Japanese Falun Dafa practitioner Hiroyoshi Sawa (age 27, Computer Science Engineer) started his trip to China from Kyoto. He boarded an airplane in Osaka heading towards China. His purpose was to clarify the truth about Falun Gong and to prevent the precious Chinese people from being cheated by the hypocrite lie-mongering Chinese media. On the noon of New Year's Day, Hiroyoshi went to Tiananmen Square where there were many tourists. He unfurled a banner that read, "Falun Dafa is Good!" and he yelled out the only Chinese words that he knew, "Falun Dafa is Good!" In less than 5 seconds, he was arrested. The policemen grabbed his spectacles, leather belt and watch. After Hiroyoshi was escorted to a prison, police beat him several times, forcefully took pictures of him, took off his Falun Dafa T-shirt and confiscated all his Falun Gong books and materials. Hiroyoshi was locked up in a cell with just a bed from 2:00 p.m. on New Year's Day until 6:00 a.m. the next day, and without water or food. In the cell, whenever he fell asleep or wanted to practice the Falun Gong exercises, the police would come in and beat him. In the course, a few policemen who could speak Japanese came in and interrogated him about the Falun Gong situation in Japan, inquiring about the sources of those truth-clarifying booklets and VCDs in his travel bag. He told the police that he created all those materials himself.

When the police escorted Hiroyoshi back to his hotel for his luggage and ordered him to cancel his reservation, he saw that the hotel had many people and he shouted "Falun Dafa is Good!" The police were afraid of the truth being revealed to the public so they pounded him hastily. On the morning of January 2, police escorted him to Shanghai to board an airplane, forcing him to pay an extra of 10,000 Yuan in order to book a flight one day earlier back to Osaka. Hiroyoshi got in touch with Japanese practitioners only after he arrived in Osaka in the afternoon of January 2.

Hiroyoshi had left a statement to his fellow practitioners explaining his determination and the significance of his trip to China before he left Japan. On New Year's Day, before he left for Tiananmen Square, he informed Japanese practitioners that if he was able to safely return to the hotel that night, he would call them again. Japanese practitioners waited for the phone call until the morning of January 2, but there was no information about him. They then informed the Japanese media about his trip to Tiananmen Square and forwarded his statement to them. They also notified the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Japan's renowned newspaper, Asahi Shimbun (online edition), published a short report on the same day. The Japanese Embassy did not receive any notice from the Chinese government about its citizen being arrested. Through Japanese practitioners' effort, the incident became a hot topic for the Japanese media. Finally, in the eve of January 2, news about Hiroyoshi's safe arrival in Japan came. In the following days, major Japanese newspapers such as Asahi Shimbun, Yomiuri Shimbun, Kyoto Shimbun, etc. and Nihon Keizai Shimbun's Nikei Net Interactive all covered the story of Hiroyoshi's trip to Tiananmen Square - his courage and benevolence in clarifying the truth to the Chinese people despite being beaten and deported by Chinese policemen because he unfurled a banner that read, "Falun Dafa is Good!"


Enclosure: Press Statement by Japanese Falun Dafa Practitioner Mr. Hiroyoshi Sawa before His Trip to China

Dear Readers:

First of all, I wish you a Happy New Year!

My name is Hiroyoshi Sawa. I have practiced Falun Gong for two and half years now.

Falun Gong (also known as Falun Dafa) was introduced to the general public in China in 1992. Currently there are more than 100 million practitioners around the world. Falun Gong is based on the principles of "Truthfulness-Compassion-Tolerance." It is a cultivation way that upgrades one's morality and promotes health. In fact, every Falun Gong practitioner is congenial, kind-hearted, and ready to teach anyone the Falun Gong exercises for free without asking for any compensation. Falun Gong has no worship formalities like religions. After I started practicing Falun Gong, my illnesses disappeared and I had a new understanding about life, feeling that I have returned back to my original true self.

The Chinese government started the persecution of such a great cultivation system in July of 1999. Ever since, more than 100 million practitioners in China have been suffering. Countless practitioners were thrown into jails, tortured to death, and sentenced to jail and labor camp terms illegally.

I am going to China's Tiananmen Square on the New Year's Day of 2002. I will appeal peacefully to the Chinese government. I hope my petition will help those Chinese practitioners relieve their suffering due to the persecution; I hope my petition will convey the truth about Falun Gong to those kind-hearted Chinese people who were cheated by the Government controlled media; I hope my petition will let more people of the world learn about the goodness of Falun Gong.

Judging from the brutality that the Chinese government inflicted upon Falun Gong practitioners in China, I may be arrested, beaten and thrown into prison by the Chinese government. But I clearly understand what is right and what is wrong. The vicious persecution in China today has already gone beyond people's comprehension. Jiang Zemin and his ilk are carrying out stealthily the brutal persecution unknown to the general public while blowing his rhetoric to the world of his fake "Compassion" for the "Betterment" of society. But no matter how hard he persecutes Falun Gong, he cannot cover up the fact that outside of China, because Falun Gong is getting more and more popular, people of the world are becoming more and more compassionate and kind-hearted.

Lately, many people died in the terrorist attack of the WTC in New York City. It makes people feel bad when they realize that in modern civilized society, such terrible violence and terrorist action is still happening. Nevertheless, this tragedy makes people ponder the importance of peace and the necessity of morality. People strongly believe that the world needs "Truthfulness-Compassion-Tolerance."

Falun Gong is based on "Truthfulness-Compassion-Tolerance." So we would never use violence against the perpetrators. Falun Gong also teaches us to take lightly the vanity of fame and money and to not get involved in politics. But today, I see such brutal persecution happening in China that is so close to Japan. I do not think it is the issue of politics but rather that of ethics. I could not just sit and watch, so I decided to go to China to do something. I hope my trip to China at least would draw more Japanese attention to this worldwide persecution of the spiritual movement.

A month ago, 36 western Falun Gong practitioners from 13 countries went to Tiananmen Square in order to appeal the Chinese government to stop the persecution. They made known to the Chinese people the fact that the Chinese media are state-controlled in order to cheat its own people. In the mean time, they let Chinese people know that the rest of the world does not persecute Falun Gong, only the Chinese government. That is why there are so many policemen in Tiananmen Square. They are afraid that Falun Gong practitioners would come to clarify the truth. As soon as they spot a Falun Gong practitioner, the policemen would beat and arrest him and throw him into a police van. Usually, it should not be like this at all. You can tell that the Chinese government is afraid that the people will know the truth.

It is because I love Chinese tradition, culture, and kind-hearted Chinese people that I will go to Tiananmen to ask the Chinese government to stop the most vicious persecution that ever happened in Chinese history and to stop persecuting "Truthfulness-Compassion-Tolerance" that teaches us to be good people. I will say to the Chinese government and to the Chinese people from the bottom of my heart, "Falun Dafa is Good!"

We need your help and attention on the matter at this busy, New Year holiday season.