Japanese person to act as personal surety.

But Tsang said the Action Committee only has around HK$70,000 in funds, and is asking for donations.

“We are pessimistic and are experiencing headaches, but we are trying to secure the funds,” he said.

Tsang said that even if Kwok and Yim are released on bail, they will not be allowed to leave Japan until the hearing for the case finishes around early April.

Yim Man-wa

Yim Man-wa. File Photo:

Kwok’s daughter and Yim’s mother arrived in Tokyo on Saturday morning, accompanied by a Hong Kong Immigration Department officer, in an attempt to visit them in detention.

“I am furious that Japan has lengthened their detention and stalled in filing their prosecution. I hope the Immigration Department can contact the Chinese [embassy] and rescue them,” Kwok’s daughter said.

According to the Action Committee’s Vice-Chair Au Pak-kuen, Kwok’s daughter and Yim’s mother were held at the Narita International Airport for questioning for three hours, while their belongings were being checked thoroughly.

Yim Man-wa mother Alex Kwok daughter

Yim Man-wa’s mother and Alex Kwok’s daughter. Photo: TVB Screenshot.

“They were making a verbal promise that they will not disrupt public security in Japan, and asked to sign papers promising that they will not participate in [anti-Japan] actions,” Au said.

Kwok’s daughter and Yim’s mother then met with a Japanese volunteer lawyer, accompanied by officers of the Chinese embassy and the Hong Kong Immigration Department, Au said.

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