A Japanese Practitioner's Harrowing Trip to Beijing
My name is Kobayasi Hideyuki, age 20. I have been practicing Falun Dafa in Japan for one and a half years. After the Taiwan experience-sharing conference concluded, I returned to Japan wanting to know the true situation for those Falun Dafa practitioners who petitioned at Tiananmen Square. I left the very next day for Tianjin City via ferry. Why did I travel by boat? Because procuring a visa only takes a day this way while traveling by plane requires a month or so. Furthermore, the Chinese embassy in Japan knows that I am a practitioner and they may not grant me a visa.
It was very cold when I arrived in Tianjin on December 31. I greeted the new century while staying at a nearby hotel. Early the next morning, I went to Beijing and lodged in a hotel near the train station. I went to Tiananmen Square on five out of the total eight days that I stayed there, seeing practitioners peacefully petition for Falun Dafa. On New Year's Day, I saw more than twenty practitioners arrested right before my very eyes. I witnessed one female Dafa practitioner strangled by the neck as well as the beating and cursing of seven male practitioners all of whom were forced into six police vans, which spirited them away. Some nearby practitioners chanted: "Falun Dafa is good" and were instantly removed from the scene by undercover agents. Not knowing how they would be tortured, I felt a great pain in my heart. With their very lives, they were validating Dafa while I was only standing by watching. I truly felt helpless and sad, with tears streaming down my face. I left the square, returning the next day with a video camera. I know that it was the only thing I was capable of doing. On the third day I also recorded what happened on the square with a camera hidden in a bag. While witnessing the arrests of practitioners, my heart was wounded beyond description. The extent of my sadness is hard to imagine unless one had been at the scene.
The day before I went to Tiananmen to validate Dafa, some staff at the hotel reported to the police on my presence without my knowledge and I realized someone may have been following me since I checked in. I counted seven undercover agents at the hotel who asked me, in Japanese, "Do you have the book?" I instantly realized that they were asking for the Japanese version of the book "Zhuan Falun." Having no way to hide the book I took it out and showed it to them. The police then asked, "Are you still practicing Falun Gong?" "Yes!" I immediately answered. As a result, they interrogated me for three hours. One of them said it was illegal to practice Falun Gong in China and that it was like ... [phrase insulting to Dafa omitted.] Instantly expressing my disagreement, I told them how good Falun Gong is, which made them laugh. Their expressions seemed to say that they could not understand how a Japanese national could be so young and foolish so as to believe so strongly in Falun Gong. In conclusion, they asked me, "Do you have any more to say?" I said: "If you would like to learn Falun Dafa, I would bring the book to you again." At this, they sneered at me and confiscated my book, the articles by Master Li I was carrying, my passport and my return ticket. I was confined inside the hotel.
There was one Japanese employee at the hotel. He was surprised that, simply because I was a Falun Gong practitioner, I would be confined and not allowed to leave. He wanted to help me but did not have a way. I immediately contacted the Japanese embassy and informed them of my confinement.
The police said that I had broken a Chinese law regarding the entrance of a foreigner to China, basing all their accusations on the mere fact that I was a Falun Dafa practitioner. When the Beijing police told me to leave China as soon as possible, I asked them to help me return to Japan. I thought that was to be my first and only trip to China.
The next day, policemen from the Chongwen district and two other undercover agents escorted me to Tianjin. They would not allow me to contact the Japanese embassy during the trip. They forcefully stopped me from using the phone by confiscating my calling card while saying, "No, no!" in Japanese. While being escorted to the Beijing train station, I thought that my trip had been futile so I unfurled a banner that I had hidden which said, "Falun Dafa is the Righteous Law!" Holding the banner up high with both hands, I shouted: "Falun Dafa is good!" When I finished with this I shouted, "Goodbye, China!." All the people at the station, as well as the policemen, were stunned. They yelled at me, "Hurry up and Go! What are you shouting for?"
As I sat in the train, weeping, I thought: "Teacher, I am sorry that that was all I could do." I felt ashamed. When I dined with the police escorting me, I noticed that they ordered many drinks and dinners. This surprised me as I couldn't fathom where they had gotten the money. I wanted to pay for my own meal but they said, "No. You only had a Coke." Since this reminded me of a similar event on the previous day, I surmised that they were paying for all the dining expenses under the heading of "Coke." The total sum, including transportation, rental cars, meals, etc. would amount to hundreds of Yuan (the monthly income of an average worker in China is roughly 500 yuan/by translator). Why would they want to waste so much money? This was shocking to me. Upon arrival in Tianjin, I was confined to a room at the Victory Hotel and watched around the clock. Though I kept trying to introduce Falun Dafa to them, they would not listen, which saddened me. We went to the port the next morning. I parted from them while saying, in Chinese, "Falun Dafa is good." They answered. "OK, OK. Hurry up and go." I knew that my adventure had ended. The customs officer asked me why my visa had been terminated. Speaking Chinese, I told him that it was because I was a Falun Dafa practitioner. On the ship, one gentleman asked me if I practiced Falun Gong. He then told me, "We were asked three times if we practiced Falun Gong and if we had Falun Gong books. I was very surprised at this."
A Japanese practitioner
January 10, 2001.