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Japan Times: Falun Gong follower deported from China

January 06, 2002 |  

Sunday, January 6, 2002

A Japanese Falun Gong follower has said that he was deported from China after protesting Beijing's ban on the group.

Hiroyoshi Sawa, a 27-year-old company employee from Kyoto, said at a news conference in Tokyo on Friday that he was forced to return home Wednesday via Shanghai after being detained and assaulted by Chinese security authorities.

Sawa said he unfurled a banner that read "Falun Gong's teachings are good" and shouted the same [words] in Chinese in Tiananmen Square on Tuesday.

Security authorities took him away for questioning and seized his books on Falun Gong, Sawa said.

He said that he was questioned about his relationship with Chinese Falun Gong followers and that he was detained overnight.

Sawa said he will continue his campaign to end persecution of the group's followers.

According to sources close to the group, there are several thousand Falun Gong followers in Japan. Sawa's case marks the fourth time Japanese have been deported from China for staging a protest in Tiananmen Square.