July 10. Sankei Shimbun [Sankei News] reported from Shimane, Japan. Yoko Kaneko, 38, from Niigata County,áis a Falun Gong practitioner and Chinese national who is married to a Japanese citizen. In May 2002 she was detained by Chinese authorities in Bejing for distributing materials that document the facts of the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners in China. Because she was unlawfully sentenced to 18 months in a forced labor camp, members of the Yoko Kaneko Rescue Committee visited the Shimane County Council on July 9 and submitted an appeal letter to Councilor Sumida Nobuyoshi and the council asking for their help in securing Ms. Kaneko's earliest possible release.

The Yoko Kaneko Rescue Committee (contact person: Kitajima Mitsuru) has started a nationwide rescue campaign, visiting various prefectures and autonomous regions. Last December, appeal letters were submitted to regional councils detailing Ms. Yoko Kaneko's inhumane treatment in China. In response to the appeal letter, councils in over 90 cities, towns, and villages have passed resolutions calling for Ms. Yoko Kaneko to be released as soon as possible. These resolutions have been sent to the Japanese central government. In addition, over 100,000 signatures have been collected and will soon be submitted to Japan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

July 15, 2003