[Since this article was written, Yoko Kaneko has been released from captivity in China.]

(Clearwisdom.net) Yoko Kaneko, a resident of Niigata, Sado Island, Japan, was arrested last May in Beijing while distributing Falun Gong flyers. She was illegally sentenced to one-and-a-half years of forced labor. November 23rd is the expiration date of her term. On November 18, 2003, Ms. Yoriko Kawaguchi, Minister of Foreign Affairs, expressed that the Japanese government treats Yoko Kaneko the same as other Japanese citizens.

According to a news report on November 18, 2003 from a Japanese TV station, Ms. Yoriko Kawaguchi said, "Since Yoko Kaneko married a Japanese citizen and lived in Japan, we treat her as a Japanese citizen."

The report said, Yoko Kaneko's husband, Atsushi Kaneko, had requested the Foreign Affairs Department to help rescue his wife on the basis that his wife has residency in Japan.

Atsushi Kaneko said that there have been numerous cases where practitioners are not released even after their terms expire.

Falun Gong practitioners in Japan and Yoko's husband Atsushi Kaneko, strongly requested the Chinese government to immediately release Yoko Kaneko and have her return to Japan to reunite with her family.