Tuesday, July 30, 2002 at 09:25 JST

TOKYO: Twenty-one lawmakers formed a group Monday to seek the release of the Chinese wife of a Japanese businessman who was sentenced by China to labor reeducation due to activities related to Falun Gong, a [group] outlawed in China, the lawmakers said. The group handed Senior Vice Foreign Minister Seiken Sugiura a letter calling on the government to ask China to free Luo Rong, 37, whose Japanese name is Yoko Kaneko.

Chinese authorities detained Luo, a resident of Niigata Prefecture, and two Japanese women May 24 when they were handing out Falun Gong-related handbills in Beijing, according to the lawmakers. The two Japanese were released shortly but Luo was sentenced to one and a half years labor reeducation in late June, they said. (Kyodo News)

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