Hundreds of people marched peacefully through Tokyo chanting “Black Lives Matter” and other slogans related to the global anti-racism movement that began with the killing of George Floyd last month, a Sputnik correspondent reported from the ground.
The march drew many ex-pats living in the Japanese capital as well as Japanese nationals and went through central districts of the city under the direction of accompanying police.
“Racism is not only America’s problem, it’s a global problem. In Japan, perhaps this is not such a pressing problem, but there is also discrimination against [the indigenous] Ainu and Okinawans. There is discrimination against the dark-skinned. We want to draw the attention of the Japanese to the fact that there is discrimination in Japan and so that the Japanese learn more about the BLM movement,” a young woman participating in the march said to Sputnik.
She explained the absence of a mention of Ainu or Okinawa residents in the slogans that it was important to draw attention to the problem of racism in general, so today’s march is held under the motto Black Lives Matter.
“Let this be the first step towards understanding what racial discrimination is, what racism is in Japan. In Japan, they don’t know what it is,” said a young Tokyo resident who named herself as Sayako.
Passers-by looked on and photographed the march and shopkeepers came out to witness the rare event in Tokyo.