Editors' Note: A frequent visitor to Hong Kong was denied entry when he landed at Hong Kong International Airport on April 24, 2019. He was sent back to Japan of which he is a citizen. The customs officers never explicitly explained what rules or regulations he allegedly broke to warrant his deportation, but he determined from his interaction with them that it was because he practiced Falun Gong.
Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is a mind-body practice that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since July 1999. Hong Kong, a special administrative region of China, has been under pressure to prevent Falun Gong practitioners from raising awareness of the persecution there.
This particular visitor's experience is not an isolated case. Over the years, quite a few practitioners from Taiwan, the U.S., Japan, and other countries have been denied entry to Hong Kong when they planned to attend activities there to expose the Chinese regime's suppression of Falun Gong.
Below is this visitor's story.
I am a Japanese citizen, and have traveled to and from Hong Kong many times in the past without any problems. I last arrived in Hong Kong on April 24, 2019. I often choose the fast-track clearance as a frequent visitor to Hong Kong. After I scanned my passport, the automated exit did not open when I entered my fingerprint. Nearby police officers noticed the machine wasn't cooperating and came over. After scanning the document with the micro-computer he was carrying, he told me to follow him.
They took me to a small office in the Hong Kong Customs Service and confiscated my passport. I asked several times what the problem was, but they just told me to wait. Two hours later, a Hong Kong police officer took me to the luggage area to pick up my luggage, but it wasn't there.
I was taken back to the small office. Another officer came and told me that based on the regulations of the Hong Kong Immigration Department, I was being denied entry to Hong Kong. When I asked why, he said it was based on “basic managerial regulations” that he could not divulge. I could not accept his answer and tried to talk to him, but he refused to respond. He told me to follow him but did not tell me where.
He led me to a boarding gate where many Japanese passengers were waiting in line. A serious-looking senior customer service police officer told me that I would be taking this flight back to Japan. I thought I was going to talk to someone and would be told the reason why I was being denied entry, but it looked like a dozen police officers were there, ready to force me onto the plane!
I remembered what Master told us:
“No matter what the situation, do not cooperate with the evil’s demands, orders, or what it instigates.” (“Dafa Disciples’ Righteous Thoughts are Powerful,” Essentials for Further Advancement II)
How could I comply with such an absurd request! I took out my phone, found the number of the Japanese Consulate in Hong Kong, and called. The police officer looked nervous and asked what I was doing. I told him that I was a Japanese citizen and I was calling my consulate.
After my call went through, I told the person who answered that I was a Japanese citizen who was being denied entry to Hong Kong for no reason, that I could not find my luggage, and that the authorities were attempting to put me on a plane back to Japan against my will. That was not acceptable to me, and I needed their support. Many Japanese nearby were paying attention to my situation after they heard my conversation, and they agreed that it was not acceptable.
After the consulate listened to my story, he said that it had to do with Hong Kong's internal affairs and that the Japanese consulate had no right to interfere. I told him again that my luggage was missing. The senior police officer took the call and his attitude softened a great deal. He promised to find my luggage, but he still wanted me to go back on this flight.
Several police officers pushed me ahead, and I could not stop them. When I was almost at the door, I turned around and raised my voice, “Stop! I am still talking with the consulate.” He took my phone away and put it on speaker and said that we would all listen. I took my phone back and said, “What is the meaning of this? Do you understand Japanese?”
The captain and a manager came out and asked me if I wanted to go back on their flight. I said I did not. She told the senior police officer that according to their regulations, they could not force someone to take a flight if he refused. She said that they had to leave right away, then turned around and closed the door. The first attempt to repatriate me had failed.
I went back to the office. I was calm and had no fear. I felt that Master was nearby and was strengthening me.
Master taught us:
“Whatever you experience during your cultivation--whether good or bad--is good, for it comes about only because you are cultivating.” (To the Chicago Fa Conference)
I thought about how nothing happens by chance. No matter what had happened on my path of cultivation, it was for me to carry on, to fulfill.
I had come to Hong Kong repeatedly on my own time and at my own expense to help make people aware of the persecution and learn the truth so that they would have a better future. I was saddened about what had happened that day. There were so many more people still not aware.
Two senior-level police officers came in, and I calmly responded to their greetings. I realized they still did not understand the facts, so it was up to me to inform them. I wanted to clarify the truth to them, so I asked them to sit down next to me so we could talk.
I asked if denying me entry had something to do with me personally. Did I do anything wrong? They said that it had nothing to do with me personally, and that they were just following the rules and regulations. As for whether or not to deny me entry, each time there would be different standards to consider, but these considerations and reasons could not be completely revealed. I responded that I could reveal to them why I had come to Hong Kong. I said I came because I hoped the people in Hong Kong, which included them, would have a better future.
I told them a story about an East German soldier at the border who raised his gun one inch higher to avoid shooting the people attempting to escape to West Germany back when the country was divided. Even though he was carrying out duty, he could still make the best choice based on his own conscience. They nodded in agreement.
I told them why I was so concerned for the future of Hong Kong. I said that I believed that good is rewarded and evil punished, and that only those who have a kind heart will have a safe future. I told them that whatever the nationality, everyone had very similar prophecies. God created human beings, He will return in the latter days, and there will be a big judgment day. I asked them whether they'd ever thought about why, even though all the ethnic groups speak totally different languages, they have such similar prophecies?
They listened attentively and nodded in agreement. After they left, I began contacting fellow practitioners to tell them what had happened, and asked them to contact the media in Japan. I wanted to let the people in Japan know the facts about the persecution. I then settled down to send forth righteous thoughts to eliminate the old force factors and make it easy for fellow practitioners to come to Hong Kong from other countries.
When I arrived the next morning in Japan, the media, including the Epoch Times, NTDTV, and others, were waiting. They interviewed me and reported on what had happened.
I called my congressman to report the event and he himself picked up the phone. He suggested that I call the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs and report it, which I did. I explained that when I went to Hong Kong to participate in a Falun Gong demonstration to protest the persecution, I was forcibly repatriated by the Hong Kong Immigration Department. I was obviously on their blacklist, but how did that happen? I said I was very concerned that my personal information had been stolen or collected by a CCP spy. I asked the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other departments to review and respond to the allegation that the Chinese Communist Party was illegally obtaining personal information from Japanese citizens.
In the parking lot when I picked up my car, the attendant asked why I was back so soon. I told him about my experience in Hong Kong, and he asked if I did anything wrong. I told him that I practice Falun Gong, which is persecuted in China. He sighed and said that Hong Kong was no longer the same as it once was.
I felt that my recent encounter led to a breakthrough in my cultivation. It is no longer difficult to make people aware of the persecution. I also have a deeper understanding of what Master taught us:
“I told you a long time ago that a Dafa disciple, or a cultivator, has no enemies. The only thing you have a role in is saving people” (“Teaching the Fa in the City of Chicago” Collected Fa Teachings, Vol. VII )