On May 24th, 2002, Japanese Falun Gong practitioner, Luo Rong, (Japanese given name: Yoko Kaneko), wife of Atsushi Kaneko, also a Japanese citizen, was illegally detained by police from Beijing Public Security, at the Haidian Police Station, because she distributed Falun Gong truth-clarifying materials with two other Falun Gong practitioners, who are also Japanese citizens. The other two Japanese citizens were forcefully expelled from China two days later. After one month, Luo Rong was illegally sentenced to one year and six months of "re-education through labor."

Luo Rong's husband, Atsushi Kaneko, also a Japanese citizen, could not accept the injustice of this sentence. Luo Rong is a good person who lives by the principles of Falun Gong - Truthfulness, Compassion, and Forbearance. Even while face-to-face with the Chinese government's brutal persecution of Falun Gong, she still clarified the truth about Falun Gong with a peaceful and rational attitude. Although Mr. Kaneko knew that the Chinese government illegally represses Falun Gong, he still could hardly believe such an experience could happen to them. Since unlawful arrests, public detention, and brainwashing programs, etc., are against the law in Japan, it is hard for the Japanese to imagine such things.

Atsushi Kaneko knew that his wife Luo Rong only distributed truth-clarifying materials in public places, which he learned from the other Japanese practitioners who accompanied his wife. Atsushi felt that the action of the Chinese government was too extreme. He started to appeal for justice for his wife. He participated in six consecutive press conferences, held in Tokyo, Osaka, and Niigata, appealing for his wife's rescue. He also went from Sado City, Niigate County, to Tokyo, to visit foreign affairs offices, Congress, international human rights organizations, etc., in hopes of obtaining help from the Japanese government and the international community. On July 29, 2002, the group, the "Ultra Parties and Groups Assembly Alliance to Rescue Yoko Kaneko", comprised of 21 Congress members, was officially established. The special Japanese branch of Amnesty International also decided to unconditionally assist in Luo Rong's rescue.

Atsushi Kaneko also consulted with attorneys. The "Falun Gong Refugee Applicant - Attorney Protection Group" and the "Falun Gong Refugee Applicant Support Group" had heard the report twice about the recent predicament of Luo Rong from Atsushi Kaneko and the "Alliance for Rescuing Yoko Kaneko." The kind assistance from such informed people of the world made Atsushi Kaneko feel that he should persist in his efforts to rescue his wife. His wife didn't violate the law, but the Chinese government definitely did.

Atsushi Kaneko decided to go to China in person to express his opposition and request that the Chinese government release his innocent wife. Just before he left Japan, he visited the Ministry of Foreign Affairs again. Atsushi said, "In the beginning, I incorrectly thought that my wife broke the law in China, but now I completely realize that the Chinese government did not follow its own law, so it has violated the law. I will therefore go to China, in person, to appeal to the Chinese authorities to release my innocent wife, and send her home." Another Foreign Affairs official asked, "Did you hear that Chinese government requested Yoko to abandon her belief? If she renounces her belief, she will be released immediately. Do you think Yoko will give up her belief, or not?" Atsushi replied, "She will never give up her belief. Such beliefs that help people to be good should not be given up. Jiang's regime persecutes Falun Gong practitioners, and more than 400 people have already been persecuted to death. I am so worried about my wife's safety. I want to bring her home as soon as possible." The Foreign Affairs official said, "In that case, we will contact the Embassy immediately, to help you as much as we possibly can."

On August 12, 2002, Atsushi traveled to Mainland China with the appeal petition for the Chinese government.

In the letter he wrote, "At present, Luo Rong's situation has become a significant event, which the people in the world are very concerned about. The just and kind people of influence in upper level society, those from international political circles, religious circles, human right associations, the judicial world, academic circles etc., good Japanese citizens, and all good people of the world care about the safety of my wife, Luo Rong.

"Here, I sincerely hope that the Chinese government, as a permanent member of the United Nations, can conduct itself reasonably and sincerely. Based on the above facts, I have two requests of the Beijing People's Labor Reform Committee. First, acquit my wife, Luo Rong, of the unjust charges against her, and second, release her immediately, and let her return to Japan to be reunited with her family."

We believe that justice will prevail, and that more Japanese citizens and people of the world will stand up for innocent Falun Gong practitioners, and speak out for justice. We hope that Atsushi will soon be reunited with his wife, Luo Rong.


[Note: Since this article was written, Mr. Kaneko traveled to China, but was unable to secure his wife's release from a forced labor camp. For details of her treatment in China, see

Atsushi Kaneko Returns to Japan, Confirming His Wife Luo Rong (Yoko Kaneko) Has Been Suffering Severe Torture (Photo)